Under-pressure Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says the only way
the struggling Gunners are going to turn their season around is if his players
show they are fighters and not victims.

The Spaniard is favourite to
be the next Premier League manager to be fired as the warm glow of FA Cup
success last season has evaporated fast.

Arsenal are 15th in the table
and without a Premier League win since November 1. They have accrued just two
points in the last seven games and are only four points above the relegation

The only respite for Arteta
— who has been in the post for just over a year — has come in the cup

They are through to the
knockout rounds of the Europa League and on Tuesday they face Manchester City
— where he cut his coaching teeth as assistant to Pep Guardiola — in the
League Cup quarter-finals.

“You have two types of
people: fighters and victims,” said Arteta. “You need fighters and
you don’t want any victims.

“Victims bring excuses,
victims bring negativity and they start to blame anything that is happening
around them or is not going their way.

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“You need people who
fight, people who contribute and people who are ready to give everything to the
club in this moment.”

Arteta says he ignores what
is written about him and the club, insisting that all that matters is the feeling
within the club — and there, he claims, it is a wholly supportive atmosphere.

“Obviously a club of
this stature deserves the best and when it is not happening, everyone is going
to question what is happening,” he said.

“I am the most
responsible one in terms of results, so I have to accept that.”

Arteta said the quarter-final
against the holders provides a welcome distraction from their underwhelming
league campaign.

“This is what we want to
use it for (a distraction), as well as a competition we want to try to
win,” said Arteta.

“We have two difficult
opponents before in Leicester and Liverpool, we managed to beat them both and
now we are playing at home and we are one step closer to Wembley.

“So it is a really nice
game to play, as this is the type of game we are looking for through the

However, he admits winning
the trophy would not be sufficient to counter-balance a poor Premier League

“It’s not enough,
isolating just one competition,” said Arteta. “We have a really nice
opportunity because we’ve done really well in the competition this year and
tomorrow’s game is another step forward to be closer to winning another trophy.

“But this doesn’t mean
that it’s going to reflect on the rest or it’s going to look better because at
the moment — whatever happens in any other competition — in the Premier
League we’re nowhere near where we should be.”