‘It needs to be done’ – Arteta thinks Arsenal still have something to prove in Europe

Ben Stewart
Mikel Arteta manager of Arsenal
Mikel Arteta manager of Arsenal

Mikel Arteta still thinks that his side has a point to prove in Europe as Arsenal will be eyeing a spot in the Champions League knockout stages.

The Gunners are in a strong position to qualify from their Champions League group as they currently top Group B with two games to go.

Arsenal could confirm their place in the knockout stages with a victory against Lens on Wednesday night. The French side did get the better of Arsenal in the reverse fixture so Arteta will be well aware of the dangers they possess.

When asked if he has something to prove in Europe with Arsenal, Arteta told reporters: “For sure.

“I think it is not that we have to prove, we had to come back into Europe being the club we want to be, have that presence and the results that tell them we are back in a strong way, we haven’t done that yet and it needs to be done.”

While Arsenal are in pole position to advance from their group, fellow Premier League sides Manchester United and Newcastle currently find themselves bottom of their groups.

When asked if qualification should be taken for granted, Arteta responded: “100 per cent not.

“You have to sweat, dig in a lot and play well in games to deserve to win them. We are playing against really tough opponents.

“PSV have won all of their games in their league, they have only lost against us. Sevilla is a very tough place to go and tomorrow is going to be a really difficult game but hopefully we can be better than them.

“I am enjoying it, is a great feeling. It makes you proud, it makes you feel that it is the level the club should be at and we are competing really well so let’s continue to do so.”

The Arsenal boss also provided an injury update on Emile Smith Rowe and Thomas Partey and whether or not the duo will be back before the January break.

“It is a possibility,” Arteta responded. “Emile has already been on the pitch doing some jogging. He’s a quick healer. Thomas the same. We need them to be back at their best.

“We’ve been very unlucky with some of the injuries. We’re not the only club with injuries. Where it happens is a bit critical. The team needs to adapt.”

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