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Mikel Arteta makes honest admission over summer transfers

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal have no “margin for error” this summer as they look to close the gap on the leading lights in the Premier League.

Arsenal currently sit in 10th place, exactly where they were when Arteta left Man City for north London on December 20.

Arteta can only guide the Gunners into eighth place after taking over the reins from Unai Emery before Christmas. A win against Watford cannot see them finish any higher in a season which has had plenty of ups and downs.

The club still have an FA Cup final to look forward to, as Arteta plots to reinvigorate the club after their lowest finish to a league season since 1995.

Arteta is more than aware about the club’s tight summer budget, due to their failure to reach Europe, the impact of coronavirus and their existing wage bill.

“We know that we don’t have any margin for error and everything has to be so planned,” said Arteta.

“I have to say that I am very confident with the way that the owners and the board are approaching this crucial time for us. With a great process to put the team into the next level very quickly. Once we know a little bit more and have more information about where we are it will be easier to make those decisions.

 

 

“I came here and I knew the challenge.

“I am so convinced that we are going to do it right but we need a little bit of 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 and 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.”

Arteta worried about congestion

Meanwhile, Arteta admits he is worried that the congested fixture list has put too much strain on his players.

The Gunners face relegation-threatened Watford in their final Premier League game of the season on Sunday, making it 12 matches in 39 days.

Their run to the FA Cup final, where they meet Chelsea on August 1, has seen two additional games slotted in alongside the run of remaining league fixtures after the season restarted following the coronavirus pandemic.

Arteta has seen a string of players pick up injuries since the restart, with Bernd Leno, Gabriel Martinelli and Pablo Mari all missing the closing weeks of the campaign.

Shkodran Mustafi, too, has been ruled out of the FA Cup final due to a hamstring injury.

Asked if he was worried about there being too much pressure on players recently, Arteta replied: “Yes, I am worried and, for example, Mustafi’s injury is related to it because we had to expose our players.

“We had some really bad injuries in the last few weeks where we lost big, big players: our goalkeeper, central defenders and Martinelli, central midfielders.

“But it is what it is. It’s unprecedented times with the Covid, we knew the challenge afterwards and the Premier League has done the best possible way to fix all the fixtures into this calendar year and we are going to move everything back to next season.

“It’s our responsibility to put a plan together where we don’t expose them as much but sometimes it’s inevitable because when you don’t have the numbers they have to keep playing.”

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READ MORE: Arsenal compile list of attacking targets in case of Aubameyang departure

The post Mikel Arteta makes honest admission over summer transfers appeared first on teamtalk.com.

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