Premier League Football
come. It is league leaders Arsenal, hosts of Crystal Palace, who recently gave up the services of Gunners legend Patrick Vieira.
Mikel Arteta has told his Arsenal players to forget about their European exit as they want to be eight points clear at the top of the Premier League.
The Gunners were beaten on penalties by Sporting on Thursday as they failed to reach the Europa League quarter-finals.
Attention is now turning back to domestic affairs, with Arsenal aiming to get on with the summit.
Unmanaged Crystal Palace are the guests at the Emirates Stadium and with closest FA Cup title rivals Manchester City, Arteta’s side could go into the international break with a healthy lead.
“I tried to create a lot of clarity in the dressing room,” Arteta replied when asked how he makes sure his players don’t take their Europa League disappointment into the title race.
“It was just about the message: accept it, swallow it, we have to learn from it, but there’s no point in putting even a little bit of energy or thought into it now that would take away from Sunday.
“We need to be back at our best in the Premier League against Palace to beat them and I want everyone to recover mentally and physically to be in the best possible shape for the game.”
Despite their European exit, Arteta feels he learns more from adversity than success as he is keen to capitalize on the positives from the Sporting defeat.
“I saw a lot of things on Thursday, especially when we gave away a lot of balls and suffered that they did it together,” he said.
“The way they reacted, how they reacted when we conceded a goal and how the game changed after that. That shows me a lot of positive signs.
“The downside of that is that in the end we couldn’t win because I think in the end we deserved to win it and go through, but it wasn’t enough, it was maybe too late.
“Friday was about getting the message across about the Palace game and lifting them up and making sure they’re there in the best possible shape.”
Captain Martin Odegaard echoed his manager’s sentiments and knows the players need to pull themselves together if they want to impress against Palace.
“It’s very, very important,” he replied when asked if he could hit back.
“The next game is coming fast now, so we can’t feel sorry for ourselves. We have to recover and make sure we win.
“It’s good that we’re disappointed. We should be disappointed.
Source : sports.yahoo.com