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'It was painful': Mikel Arteta says it 'hurts' watching Arsenal's rivals play in the Champions League after they missed out for a fifth season in a row

Daily Mail
Daily Mail
 2021-09-16

Mikel Arteta says it's been 'painful' seeing Arsenal's Premier League rivals competing in the Champions League and that he wants his players to use it as motivation.

Chelsea and Manchester United played on Tuesday, and Liverpool and Manchester City played on Wednesday, while Arsenal were preparing for their trip to Burnley this weekend, having missed out on the Europa League this season too.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Arteta said: 'It hurts a lot in the last few days to put TV on and see those teams there, and not see Arsenal there.

'It was painful. One hundred per cent. I don't want to be sitting there with Arsenal out of those competitions.'

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Mikel Arteta admits it 'hurts' to watch Arsenal's rivals playing in the Champions League

Arsenal won their first Premier League game of the season by beating Norwich 1-0 last weekend, but this is the fifth season in succession that the club has not played in the Champions League.

Arteta has warned his players about the type of game to expect at Turf Moor on Saturday.

'It will be a completely different game to the one against Norwich,' Arteta added. 'Where they want to take the game, we will have to try to avoid that as much as possible and do the opposite thing.

'This is one of the toughest places to go in the Premier League. We know how tough it is to go to Burnley. We know the game to expect there.

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Arsenal recorded their first win of the Premier League season against Norwich last time out

'He (Sean Dyche) deserves huge credit because of the resources he has. He's done it his own way and he's created a unique identity at that football club.'

Arteta also explained how as a player, he went through a tough time personally but now reflects on how it was beneficial in disguise. He hopes his team will likewise come through this tricky period.

'I suffered,' he said of his time at Real Sociedad. 'I didn't play. I was on the bench. I always say that was the key moment in my career.

'I was annoyed, upset, angry. I was really bad, with myself, with everybody. But looking back now, it was the perfect moment.'

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