Press conference

‘You have 70 hearts, you must take care of them'


Mikel Arteta admits that he had been “suffering” personally during the difficult run of results that we experienced in November and December.

We claimed our first Premier League win since November 1 on Boxing Day as we beat Chelsea and, ahead of our game against Brighton, our manager revealed why it had been such a trying time.

“Obviously results-wise in the last few weeks, we've all been suffering,” he said. “I’ve been suffering and I feel very responsible for that. The worst feeling is because I want to do so well for this football club and now, with the moment we are in, I want to bring all of my passion, the knowledge that I have and all the right intentions to move as quickly as we possibly can as a football club.

“In order to do that we have to win football matches to be stable and win some time and when I don't, I feel that I am letting the club down and the people who work for us down and obviously our fans too.

“It's draining, it's frustrating and it's painful. But at the same time, I know that we have to fight our way back and difficult moments are when you see the right people giving me a lot of encouragement, because I see people who are willing to fight with me and the people that we have here and then it gives me energy every day to carry on.

“There's a lot of people you have to take care of and I always said that you have 70 hearts and that's the training ground, the stadium and that dressing room and you have to look after them every day.

“Every word, every decision that you make has an impact in their lives, in their mood and in their next days. You are very conscious of that and you get attached emotionally to them and you get attached emotionally to this football club in a way that makes these emotions even bigger. Then it obviously drains you energy-wise.”

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