Arsenal

Mikel Arteta unfazed by boos from Arsenal fans after Chelsea loss

Tom Gott
Mikel Arteta called for calm from supporters
Mikel Arteta called for calm from supporters / GLYN KIRK/Getty Images
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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has insisted that he has no problems with the boos directed at his team after they fell 2-0 to London rivals Chelsea on Sunday.

The Gunners were comprehensively beaten by Thomas Tuchel's European champions, who took control of the game through first-half strikes from Romelu Lukaku and Reece James, and Arsenal never really looked like getting back into the match.

Folarin Balogun, Mikel Arteta
Arsenal were well beaten by Chelsea / Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

After the full-time whistle was blown, the Arsenal squad were greeted by a chorus of boos from the home fans, but when asked about the response from supporters, Arteta insisted there was nothing to worry about.

"I must thank the fans, even when things were looking difficult they tried to give the players a boost," he said (via the Daily Mail). "I see a lot of positives with the crowd and the team today.

"At the end I didn't see any bad reaction with any of the players. But that is my opinion. Feeling sorry for yourself does not help. You have to face the challenge, face the criticism - because it will come."

He later told BBC Sport: "When you are losing you cannot expect them to be happy. They have given all the support they could. When we don't win, they have to show that and that is natural."

The defeat leaves Arsenal 19th in the Premier League table, without a win and yet to even score a goal, but Arteta was keen to give some context to his side's struggles. Strikers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, winger Willian, goalkeeper Alex Runarsson and centre-back Ben White have all been battling COVID-19, while various injuries have also hampered a number of other key players.

"I don't think the club in their history have faced something like this," Arteta said of the situation. "We have to face the challenge. The league or table is not decided in August. The worst thing you can do is throw in the towel. We certainly are not going to do that.

"You have to understand the situation we have. We are missing nine players, and it is difficult. It is not just nine players - they are some big, big players.

"There are a lot of positives. Five players who are 19 or 20 years old playing at this level for the first time - that will have a positive impact but at the moment it is difficult. I don't like to feel sorry for myself. I think everyone can see at the moment we don't have the squad that we want and it seems to be more difficult by the day."

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