After relinquishing a winning position twice in five days, the Arsenal players must banish self-doubt if they are to restore good times at the Emirates Stadium, captain Mikel Arteta said on Monday.
Before the international break, Arsene Wenger’s side let a three-goal lead slip at home to Anderlecht in the Champions League before leading but losing 2-1 at Swansea City in the Premier League.
Spaniard Arteta says he is ready to help lift spirits around the dressing room to ensure the blip in form does not continue.
“For me, the most important thing is to lead with confidence and remind the players how good they are,” Arteta told the club’s website (www.arsenal.com).
“When you see some faces with disappointment and doubts, it is not good. They are players of the top level, and after one, two or three performances it is natural – you get doubts, you are not happy with yourself, you get a bit down.
“But we cannot allow that to happen here. It is very demanding to play three or four times in 10 days and bad periods are going to affect the team. So you need everyone on their toes and ready to fight.”
Arsenal are sixth in the league table with 17 points from their opening 11 games, 12 adrift of leaders Chelsea, and second in Champions League Group D, looking likely to qualify for the last 16 with two fixtures remaining.
Arteta says his teammates must keep their focus on their long-term goals instead of dwelling on a poor start to November.
“We have two games, against Manchester United and (Group D leaders) Borussia Dortmund, at home and if we get the crowd with us from the start and get the results then it will be a very different story again,” he said.
“A week ago, after three wins in a row, the place was getting back to normal with everyone looking happy. Then after two disappointing results, (it is down).