‘I haven’t been able to do that’: Candid Mikel Arteta blames HIMSELF for not getting the best of his whole Arsenal squad after their Premier League title bid faltered, as he admits the club must ‘be critical with ourselves’
- Boss Mikel Arteta has voiced a critical opinion of his own squad management
- The club’s title challenge faded away before Manchester City retained the crown
- Arsenal now face ending the season on three consecutive defeats this weekend
Mikel Arteta has candidly blamed himself for not getting enough out of his whole Arsenal squad after they fell apart in the season’s final months.
The Gunners have surpassed many an expectation by pushing Manchester City for the Premier League title all the way up until April.
But they now face ending the season on three consecutive defeats on Sunday against Wolves after losing to both Brighton and Nottingham Forest.
When asked about giving opportunities to all his players, he said: ‘First of all, (we need to) be critical with ourselves, first with myself.
‘My job is to get the best out of 24 players that we have available and I haven’t been able to do that.
Mikel Arteta has candidly blamed himself for not getting the best of his whole Arsenal squad
The club’s title charge faltered out in recent weeks, crowning Manchester City the champions
‘There are still players who have great potential and we haven’t been able to do that. There are different reasons. Whether it’s injuries, whether it’s game time, whether I haven’t had the opportunity or I haven’t been able to play them enough.
‘We have to look for those margins because our job is to make them better..’
This weekend’s match is likely to be Granit Xhaka’s final game for the club, and Arteta was effusive of the player’s impact over recent seasons.
Xhaka is in advanced talks with Bayer Leverkusen over a £13million move this summer that would bring to an end his seven-year stay at the Emirates Stadium.
Long-serving midfielder Granit Xhaka is expected to move back to Germany this summer
The midfielder was set to join Hertha Berlin in January 2020 after a public falling out with fans and being stripped of the captaincy – but Arteta convinced him to stay and holds him in high regard.
Arteta added: ‘Personally, for me, (he has been) crucial. Really, really important at every level and I think for the team and at the club as well. In the great moments, like the season that he had, and in the difficult ones.
‘There’s four or five in that dressing room that have been critical for those (young) players to grow, to have the right support, to inspire them, and in the right moment to challenge them. You need that in a dressing room.’
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