Mikel Arteta reveals several Arsenal players battled sickness ahead of Wolves win

Mikel Arteta’s side capped off a brilliant start to the season with victory over Wolves  (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Mikel Arteta’s side capped off a brilliant start to the season with victory over Wolves (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta revealed a number of Arsenal players were battling illness ahead of the Gunners’ 2-0 win over Wolves.

The victory, in the final match before the World Cup, leaves Arsenal five points clear of Manchester City going into the break, with the club now not in action until Boxing Day.

They had to work for the three points at Molineux, starting sluggishly before Martin Odegaard struck twice after the break to see them over the line and cap a sensational first few months of the season.

Granit Xhaka went down after 90 seconds of the win, seemingly struggling with illness, and while he initially carried on, he was forced off with just 15 minutes on the clock. The Arsenal boss revealed he was far from the only one battling sickness.

“He wasn’t feeling good, he was sick,” Arteta told Sky Sports.

“He could not carry on. Unfortunately we have another four players with the same symptoms, so I don’t know exactly what happened.

“There were a few players not feeling great. Obviously we could not make three or four substitutions during that period. The good thing was that under the context, playing every three days, away from home, we still manage to come here and play well and win the game.”

It has been a remarkable run from the Gunners, six months on from when they collapsed at the end of last season to miss out on Champions League football.

They have lost just once in the Premier League all season, away to Manchester United at Old Trafford when putting in a performance that probably deserved at least a point.

When asked what was behind the rapid transformation, Arteta pointed to the bond between fans, players and all those involved at the club.

“The unity from the top of the club to every single member of the team and staff,” Arteta said.

“At the end our people are the soul of this football club, and you can feel they are right with us. That unites everyone.”

On the fans, the Arsenal boss added: “It’s been a long, long time since we were in this position.

“They fully deserve it, because of what they have done today, a month ago, for the full transformation of the club. With their energy, with their passion, with their involvement and what they are able to transmit to the players.”