‘My chest is here, hit me!’ – Arteta is ready to take ‘bullets’ for Arsenal stars

The Gunners boss was desperate ahead of Wednesday night’s premier meeting with Southampton

Mikel Arteta says he is ready to take “bullets” for his players and that he remains 100% sure he is the man to turn things around at Arsenal.

Pressure has grown on the Gunners boss after the club’s worst start to a league season since 1974 and four consecutive home defeats in the top flight.

Arsenal host Southampton on Wednesday night sitting 15th in the Premier League and just five points above the relegation zone.

Arteta admits that results were not good enough and understands the criticisms that came to him.

But he has let out a protest cry to his players, urging them to stand up and be brave before such an examination and says he is ready to put out his chest and take whatever comes to him.

“I feel the pressure all the time,” Arteta said. “When we had those [good] spells [last season], everything was not beautiful. In the last months of last summer there have been many difficult moments, believe me. It wasn’t all pretty, easy and enjoyable.

“But obviously when you win, you create a different atmosphere and then the pressure after you win is to win again. And the pressure will always exist.

“I prefer that pressure when you’re always thinking of winning and getting into the next trophy. But this is our reality now and we have to face it.

“And we have to face it bravely, fighting and no one giving up or anything, because it’s not time to hide you, it’s time to put your face and your body on the line. Right now I’m sorry, but we have to take the bullets.

“We don’t win football matches and you have to put out your chest [and say] ‘beat me because you have the right to beat me because I don’t win’.

“So what else can I do?” Put my head down, work harder and try to make things better and better. That’s how we need to approach things in my opinion. “

When asked if he was the man who had to take the bullets instead of the players, Arteta added: “It’s natural, I accept it. It’s part of the job.

“When you don’t get results, at the end of the day it’s the manager who has the maximum responsibility.

“That’s why I accept them, because you can say everything you want to explain, but in the end you have to win football matches and this club is too big to accept this many losses in the last few weeks.

“So my chest is here, hit me guys.”

Arteta received the support of Arsenal’s technical director Edu this week, who spoke about the need for stability at the club after a period of such dramatic change in recent years.

The head of the gunners says he “appreciated” the public support and was keen that he could recover Arsenal.

“Yes,” he said when asked if he’s 100% sure he can turn things around.

“We all knew the tubers were coming. I think I’ve said many times in this room how we treat them, how strong we are to get through them and sometimes when things get ugly we need to become brighter and better.

“No one likes being in the situation that we’re in the Premier League, and it’s not enough and it’s not acceptable. It’s not a quick fix, but that doesn’t mean we accept the situation, but quite the opposite.”