Arteta praises fans after Arsenal win
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Former England striker Chris Sutton has slammed Mikel Arteta for claiming that Arsenal’s poor start to the Premier League season has been his best period as a manager. The Gunners were left empty-handed after a trio of defeats against Brentford, Chelsea and Manchester City but picked up their first win over Norwich City on Saturday.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s second-half winner proved to be the difference between the two sides, with Arsenal pulling themselves out of the division’s bottom three with the result.
The Gabonese striker bundled the ball home from close range after Nicolas Pepe struck the post twice in quick succession to give the hosts all three points.
Arteta would have breathed a huge sigh of relief after the full-time whistle, with the Spaniard finding himself under significant pressure to deliver results quickly in north London at present.
Despite his side’s awful start to the campaign, the 39-year-old insisted before the match that he learnt so much over the international break that it could be considered his best spell in charge of Arsenal.
“After three defeats things get complicated,” Arteta told reporters. “I must say it has been the best 10 or 14 days in my professional career.
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“Not the easiest, but the best. You learn a lot in difficult moments, who you are with.”
However, Sutton responded by lashing out at Arteta’s bizarre comments on BBC Radio 5 Live, suggesting that he cannot possibly be telling the truth.
“Being sort of cynical, that is just utter rubbish,” declared Sutton, who made 102 appearances for Norwich between 1991 and 1994.
“How could he have had the best 10 days, come on. The best 10 days? Better than winning the FA Cup?
“I just found those comments, well I didn’t believe him. I don’t think I’m the only one, how could that be possible?”
It remains to be seen whether Arteta will be able to lead Arsenal back to the upper reaches of the Premier League table before the end of the season.
The Gunners were the division’s biggest spenders over the summer, splashing in excess of £150million on six new players.
However, they have failed to translate the financial backing provided by the Kroenke family into on-pitch results thus far, earning just one point and scoring one goal since the beginning of the campaign.
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Speaking after his side’s victory over Norwich on Saturday, Arteta challenged his players to keep performing in the face of adversity in order to drag themselves out of their current predicament.
He also stressed that further improvements will be required to stand any chance of achieving a respectable finish in the Premier League this season.
“We had to suffer but I knew to win the game it would be like this,” he said.
“In difficult moments when you see the people and the level of organisation and the fans we have.
“They were ready to suffer today but they just give, give, give to the team. Today and the last week everything gilded together.
“We have to improve a lot of things, but today we made seven changes and already it looked different.”
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