Search

Arsenal midfielder aims to avenge Aston Villa defeat

07:16 07 January 2014

Mikel Arteta, Arsenal

Mikel Arteta, Arsenal

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal are determined to set the record straight when they return to Premier League action against opening-day conquerors Aston Villa.

The Spanish midfielder sat out the Gunners’ nightmare start to the season, when they sank to an unexpected 3-1 home defeat by Villa, due to a thigh injury.

Since that setback, the north Londoners have gone from strength to strength, and recently regained top spot after a sticky patch during December, which included a 6-3 thrashing at title rivals Manchester City.

And, while Arteta believes the Gunners are now back on track after a four-match winless run, he admits the disappointment of that Villa loss is still lingering.

“It hurt a lot the way we lost that game,” said the 31-year-old. “We want to go back to Villa and win the next one because now every game is massive.

“We had a little spell where we had a difficult time but we’ve come back – we’re now on four wins in a row and we’re feeling good.

“It was a little blip but the schedule was crazy and I think we could have won one or two of the games, rather than drawing. But at the end, we are top of the table and we are where we want to be.

“We are the most consistent team in England through the year, from [last] January. That’s what we have to keep doing now through the last three or four months of the season.”

Arsenal may well have lost the leadership again by the time they travel to Villa Park next Monday (kick-off 8pm), with second-placed City and third-placed Chelsea both in action before then.

Nevertheless, Arteta is convinced that the Gunners’ title chances are far stronger this time around than at any time since he moved to Emirates 
Stadium from Everton in 2011.

“When I joined the club we were already 10 or 12 points behind,” he recalled. “When you are playing catch-up it’s really difficult – you are relying on other teams to drop points every week.

“It becomes nearly impossible. But I think we are where we deserve to be now and we’re going to put everything in to win it – we’re doing great and it would be massive, it would mean a lot to everyone.

“I think the Premier League this year is the most difficult one since the Premier League has existed and you have four or five teams looking to win it.”

Latest Sport Stories

06:00
Mesut Ozil of Arsenal  (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger expects Mesut Ozil to reach double figures in goals for the Gunners this season.

Petr Cech of Arsenal looks on (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Arsene Wenger believes goalkeeper Petr Cech could still play at the top level for six years with Arsenal.

Yesterday, 05:45
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he is keen to preserve the stability and consistency within his squad this summer.

Thu, 12:03
Dawid Malan inT20 action for Middlesex against Essex Eagles. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Middlesex batsman Dawid Malan feels the county’s Twenty20 fortunes would improve if the tournament were streamlined over a shorter period of time.

Most read sport

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder