Mikel Arteta spoke to The London Evening Standard at a photo shoot for Tom Clancy’s new game, Splinter Cell: Blacklist.
Arteta will to be missing the first six weeks of the season with a thigh injury according to reports although Wenger did not confirm nor deny this reports during his prematch conference. Even though the big name signings promised haven’t come in yet, the team spirit in the Gunner’s squad seems to be high, with a lot of hungry players wanting to end Arsenal’s infamous trophy drought.
“The club is very ambitious for this year,” Mikel Arteta told Standard Sport. “Everyone in the club is happy — nobody wants to leave. We saw a few players released with the intention of bringing some new players in and I think that’s what we are trying to do to give us a better chance of winning the title.
If someone can bring the gap much closer with the top teams, he will be more than welcome. Whether that is a big name or a smaller name who surprises us, I don’t mind. But I think we will sign someone.
When you have new faces and there is new competition, it is like fresh air around the team. And for the fans as well. They have been waiting for something big to happen. You talk to people and you can tell they are waiting for something big.
I came to Arsenal to win things,” said Arteta. “I am desperate and everyone feels the same. We really want to win but we need to be realistic. Sometimes it comes down to small details and there can only be one winner. There are going to be four or five top teams very frustrated at the end of May next season. That’s a fact.
There is no clear favourite for the title this year. You never know — someone could respond from the start and boom, away they go. Three years ago, Chelsea started by beating everybody five or six nil but at the end of November they went downhill and they lost the title to Manchester United. It is a long season and any team can beat anyone else. That is what is most exciting about this league.
We think we can win the title this season. If we don’t believe that, we won’t do it. It is going to be the most difficult Premier League by far because we are talking about four or five teams who could win it. It is hard to think of any other league in Europe with the same scenario. I think we have got the ability to do it but we have to find the consistency through the year to earn the chance to get to April in contention and give it a go.”
Arteta touched upon Arsenals unbeaten run towards the end of the season too.
“It was tough to get back from our difficult start last season,” said Arteta, speaking at a Splinter Cell Blacklist photo shoot. “This year it is different. We have got confidence from what we did at the end of last season and when you get that habit of winning every week, you get that confidence naturally. During pre-season we have been looking at the mistakes that cost us points. If you look at the stats when we did things the right way, we won a lot of points. We were the second best team after January in the Premier League”.
After Manchester City, we had the best defensive record in the League [37 goals conceded to City’s 34]. So we have a lot of positives to take but when we dropped points because of mistakes, it makes it hard to win the title. We need to realise that they cannot happen again.”
All Arsenal fans would be hoping for a winning start to the new campaign which starts against Aston Villa at home. If all players have the hunger that Arteta and Wilshere have portrayed in recent interviews, about winning trophies, then it will certainly go a long way in helping Arsenal to end their 8-year barren run.