Arteta: “Now we need to show our teeth"

Mikel Arteta on the lap of appreciation following the Everton win

The dust has barely settled on the 2023/24 season, but Mikel Arteta has challenged his players to “show their teeth” next season as we aim to continue our progress.

For the second season in a row, we finished runners-up in the Premier League table, with Manchester City retaining their grasp on the trophy.

And while Mikel was quick to sportingly pay tribute to our rivals, he urged his squad to use our disappointment as fuel to bounce back and try and make it third time lucky in 12 months’ time.

“Congratulations to Manchester City for winning the Premier League,” he said post-match. “We tried, we had a record season in many stats, but normally those records have to produce big titles, and we haven’t won it. That’s the regret today because we really wanted to deliver something special to our people.

“When you look at it, the atmosphere they created, how they are behind the team and the players, it’s unbelievable. It’s a little bit of a sad day but looking at it with perspective, we have to understand what we are doing. Hopefully we can still be better.

“Now we have to stop and reflect on why these things are happening and all the decisions that we made and the progress that we are making in the club, and not only the men’s team, which is really encouraging.

“Now we need to show our teeth - you really want to win it, now we have to make another step forward, be very aggressive, very determined and find ways to be better than our opponents."

The progress on and off the pitch since the Spaniard took over in December 2019 has been stark, and he feels a huge contributing factor to that is our supporters, who have backed the team all the way, through and thin, and now to the verge of the title we all crave.

“They’ve been unbelievable, they are so inspiring,” he added. “I think they’ve taken this group of players and transformed them into a different level, because they feel confident, they feel respected, they feel loved.

“That’s a real power to have, so home and away, I think they’ve been incredible and today was just a joy to stand there in front of our people, living this team that for many years, we haven’t had the chance to live.”

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