Arteta admits 'I doubted himself' after Arsenal hit rock bottom

Mikel Arteta reveals he ‘doubted HIMSELF’ after Arsenal’s opening-day defeat to Brentford last season… but the Gunners manager insists fierce self-criticism is ‘part of the journey’ as he targets Champions League return

  • Arsenal were humbled 2-0 by Brentford on the opening day of last season 
  • It was start of three straight defeats which left the Gunners bottom of the table
  • Arteta’s Arsenal have won five of their opening six league fixtures this season 

Mikel Arteta has admitted he doubted himself after Arsenal lost their opening three games last season.

The Spaniard returns to Brentford’s Gtech Community Stadium on Sunday with his side riding high in the Premier League.

It is far cry from 13 months ago when Arteta’s side were humbled 2-0 by the Bees on the opening day of last season – the start of three straight defeats to begin the last campaign.

Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal have won five of their opening six Premier League fixtures this season

‘I doubted myself, I questioned myself,’ he told Sky Sports. ‘This is part of a journey where – if you want to get better – you have to be self-critical.

‘You have to have other people around you to tell you the truth and also have the humbleness to always be willing to get better, improve and explore other opinions and ways to do your job.’

Those critics were tough to handle. A wave of optimism last season turned into a ‘tsunami’ of criticism, a metaphor coined by the Arsenal manager himself 12 months ago.

Arteta has admitted he doubted himself after Arsenal lost their first three games last season

‘It was all building up a lot,’ remembers Arteta about the tidal wave of negativity. ‘The way everyone reacted after the first game of the season, it was big.

‘But that tells you the expectations of the football club you are in, how much passion and love here is for this club and how quickly you can turn things around. You have to be prepared for that and you have to be analytical about why things happen.’

So what did he learn? ‘One of the big lessons was: stay calm in the difficult moments, understand why things happen and move on.’

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