Arsenal vice-captain Mikel Arteta insists his side must maintain full focus during their vital game with Wigan Athletic tonight.

There is a famous saying in football: "play the game and not the occasion", and that message is exactly what Arteta is issuing to his team-mates.

The Spanish midfielder is making it clear that the Gunners need to play their normal game and the result will come, but he is worried that they might let the occasion get the better of them.

If Arsenal do not pick up three points on Tuesday, they know that their Champions League fate will be in the hands of fierce-rivals Tottenham.

The Gunners are currently sitting in fifth, two points behind Spurs, so a win tonight will see them jump above their rivals and back into fourth with their fate in their own hands going into the final game of the season.

Arteta believes his side need to maintain full focus during their match tonight and believes they must just play their normal game and the result will follow.

"I think we have to forget a little bit the external part of what the game means and just focus on the good things and the things that we did right on the pitch," he told Arsenal Player.

"If that is the case, I think the percentage of winning the games increases a lot. When you're thinking about other things, you can't really focus on what you're doing so that's why we have to try to manage [the game] tomorrow. For Wigan it's going to be a tough game mentally as well.

"What I like [to do] is take all that and put it in a motivation pack and use that motivation pack to carry yourself and give the best you have. [You want to] try to get the positive energy out of it, not to get yourself restricted and play with a bit of fear. That's the wrong way."

Arteta also spoke about how the fans will play a crucial part in the game - and he wants them to be fully behind the team all game, even if things get tense.

"It's going to be difficult and it helps when you have the fans behind you," he added. "We have examples this year when they have been absolutely magnificent. You just play with an extra man. The confidence and belief they give you just throws you forward.

"That's what we need. We need to have an atmosphere. It's the last game of the season at home and I think people are going to be up for it." 


Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here:

DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeFootball Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.


Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: