SPORTS

Arsenal not in relegation battle – Arteta

By Babalola Seyi

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta insists the club is not in relegation battle despite recent run of poor results.

The Gunners fell to a 1-0 home defeat against Burnley on Sunday and currently occupy 15th position on the table.

“I want to think that we are in a blip, losing football matches makes me believe that but we need to start to win,” Arteta said ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Southampton.

Because just dropping and dropping down the table is not the situation we want to be in.

“But this is our reality right now and we have to face it and we have to face it being brave, fighting and no one giving up or anything.”

Arteta also accepts the criticism heading in his direction, but wants everyone at the club to stand up and be counted.

“It’s not time to hide, it’s time to put your face and your body on the line and at the moment, I’m sorry, but we have to take the bullets,” he said.

“We are not winning football matches and I have to put my chest there and you have to hit me, because you have the right to hit me because I’m not winning.

“So what else can I do? Put my head down, work harder and try to do things better and improve. That’s how we have to approach things in my opinion.”

Arteta takes full responsibility for the team’s results and has welcomed the criticism and scrutiny he is getting from the media.

“It’s natural, I accept the criticism and it’s part of the job,” he said.

When you’re not getting results at the end of the day it’s the manager who has the maximum responsibility. So that’s what I accept.

“You can explain whatever you want but at the end of the day you have to win football matches and this club is too big to accept this many losses in the last weeks. So my chest is here and hit me, guys.”

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