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The Spaniard continues to see his future called into question after enduring a tough start to the 2020-21 campaign, but he wants to stay positive

Mikel Arteta is adamant that he will not quit his post at Arsenal, despite falling under ever-increasing pressure, with the Spaniard doing his best to ignore the speculation surrounding his future.

Uncomfortable questions are being asked of a rookie coach at Emirates Stadium.

Despite delivering FA Cup and Community Shield triumphs across his first 12 months in the most demanding of roles, Arteta has also overseen Arsenal’s worst start to a season since 1974-75.

It is now being suggested that he could jump before he is pushed, with the Gunners needing something to change this season, but the 38-year-old insists there is no chance of him walking.

He told reporters ahead of a Carabao Cup quarter-final clash with Manchester City: “I don’t like to think about those steps because then I will be thinking in a negative way and I cannot do that.

“At the moment, I have to try to be as positive as I can, believe in what we’re doing, try to modify things to make it work better, and stay strong. We’re going through a lot of difficulties, the last thing we want to be thinking of is more problems coming up in the next few months. I’m not in that state of mind.

“I know the responsibility that I have and why I am here. Everybody knows that from a few months ago, this wasn’t going to be resolved really quickly. I think that’s the consciousness of everybody at the club.”

While ignoring the noise being generated outside of Emirates Stadium, Arteta claims to have been given no indication from those inside the Arsenal camp that his position is under threat.

He added: “No, from within the club everything I am feeling is just support, encouragement, and total confidence that we will get through this together.

“Externally I never read what is happening, I know more or less what is happening but I never read it: in beautiful moments I don’t read it, in difficult moments I don’t read it, I just try to focus on the job and what I have to do.

“But obviously a club of this stature deserves the best and when it is not happening, everyone is going to question what is happening. I am the most responsible one in terms of results, so I have to accept that.”

Pressed on whether the Gunners job is even tougher than he thought when taking the reins in December 2019, Arteta said: “Well, I could not think about some of the challenges we have been through this year for many different reasons, some internal at the club and some external with the pandemic.

“Then as well with some results that we have picked up in the last few months in the Premier League, but probably as well I could not imagine some of the nice moments we had when I stepped in.

“I knew the challenges that we were facing, that we had been going through for a couple of years or more already, so some really positive highlights and obviously now everything is looking a bit more negative because of our form in the Premier League.”

Arsenal will head into Christmas sat 15th in the Premier League table, with the Gunners having gone seven games without a win in the English top-flight – with that run stretching back to November 1.

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December 21, 2020
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