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Arsenal star defends Mikel Arteta after conceding title to Man City

Arsenal star defends Mikel Arteta after conceding title to Man City

Granit Xhaka fully believes that Mikel Arteta ‘is more than the right manager’ to lead Arsenal to greatness.

Arsenal’s title challenge came to an end on Saturday following defeat at Nottingham Forest, with Manchester City lifting the Premier League trophy on Sunday following their win over Chelsea at the Etihad.

The Gunners had topped the table ahead of the Citizens for so long this season but that all changed over the last two months, with Arteta’s side winning just two of their last eight games.

This included heavy defeats to City and Brighton, as well as poor draws against Liverpool, West Ham and Southampton.

Given how their season collapsed, questions have been raised over whether Arsenal can pick themselves back up and challenge for the title again next season, especially with City going from strength to strength and the likes of Manchester United expected to improve over the summer.

But midfielder Xhaka thinks it can happen, saying: ‘We played a great season but we have to keep going, we have to take the next step because it will be much more difficult next season than this season. We know that.

‘It is easy to say now where [losing the title] happened. I mean, we know maybe the West Ham and Southampton game killed us a little bit.

Mikel Arteta is the ‘right man’ for Arsenal says Xhaka

‘But still, the other games we had everything in our hands. Of course, there was the Man City game where we lost, but still after that I think we need to try and we need to keep [winning] as long as possible to be there, but we didn’t.

‘Against Brighton we lost clearly. [Against Forest] as well it was a very difficult game.’

Asked whether Arteta is the right man to lead the club, the 30-year-old defended his manager, saying: ‘You can forget this question – he is more than the right manager for this team.

Man City have won the Premier League for the fifth time in six seasons

‘We don’t need to forget how we worked for 11 months. Even when we lost now in the last two games, of course the people see what happens now, but don’t forget the 11 months we worked.

‘If someone told us before the season that we will be here, I think everyone would have signed it. Our goal for sure was to be back in the top four. Now we are second.

‘Of course when you are so close to the title, you want to win the title. But we are there where we are, deserve to be where we are, and let’s see what happens next season. We have to go and do the next step.

‘Yes of course it is a sad day for us, for everyone, for all the Arsenal fans. We didn’t want to end like this, but it happened now and the title is gone.

‘It’s maybe difficult to speak now about what happens next because we are disappointed and sad, but we have to keep going. We have worked 11 months very well, I think. Let’s enjoy the last game at home and let’s look forwards.’

Xhaka has actually been tipped with leaving the Emirates this summer, which could mean that Sunday’s season finale against Wolves could be the Swiss star’s last outing for Arsenal.


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