at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
London - Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta has apologised to club and fans for Saturday's 6-0 drubbing at Chelsea and promised that the hurting players will do their best to make amends.
Fourth-placed Arsenal, now seven points adrift of leaders Chelsea, are at home to lowly Swansea in the Premier League on Tuesday.
Arteta said he was expecting a big reaction from the players after a crushing defeat that destroyed Arsene Wenger's hopes of marking his 1,000th match in charge by ending old foe Jose Mourinho's unblemished home record.
“The pressure we put on ourselves by losing games like that is massive and there's no need for it,” Arteta told the Arsenal website (www.arsenal.com) after the club's heaviest defeat by Chelsea.
“We just disrupted the good season we were having. I don't know what else to say apart from sorry to everyone at the club, the fans, and we promise that we wil try hard to put that right,” said the Spaniard.
Arteta said Arsenal had to take the 'unacceptable' defeat on the chin but all the players were feeling the pain in the aftermath.
“It hurts deeply inside,” he said. “It's embarrassing to be on a football pitch in that situation. Psychologically it's really hard and when you go through that you analyse it and you know you don't want to be in that situation again.
“I promise everyone that we have that hunger to put it right. On Tuesday we have an opportunity again at home and we just need to bounce back.”
The midfielder said Saturday's defeat was worse than the 6-3 defeat at Manchester City and 5-1 loss at Liverpool because it was more the team's fault.
“We gave them the game in (their) hands,” he said. “If you give the ball away in the middle of the park against Chelsea you know what's going to happen.” – Reuters