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Arteta digs his heels in over direction he is taking Arsenal

Mikel Arteta says he will be sticking to the direction he is taking Arsenal despite a dreadful start to their Premier League campaign which has led to further unrest from fans.

The former Arsenal midfielder takes his side to champions Manchester City on Saturday having taken no points and failed to score in their first two matches.

The team were booed off both at half-time and at full-time by their fans in last Sunday’s 2-0 defeat by Chelsea.

Former players like Ian Wright were astonished by the listlessness of the performance against Chelsea and wondered if the players are listening to Arteta.

Arteta has been permitted to outspend his rivals — even though he cannot offer European football this season — splashing out a reported £130 million ($178 million) including £50 million on England defender Ben White.

The Spaniard can point to his squad being affected by an outbreak of coronavirus — Alexandre Lacazette and White among those who were laid low — and the team will be boosted by the return of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the City match.

The Gabonese international scored a hat-trick in his first start this season a 6-0 hammering of Championship side West Brom on Wednesday.

Arteta — who guided the Gunners to lifting the FA Cup in 2020 months after replacing compatriot Unai Emery — is adamant his strategy for the team is the right one.

“No, not the direction,” he said in response as to whether he doubted his methods.  

“You have to be able to adapt.

“You have to be able to see what is happening and how can you help the team and the individuals on the pitch, with your speech, or with the way you communicate with them, or what you are demanding them to do, and adapt a little bit.

“But the direction is not going to change.”

Arteta — who returns on Saturday to the club where he was assistant to Pep Guardiola prior to taking the Arsenal job — added he is up for the challenge of improving the results on the pitch and making the fans happy again. 

“I cannot have more energy, more determination and more desire to turn things around,” said Arteta.

“I think nobody has that more than myself at the moment.

“When we are doing well, when people are enjoying, when people feel part of what we are doing, you get people happy — and when we have that power I just focus on that.”

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