Arsenal

Mikel Arteta takes blame for Arsenal's slump in form

Tom Gott
Arteta's side look to have fallen at the final hurdle
Arteta's side look to have fallen at the final hurdle / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages
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Mikel Arteta has refused to blame the Arsenal players for the team's recent underwhelming form, instead insisting he must take most of the responsibility.

The Gunners look set to miss out on Champions League football after consecutive defeats to Tottenham and Newcastle have left them two points behind the former with just one game left to play - Spurs need to lose to bottom-side Norwich to give Arsenal a chance.

After the loss to Newcastle, midfielder Granit Xhaka did not hold back in his scathing assessment of the squad, blasting their weak mentality and urging some of the team to 'stay at home' if they aren't feeling up for the fight.

Unsurprisingly, Arteta refused to follow suit and instead urged critics to focus on him.

"I am the maximum responsible [person] all the time," he said.

“If somebody has created an expectation this year that no one in this room probably would talk about at the start of this season, it’s those players that are there.”

The defeat leaves Arsenal needing a massive favour from Norwich, who must beat Spurs to give the Gunners any hope of returning to the top four. Spurs' +15 advantage when it comes to goal difference means, should they draw against Norwich, then Arsenal would need to beat Everton by 16 goals to move ahead.

"We need to win and we need a defeat from them, and we know that in football, that’s always possible, and if anything happens, you have to be there in order to do that," Arteta said of his side's top four hopes.

"Today, you have to put your head down, swallow all the disappointment that we all feel, hopefully, and tomorrow start again."

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