'Recharged' Arsenal ready to thrive after title blip: Arteta

AFP , Friday 19 Jan 2024

Mikel Arteta insists spluttering Arsenal will return to the Premier League title race at full power after a revitalising winter break in Dubai.

Arsenal Spanish manager Mikel Arteta. Photo: AFP


Arteta's side trail leaders Liverpool by five points after a dismal run of three successive defeats and one win from their last seven games in all competitions.

The fourth-placed Gunners were knocked out of the FA Cup third round by Liverpool before jetting off to Dubai for a warm-weather training camp.

With Crystal Palace visiting the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, Arteta is confident his players are more energised thanks to their spell in the sunshine while the rest of England shivered in the winter chill.

"We are recharged, full of energy and super motivated so we want to attack the second half of the season with a lot of ambition and the understanding that the team is capable of big things. They are convinced of that," Arteta told reporters on Friday.

"It was a phenomenal camp. We recharged our batteries and the context of the environment, in the beautiful weather, helps. The togetherness and moments we shared together were great, so yeah we're fully recharged."

After topping the Premier League table in December, Arsenal have lost their way in their chase for a first title since 2004.

A lack of goals has been the main issue, with only five scored across their seven-game stumble.

However, Brazil striker Gabriel Jesus is due back from a knee injury that forced him to miss the Liverpool loss and Arteta reiterated he would not move for a forward in the January transfer window.

"No, because I love the players that we have," he said when asked about the potential for a signing amid reports of a bid for Brentford's Ivan Toney.

Arteta also revealed Dutch defender Jurrien Timber, who sustained anterior cruciate ligament damage in August, was among the squad for the training camp and could return by the end of the season.

"At the moment he's still very far from competing. That's the realistic picture of it," Arteta said.

"Are we hopeful that he could have a realistic impact before the end of the season? If everything goes well, it looks like that might happen. At the moment though it's too early to make that call."

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