Mikel Arteta claims he has got the “maximum” out of the majority of Arsenal’s players this season.
Arteta faces Chelsea in a London derby against the backdrop of brutal comparisons to Thomas Tuchel who has turned around fortunes at Stamford Bridge very quickly.
Gunners boss Arteta is stuck in mid-table, clinging to a faint hope of a place in the UEFA Conference League and saw any chance of silverware disappear after being knocked out by Villarreal in the Europa League.
That must be seen as an achievement by Arsenal fans this season and yet Arteta says he “judges himself” on getting the maximum out of his players but several big stars have under-performed.
When asked whether he had got the maximum out of his players, Arteta said: “With the majority of them, yes.
“Now we must find a different way to do it, challenging them again, putting somebody next to them to try to push them again.
“Some of them can get to a certain level and you cannot push any further. If you want to evolve that, it’s not possible.
“When I said the majority I didn’t say all of them and some had some big contributions to make to those results.”
But ultimately Arteta said the team and he deserve to be judged on where they finish this season – and he was honest enough to admit the table tells its own story.
“The one that we’ve shown because in 38 games it doesn’t lie,” said Arteta who insisted Chelsea and Tuchel’s season should be judged “very differently.”
Arteta is expecting a large squad overhaul this summer with several ins-and-outs and the club is hoping to bring in four new faces to boost the team.
But there could be some major outgoings with Hector Bellerin a target for foreign clubs, Bernd Leno could also be a target while veteran defender David Luiz is out of contract in the summer and it sounded pretty ominous for him.
Arteta added: “We already spoke about it and at the end of the season the decision will be made.”
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