Mikel Arteta says Arsenal his players won’t ease up in their three remaining games despite Arsenal’s chances of qualifying for Europe hanging by a thread.
The Gunners, ninth after Sunday’s 3-1 win over West Bromwich Albion, have to finish seventh to secure a place in the inaugural edition of the Europa Conference League but have only three games to overhaul a four-point gap on Sp*rs and overtake one of Everton, Liverpool or West Ham.
The odds are stacked against his side, especially as the next game is against Thomas Tuchel’s high-flying Chelsea, but the boss insists the least that can be expected of his players is that they fight to the end.
“We have a huge responsibility to win every game that we play when we represent this football club,” he said.
“And as well, if anybody can question anything, our level, our ability, whatever it is, they can. But our attitude, that’s a non-negotiable one.
“Right up to the end, we have to try to win our matches and see what happens.”
It’s been five years since Arsenal celebrated a St Totteringham’s Day and that too is a driving factor.
“That’s another motive,” said Arteta. “We know that’s very important as well. But we can control our results and at the moment, we cannot control there’s. We have to do it in our matches.”
Arteta made six changes for the win over the Baggies and could well rotate again on Wednesday when we head to Stamford Bridge. It remains to be seen whether any of the injured squad members will be fit.
David Luiz, Pablo Mari and Granit Xhaka all missed the visit of the Baggies with injuries and goal scorer Emile Smith Rowe limped off with a hamstring issue.
“Let’s see how they recover,” said Arteta. “We’ve lost so many players in recent weeks, so many big players, it’s had a huge effect on the team. It would be great because we have a very difficult game against them.”