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Arteta sees ‘a lot of fighters’ in Arsenal despite slump, cup loss to Man City

Mikel Arteta

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 22: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta during the Carabao Cup Quarter Final match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Emirates Stadium on December 22, 2020 in London, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Arsenal was ousted from the League Cup by Manchester City on Tuesday, but Mikel Arteta got an answer to the question he asked earlier this week.

As part of a press conference with a whole lot of statistics that got plenty of jokes firing through the Twittersphere, Arteta said he was looking forward to identifying the “fighters” inside his team during this trying time and parting ways with “victims.”

[ MORE: What’s wrong with Arsenal? ]

He was asked after the City loss whether he has found the victims.

“I focus on the fighters that we have,” Arteta said (video at bottom of post). “The spirit that we showed tonight going against a really difficult opponent and conceding the goals that we did. Still we tried. I see a lot of fighters.”

The Gunners have a lot of work to do in the Premier League, where they sit in 15th place with 14 points through as many matches.

The Festive Fixtures see Arsenal host Chelsea before visits to Brighton and West Brom. Points are a must.

“We have to turn it around,” Arteta said. “If we don’t then we are in big trouble. That is the moment that is going to decide our season.”

[ MORE: Three things we learned | Pep backs “outstanding” Arteta ]

It looks Arteta could still get help from Gabriel Martinelli, who appeared to be badly injured by a sliding challenge from City goalkeeper Zack Steffen.

The teenager, just returned from a long knee injury absence, limped off the pitch but it’s nothing serious.

“It was just a really bad kick on his shin and it was swelling up, and he was in pain and came off,” Arteta said.

Follow @NicholasMendola