Mikel Arteta challenges Arsenal players after club hits 118-year low

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 (PA)
(PA)

Mikel Arteta is ready to fight to get Arsenal out of their slump and relieve some of the pressure on his shoulders.

His side were booed off after losing 2-0 to Chelsea on Sunday, as the Blues established their title credentials with goals from Romelu Lukaku and Reece James.

For the first time in their 118 seasons in England's top four divisions, Arsenal have opened a League campaign with two defeats and no goals after two matches.

The Gunners were without nine players as injury, Covid and visa issues for new signing Martin Odegaard left them in what Arteta has described as a situation that is "unprecedented in the history of this club".

Arsenal face West Brom away in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday before a trip to champions Manchester City on Saturday, with scrutiny building over their struggles.

Arteta has rounded on his critics and urged the squad to stick together.

"We have to face the challenge," he said. "It is about fighting against those moments. The League, the season, the table is not decided in August at all.

There is a lot to happen. The worst thing you can do is throw in the towel. It doesn't go with me, it doesn't go with the history of this club and certainly we are not going to do that."

Arsenal are expected to be without £50million signing Ben White against City after he became the latest player to contract Covid.

Alexandre Lacazette, Alex Runarsson, Willian and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have all had the virus, too, with the latter managing to play 30 minutes off the bench yesterday.

Asked how he prepares his depleted squad for the daunting trip to the Etihad, Arteta said: "Try to give them confidence and belief that football changes really quickly.

"I don't want to see anybody feeling sorry for themselves or for the squad or for the team, because that's not going to help us."

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