Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta insists second lockdown increases the squad’s ‘responsibility to give fans happiness’ as Gunners gear up for Europa League clash with Molde
- Arsenal host Molde in the Europa League on Thursday night at the Emirates
- Mikel Arteta’s men have made the perfect start to their European campaign
- The Gunners beat Man United away 1-0 in the Premier League last time out
- Arteta wants his squad to give joy to Arsenal fans during the second lockdown
Mikel Arteta says his players have even greater responsibility to bring some joy to Arsenal supporters as the country prepares to head into a second lockdown.
The nation will shut down for at least another month from Thursday though, unlike during the first lockdown earlier this year, elite sport will be allowed to continue.
Arteta, whose side face Norwegian’s Molde, who have also won their opening two group matches, in their third Europa League game on Thursday, said: ‘The message to the fans is that I miss them a lot.
Mikel Arteta has urged his Arsenal squad to give fans happiness during the second lockdown
Arsenal head into the Europa League clash vs Molde on the back of their 1-0 win at Man United
‘With what we are trying to build here I want them to be a part of the feeling and passion we want to transmit as a football club.
‘We haven’t been able to spend time with them and now they have to go and sit in their houses again so obviously I think that increases our responsibility to give them some happiness in these moments when people are suffering and I think mentally it is a really tough period to go through.
‘When we have the key of happiness in some people we have to make sure that we give them that as much as we possibly can so my message to them is we will try our best all the time to bring that joy a little bit even if it is for [just] 96 minutes or whatever it is as consistently as we possibly can.’
Arsenal head into Thursday’s European encounter in confident mood after finally ending their hoodoo away from home against the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’.
Arteta is very likely to rotate his squad for Thursday night’s encounter at the Emirates
The Gunners deservedly overcame Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford on Sunday thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s second-half penalty.
It was their first victory away in the top-flight against a traditional top six side since they beat Manchester City at the Etihad in January 2015.
Arteta is very likely to rotate his squad this Thursday as he looks to freshen things up, with Nicolas Pepe, Eddie Nketiah, Joe Willock and Co set to take centre stage again.
Pepe scored the pick of the goals last time out in the Europa League as the Gunners beat Dundalk 3-0 at the Emirates.
Nicolas Pepe scored a beauty as the Gunners beat Dundalk 3-0 last week at the Emirates