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Football Reporting


Arsenal’s form has been ‘draining, frustrating and painful’

Mikel Arteta has said he is “drained” from Arsenal’s recent losing run after feeling the responsibility of “looking after 70 hearts in the training ground and the stadium.”

Arsenal beat Chelsea 3-1 on Boxing Day to record their first Premier League victory since Nov. 1, ending a miserable run which put the Spaniard under huge pressure as his team languishes in 15th place.

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Arsenal travel to Brighton and then West Brom either side of New Year’s Day aiming to rescue a dismal season to date but they finally have some positive momentum on their side to ease speculation over Arteta’s future.

“Obviously results-wise in the last few weeks we have all been suffering, I have been suffering,” he said. “I feel very responsible for that. The worst feeling is because I want to do so well for this football club and at the moment we are in, I want to bring all my passion, the knowledge that I have, the right intentions to move as quickly as we possibly can as a football club.

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“In order to do that we need to win football matches, to be stable and win some time. When I don’t, I feel like I am letting the club down and the people that work for us, and obviously our fans. It is draining, it is frustrating and it is painful. At the same time I know we have to fight our way back.

“In difficult moments is when you see the right people, they give me a lot of encouragement because I see people that are willing to fight with me, with the people that we have here. It gives me energy every day to carry on doing it.”

Asked whether he found playing or managing more tiring, Arteta, whose career as a midfielder included six years at Everton and five at Arsenal, added: “The simple answer is managing. Because you have a lot of people around you that you have to take care of. I always say you have 70 hearts in the training ground and stadium that you have to look after everyday.

“Every decision you make has an impact on their lives, their mood and the next day. So you are very aware of that and you get attached emotionally to them and I’m attached emotionally to this football club. That makes the emotion even bigger and stronger and that will drain you energy-wise.”

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