Mikel Arteta explains how 122 messages of support helped heal Arsenal title heartache
Mikel Arteta has revealed he had over 100 messages of support after Arsenal’s title race effectively ended against Brighton last week - and it has helped him get over the pain of defeat.
The Gunners were beaten 3-0 by Brighton meaning Manchester City lead the Premier League by four points, with a game in hand.
If Arsenal lose at Nottingham Forest on Saturday the title race is over, but even if they win then City will be champions should they defeat Chelsea at home on Sunday.
Arteta was crestfallen after last week’s lost to Brighton, but he has revealed how being inundated with messages of support has lifted him.
“I healed myself first for 24 hours, which I needed because it was painful,” he said.
“And then live with the moment, live with the situation and try to change it straightaway, and give them (the players) all the support and help that they need to be better, to learn from it and to face tomorrow a challenge and opportunity again to put something right.
“Sometimes you go in bed and just cover in bed for 12 hours and don’t speak to anybody. Sometimes you need your wife and kids around you, your dog, and your family.
“In the three years I have been at the club, I have never had that many text messages after the game. It was incredible.
“I think it was 122 messages I had – all talking about what we have done. ‘Don’t lose perspective on what you guys have done’.
“That helps because it comes from friends, a lot of colleagues, coaches as well, a lot of people at the club, and sometimes that helps you as well and sometimes you need that.
“You can’t be only with that tunnel vision thinking about: ‘I should have done that in the game, I should have changed that, we should have done that’. And you just kill and hammer yourself. That (the messages) helped I think.”
Arsenal are determined to compete for the title again next season and Arteta will be backed in the transfer market this summer. The club could spend over £200million on new recruits, with West Ham captain Declan Rice their No1 target.
“Crucial I would say,” when asked about the summer transfer window. “To go to the next level is going to be a crucial summer for us. That is for sure.
“First of all to make sure that we maintain everything that we have at the club right now.
“That we maintain expectations, that we maintain enthusiasm and energy that is around the place and we have a proper preparation to fulfil the objectives and the challenges that we will have next season.”