Mikel Arteta delivers impassioned plea to fed-up Arsenal fans ahead of make-or-break clash


Mikel Arteta will never stop “thinking big” when it comes to Arsenal – despite the enormous challenge ahead.

The Gunners boss gave a stirring message to the fed-up fans, but stressed he understands their frustration because the club’s past is steeped in success.

Arsenal are already having to make two sets of plans – one if they win the FA Cup and qualify for the Europa League and another if they miss out.

They also face the prospect of playing at least half next season without sell-out crowds, which normally bring in £2million revenue every game.

It means they cannot think about a new contract offer to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang until after the FA Cup Final. If they lose, they may not be able to afford him.

But despite the uncertainty, Arteta feels the complete support of owners Stan and Josh Kroenke, but believes it is vital the club learns from past mistakes.

He said: “I knew the challenge. To come in the middle of the season with all the issues that were happening.

“And when you are inside you can dig even deeper and start to understand why things happen. It’s the consequences of many little aspects. I am so convinced that we are going to do it right, but we need time.

“The fans, when they get nervous it’s normal. For me, it’s not that they get nervous, it’s frustration. This club and its history is there.

“People are relating this badge with success, with joy, with trophies and emotions. We can’t change that and we must not try to change it.

“Because it makes us big and we only have to think like that. For me, it’s the only way to think about this club and the future of it. If we are all in the same place on that we will make it.

“But we have to do it then transmit it to the players, to every member of the staff and then to the fans. If we do that and we are together with that mindset we will do it.”

The Spaniard stressed they must welcome the challenge rather than run away from it.

“If the situation is what it is let’s take it, let’s embrace it, but let’s do something – let’s analyse why things happen and the things that are not working have to get changed,” he added. “If not, we are going to get back to the same spot in six months, a year, two years.

“I am very confident with the way the owners and the board are approaching this crucial time. We know we don’t have any margin for error.”


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