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Arteta divides players into categories as he battles Arsenal dressing room split

Mikel Arteta has issued an Arsenal rallying cry that suggests he accepts he is battling a dressing room split.

“You have two types of players – fighters and victims,” the rookie Gunners boss said.

“You just want fighters. You don’t need victims. Victims bring excuses, negativity. They start to blame things that happen around them.

“You need people who give everything for the cause in these moments. Do I have enough fighters? Yes I do. But some of them can doubt at any moment.”

Mirror Sport revealed, at the weekend, the extent of the mutinous internal rifts that have left the north London giants four points off the relegation zone. The stats make for harrowing reading ahead of the Carabao Cup quarter-final at home to Manchester City.

Arteta is desperate to turn Arsenal around

Arsenal have gone seven games without a win, scoring just three in that time. In fact, they’ve scored just 12 Premier League goals all season – even struggling Fulham have scored more. Only the bottom three have scored fewer.

Fair play to Arteta for still believing. And for the club for believing in him.

His players? Clearly more uncertain.

“There are people that are very contagious and can transmit a certain level of energy,” he said, in an acknowledgement of the dressing room splits which have undermined his efforts to rebuild.

“When you have a lot of them it is very easy.

The Gunners boss wants to see his players come out fighting

“You always have some on one side, some in the middle and some completely on board. And then you have to drag as many people as you can into your side, to the fighting side.

“The ones that are not interested or unable to do it, they have to stay behind because if not, they are pulling us right back.

“Some of them can doubt in any moment, you know, because when you find yourself in this situation, you are tempted to go to the other side.

“You start to say, ‘We’ve scored an own goal’, or ‘We cannot play with 10 men’, or ‘We don’t have the crowd’ or ‘The referee made this decision’. But I’m sorry, we don’t need any of those.”

Arsenal sit 15th. In utter disarray. Even if they win against City and go on to win the whole thing, does anyone seriously think it will act as a consolation for the Gunners’ shambolic league form?

Arteta is eyeing a win over former club City

In fact, the only thing Arteta has managed to get right in recent weeks is the scale of the crisis.

“Ken Friar, the club President, has been here longer than anybody – 70 years,” he said.

“He told me, ‘Mikel, it is not one of the more challenging years in Arsenal’s history – believe me, I’ve been here 70 years – it is the most challenging and difficult year in Arsenal’s history’.

“The results now in the Premier League are taking a gloss off what we’ve done for sure, and we have to accept them because there is now a negativity around the team. We cannot deny that.”

The promise of last season’s FA Cup win is now a distant memory. Arteta has been let down by big names and superstar players, some of whom have had their form desert them, some of whom are no longer good enough.

Should Arsenal sack Arteta? Have your say in the comments below

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