Mikel Arteta comes out fighting as he slams Arsenal "victims" amid wretched form

Mikel Arteta has urged his Arsenal flops to overcome their current slump and demanded: I need fighters, not victims.

The 2-1 reverse at Everton on Saturday was their fifth defeat in seven games and has resulted in their worst points return – 14 from 14 matches – since 1974-75.

They have lost eight times in total and only bottom side Sheffield United have a worse record and it has put Arteta, who marked his one-year anniversary at the club on Sunday, under pressure.

But, speaking ahead of their Carabao Cup quarter-final clash with Manchester City on Tuesday, the under-pressure manager delivered a warning to his players.

He said: "Victims just bring excuses, negativity and they start to blame everything that is happening around them or that is not going for them.

"You just need people who fight."

Arsenal registered just three shots on target against Everton and their form up front was not helped by the absence of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who was missing with a calf problem.

The Gabon striker could miss the Christmas programme, with the striker ruled out of Tuesday night's clash with City.

Arteta added: "Auba is not fit for City, that's for sure. We will see who's available because we have a few doubts in other positions."

Despite missing his captain, however, Arteta is hopeful that a positive result against City could kickstart their campaign.

He added: "Well this is what we want to use it for. As well this is a competition that we want to try to win. We had two difficult opponents before with Leicester and Liverpool.

"We managed to beat them both and now we're plying at home, we're one step closer to Wembley.

"It's a really nice game for us to play because it's the type of game we're looking for through the season."

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