Arteta wants Arsenal to embrace added pressure ahead of Premier League title bid

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta has told his Arsenal stars their achievements last season count for nothing and that they must embrace the weight of expectation that will be on them this time out.

‌The Gunners are highly fancied to be Manchester City ’s main rivals again this time out after pushing them so hard during the last campaign. The fact they have recruited so well has only added to the presumption that they will be right in the mix again come May.

‌But rather than allow it to drown them, Arteta wants his men to wallow in the demand that is placed on them and make sure they move forward once again. He said: “For sure we have to enjoy it, because this is the way we want to move the club.

‌“We have to be able to enjoy then grab the opportunity we have in front of us with a lot of motivation and desire to try to accomplish everything we want to do. There’s more expectation because, when you do better, expectation will be higher and because of the way we have recruited.

‌“And it’s not only in the position [we finished] but the way the team was playing and the performances that we put in on the pitch, and the environment which was created around the club that promotes the belief.

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‌“And we need to be very clear that what happened last season means nothing, we know that we have to start another season in the best possible way and then we arrive again and try to build that momentum.”

The Gunners’ new recruits — Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber — all have plenty of experience behind them and all have won big honours. But despite their experience on the pitch, they are all still young in life, as are most of Arteta’s squad, and that’s why 31-year-old January signing Jorginho will be a key figure to guide them through the highs and lows of the season.

Arteta added: “Jorgi is a phenomenal character, he has so much experience, everybody respects and loves him, and he is a very particular character as well. He has been really, really, really good for us.

Arteta wants Arsenal to embrace added pressure ahead of Premier League title bidArsenal have spent big this summer, with the likes of Declan Rice and Jurrien Timber making the move to the Emirates (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

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‌“He needs to maintain what he is doing but as well we have to promote experience from other areas. There are very young players as well and now they have been with us for a while and they have to start to move forwards and take initiative and go another step further, because that is going to needed for sure.

‌“It’s something that has to be shared. Jorgi experience is very important, and then we have to use that and allow them to lead and self-police in certain moments. When it comes from the dressing-room, that’s the most powerful thing.

‌“We haven’t gone from the end of May to the beginning of August from being young to now being mature. But they are gaining experience and I will never use their age as an excuse because it’s something that really describes who we are and the way we behave and play, and it’s something very powerful.”

Tom Hopkinson

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