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Mikel Arteta's private message ahead of Aston Villa win revealed

Mikel Arteta's private message ahead of Aston Villa win revealed

Arteta was given some extra inspiration ahead of the very important win over Aston Villa, and he certainly was in inspired form.

Mikel Arteta received some words of encouragement from Arsenal legend Robert Pires before the win over Aston Villa, and they may have helped inspire him.

Saturday afternoon's was a must win for Arsenal, after they'd picked up just one point from the previous nine on offer to them in the Premier League.

Their loss on Wednesday night, at the hands of rivals Manchester City, had seen them drop from the top of the table on goal difference.

The last thing Arteta would have wanted to see was the man he replaced at the Emirates Stadium, in the form of Villa boss Unai Emery.

If Emery was out for revenge then he looked to have made the perfect start, when Ollie Watkins scored after just five minutes of the game.

The Gunners got level through a brilliant strike from Bukayo Saka, only for Philippe Coutinho to put the hosts back ahead before half time.

Oleksandr Zinchenko's goal tied things up again but when Martin Odegaard missed a sitter it looked like the two sides would share the points.

An injury time own goal from Emiliano Martinez and an even later goal from Gabriel Martinelli meant Arsenal returned to north London with all three points, and Arteta may have been inspired in his management by Pires.

The Frenchman revealed to the Telegraph that he'd sent the manager a message ahead of the game, saying, "I sent him [Arteta] a message by WhatsApp.

"I told him, ‘Mikel, it’s OK. We trust you. You have to keep your head up.’

"We have to support him in these moments."

Pires, who played at Villa as well, was a member of 'the Invincibles,' who remain the last Arsenal team to win the league title, 19 years ago.

It will be a hell of achievement for Arteta and his players if they can end nearly two decades without that success, and Pires sees similarities between the current side and the one he played for.

"There are parallels," the Frenchman said, "The idea, the essence of Arteta in terms of the game is almost the same as Wenger.

"When I see this Arsenal it reminds me of the Arsenal of my time. To play well you need talent and now they have it. This squad is built to attack, and this Arsenal is entertaining me."

The Gunners were handed an extra boost on Saturday, when Nottingham Forest earned a late draw with City, after Erling Haaland had missed two huge chances for the title holders.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy/The Sun

Topics: Football, Mikel Arteta, Arsenal, Premier League, Aston Villa