Arteta: Nothing like team spirit

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Football News

The camaraderie in the Arsenal dressing room has helped Arsene Wenger's side open up a three point lead over bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur in fourth place, despite being 10 points adrift in the Premier League only a month ago.

Speaking to the club's official website, summer signing Mikel Arteta said: "To be honest I was really surprised with the team spirit when I came here - even when we were down it was good.

"It is something that you rely on because if you start blaming each other and shouting at each other it is not good.

"This group has always been positive, the manager has always been positive with the players and we just kept at it. We have the talent, we know we have the ability to win games and sometimes it is just about the balance in confidence. We have it all together now.

"Hopefully we can finish the season strongly because we have a group of players and staff who really mean business."

The Gunners are trying to salvage automatic Champions League qualification from what has been a disappointing campaign with the club set to extend their barren run to a seventh season without a trophy.

Manchester City ensured that Arsenal would not make a second League Cup final in as many years with a 1-0 win at the Emirates Stadium in November 2011.

In February this year Sunderland knocked them out of the Fa Cup, and despite a 3-0 win at home to AC Milan, Arsenal made their Champions League exit - losing 4-3 on aggregate.

The north London outfit have been unbeaten through March though having won seven consecutive league games, after cruising to a comfortable 3-0 win over Aston Villa this weekend with goals from Kieran Gibbs, Theo Walcott and Arteta.

The Spaniard's stunning free-kick was his ninth goal for Arsenal since signing from Everton in the summer - a like-for-like replacement for former captain Cesc Fabregas.

"I don't know, I was just confident," Arteta concluded. "I had my family here as well and I wanted to score for them.

"When I was at Everton I used to take them all and score many goals from free-kicks. But it was nice to score against Villa in that way."

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Mikel Arteta
Premier League

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