Mikel Arteta watched his Arsenal side fall to an improbable defeat to relegation-threatened Everton earlier today courtesy of a James Tarkowski header.
The Gunners had been unbeaten in their last 13 Premier League games, drawing just two against Southampton and Newcastle United in that terrific run.
However, Tarkowski’s 60th-minute header from a Dwight McNeil corner was enough to hand new Everton boss Sean Dyche a dream start to his reign as Toffees manager.
Speaking to reporters (via Football Daily) after the game, Arteta reiterated how much he loved his team and backed them to overcome setbacks in their chase for the league title.
“I want the team to know how much I love them,” he said. “I love them much more now than three hours ago, a week ago, a month ago, three months ago. This is the moment I love my players more, the staff more, and we will stay together.
“This journey is going to be difficult, challenging, and there are going to be bigger stones in the middle, and we’re going to have to overcome that, and now we have to prepare really really well to get to Saturday with the right emotion, level, and with the right spirit to beat Brentford.”
Arsenal remains five points clear at the summit of the Premier League table, ahead of reigning champions Manchester City having played the same number of games.
However, the Cityzens can cut that deficit to just two points with a victory over Antonio Conte’s out-of-sorts Tottenham Hotspur side in tomorrow’s showdown.
Arteta, who won the Premier League manager of the month for January, will be keen for his side to get back to winning ways when they take on Brentford at the Emirates Stadium next weekend.
The Gunners cannot afford another slip-up, and they would do well to get a positive result against a Brentford side that have been difficult to overcome more times than not this season.
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