Mikel Arteta has claimed that Arsenal’s embarrassing loss to Manchester City left him at his ‘lowest’, leaving him “wanting to hit yourself” as he recalled how he has felt during a torrid start to the season.
The Gunners sat bottom of the table before Saturday’s clash against Norwich City, having lost all of their opening three matches in the Premier League.
Arteta‘s side fell to back-to-back 2-0 defeats at the hands of fellow London-based teams Brentford and Chelsea before Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City dealt them a 5-0 trouncing at the Etihad.
The international break that followed provided Arsenal with some much-needed respite before they finally picked up their first points of the campaign, overcoming the Canaries 1-0 thanks to a scrappy goal from club captain Pierre Emerick Aubameyang.
Following the defeat to Daniel Farke’s side, Arteta highlighted the importance of his family in getting him through their difficult patch.
“What I did probably was against myself because you are upset with yourself, you are angry, you are tired”, Arteta said when asked how he has dealt with the pressure.
“You just want to hit yourself because you are not doing things right and you are not getting the outcome you think you deserve. You have to understand why you do it.
“So after the loss against City probably I was at the lowest. And then you start to try to analyse things. You hear different opinions – media, criticism – and then probably you go even further.
“And then starts the importance of having the family I have, the wife and kids I have, the parents and the friends I have. In difficult moments they show their commitment in your relationship with them. After that it is every person that works in this club, from top to bottom, and the energy they try to provide.”
The former City assistant coach admitted that the easiest thing to do would be to blame the players he had at his disposal but he knew that looking for excuses wasn’t going to help anybody.
“That negativity has to come away,” he said. “You have to bear in mind that first of all you are doing everything you can to your best capacity, and don’t kid yourself or look for excuses.
“Normally the easiest thing to do is blame the players, [to say] ‘they are not good enough, I have this, I have that’ and then you try to over-coach them.
“I was not willing to do that because first of all they don’t deserve that. The people around this club don’t deserve it.”