The under-fire Gunners boss says it is taking “a lot of energy” to try and raise the spirits of his struggling side
Mikel Arteta says beating Chelsea on Boxing Day would be “the best medicine” for “suffering” Arsenal in a “crucial” festive period.
Arteta has come under increasing pressure with the Gunners languishing in 15th in the Premier League table.
They also crashed out of the Carabao Cup with a 4-1 quarter-final defeat at home to Manchester City on Tuesday.
Arsenal are without a win in seven top-flight matches, picking up just two points since beating Manchester United at Old Trafford on November 1.
Arteta says a London derby victory over Frank Lampard’s side would be the perfect remedy ahead of trips to fellow strugglers Brighton and Hove Albion and West Brom.
The Arsenal manager said: “At the moment, to keep the team together, to keep the team alive and to be a team, not a group of players, it takes a lot of energy because when you are losing football matches you have to lift them up, to get them together.
“You have to get them all being positive to each other, to not blame each other or any external factor when things are not going well.
“The best thing to do when you have a situation like that is to have the possibility to do things outside of the site, get them together in a change of environment, but at the moment, with Covid [restrictions], we cannot do it and probably we are not going to be able to do it in a while.
“We have to try other ways, but I have to say the players are really putting in a lot of energy enthusiasm not to lose what we are building, but it takes a lot of energy because we are losing games.
“Every game is a lot of weight on your shoulders, it’s a lot of disappointment and people are suffering. We are hurting and suffering and we have to get back, start believing again and try to push the players, then they respond and are excited for the game.
“The best medicine, better than anything than can happen outside of our facilities, is to win against Chelsea.”
Arsenal are only four points above the relegation zone and Arteta knows they have to turn the tide in a key period.
“I think the next seven to eight days are going to be crucial to see where we are going to be heading in the Premier League.” the Spaniard said.