Romelu Lukaku's club future has been thrown into the spotlight after an explosive interview.

The Belgian striker revealed his regret at leaving Inter for Chelsea in August.

Lukaku was subsequently dropped by coach Thomas Tuchel for Sunday's 2-2 draw with Liverpool.

 

TOP STORY – LUKAKU COULD MAKE STUNNING SWITCH TO SPURS

La Gazzetta Dello Sport claims that unsettled Chelsea forward Romelu Lukaku could make a cross-city switch to Tottenham to re-unite with Antonio Conte.

Lukaku and Conte worked together at Inter where they won the Serie A title last term.

The striker revealed his frustrations at Chelsea over the weekend, with Tuchel offering no guarantees about his future.

ROUND-UP

- Erling Haaland will not leave Borussia Dortmund during the January transfer window, reports Fabrizio Romano. Haaland has not decided his next destination yet, despite rumours of a pre-agreement with Real Madrid and Barcelona.

- Ara claims Barcelona will offer Ousmane Dembele to Manchester United as part of a swap deal for want-away forward Anthony Martial.

- Tottenham and West Ham United  are both keen to sign Wolves' Adama Traore, claims the Telegraph. Wolves want £20million for the Spanish forward.

- Olympiakos' Guinea international midfielder Aguibou Camara is attracting interest from Milan and Liverpool, claims Calciomercato.

Emerging Serbian striker Dusan Vlahovic has a long list of admirers.

The 21-year-old netted 21 Serie A goals last season.

Vlahovic scored a double in Fiorentina's 4-3 win over Milan last weekend too.

 

TOP STORY – NEWCASTLE STILL KEEN ON VLAHOVIC

Cashed-up Newcastle United will still pursue hot property forward Dusan Vlahovic despite Fiorentina's €80million (£67m) asking price according to Corriere Fiorentina.

The bottom-of-the-table Premier League club are determined to land the Serbian who has also attracted interest from Juventus.

Juventus want Vlahovic in January and are still front-runners to land the 21-year-old, who has already netted 12 goals this term.

 ROUND-UP

- Sky Germany reports that Borussia Dortmund are preparing a new contract offer for Erling Haaland to keep him at the club, amid interest from Real Madrid, BarcelonaChelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City.

- Barcelona are considering moves for either of Chelsea pair Timo Werner or Hakim Ziyech as an alternative to Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling claims ESPN.

- Liverpool, Leicester City and Newcastle are all monitoring Olympiacos' 20-year-old midfielder Aguibou Camara reports The Sun.

- Milan have entered the pursuit to sign Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette claims Calciomercato. Atletico MadridBarcelona and Newcastle are all interested.

Newcastle United look set to enter the transfer market in January following their change of ownership.

The Magpies are 19th in the Premier League, with no wins and three draws from seven games this term.

The Saudi-led ownership takeover at St James' Park was officially completed on Thursday.

 

TOP STORY – NEWCASTLE ENTER CHASE FOR ICARDI

Following their big-money buyout, Newcastle have entered the race to sign Argentine forward Mauro Icardi from Paris Saint-Germain, reports Calciomercato.

Tottenham and Juventus are reportedly already interested in the 28-year-old former Inter player, who joined PSG permanently in 2020 on a four-year deal after a loan spell.

The Telegraph claims Newcastle could spend up to £190m in January without breaking Financial Fair Play rules.

ROUND-UP

- Spanish newspaper Sport claims former Liverpool winger Philippe Coutinho could join Newcastle as Barcelona seek to offload the Brazilian in January.

- Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger is Real Madrid's number one transfer target next year, claims Spanish newspaper ABC. Rudiger's contract is due to expire at the end of this season.

- Calciomercato reports Juventus are open to a swap deal with Everton which would see Aaron Ramsey and Brazilian midfielder Allan exchange places.

Liverpool are ahead of Arsenal and Everton in the race to sign Olympiacos' Senegalese centre-back Pape Abou Cisse according to the Daily Mail.

Arsenal are considering a move for Zenit's Iranian forward Sardar Azmoun as they seek a replacement for Alexandre Lacazette, according to Onze Mondial.

- Cristiano Ronaldo wants former Juventus team-mate Federico Chiesa to join him at Manchester United, claims Calciomercato.

- The Sun reports that ex-Chelsea manager Antonio Conte would decline the chance to replace Steve Bruce as Newcastle boss.

Manchester City's interest in signing Tottenham's Harry Kane is widely known but a deal appears no closer to materialising. 

The 28-year-old forward was absent for the two sides' Premier League game on Sunday, when Spurs took the points.

City have reportedly bid up to £125 million to sign the England international, who reportedly requested a move late last season.

TOP STORY - KANE FRUSTRATED AS SPURS REJECT CITY BID

Kane has grown frustrated with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy and thrown down the gauntlet with a proposed move to Manchester City, reports The Telegraph.

According to the report, the England forward feels that Levy has not honoured their meeting at the end of the 2019-20 season when he requested to leave Spurs if they underachieved.

Kane is also frustrated that Levy's tactics have seen fans turned against him and that the chairman is also refusing to sell or even accept calls from City.

The report claims that City have submitted a fresh £125m bid for Kane, which Spurs have turned down.

 

ROUND-UP

- El Larguero claims that Paris Saint-Germain director Leonardo has informed the players that Kylian Mbappe will stay to see out the remainder of his contract, due to expire in mid-2022, scuppering Real Madrid's hopes of signing him this month or in January.

- Samuel Umtiti, Martin Braithwaite and Miralem Pjanic are all on the chopping block at Barcelona, according to Diario AS, which claims the Catalans must sell three players this month to reduce their salary bill despite Lionel Messi's exit.

- Martin Odegaard is set to re-join Arsenal on a permanent deal from Real Madrid, says Fabrizio Romano. Talks are at their final stages with a deal until 2026.

- Tottenham are keen on Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma, reports Sky Sports. The Blues would demand a £25 million fee for the Frenchman.

- Internazionale are in talks to sign forward Marcus Thuram from Moenchengladbach, claims Sky Sport Italia.

- The Sun reports that Wolves are talking to Olympiacos about signing Portuguese defender Ruben Semedo on a one-year loan.

Mikel Arteta saw Arsenal scrape through to the Europa League quarter-finals and warned the demise of Tottenham shows there are no formalities in knockout football.

Arsenal took charge of their last-16 tie with Olympiacos in Greece last week by opening up a 3-1 advantage, but a 1-0 defeat at Emirates Stadium on Thursday made for a rockier than expected route through to the final eight.

Gunners manager Arteta said Arsenal were "nowhere near" the required level and did not hide behind the fact his team avoided the same fate as their north London rivals, with Tottenham given a shock 3-0 hiding by Dinamo Zagreb to perish 3-2 on aggregate.

Speaking about Tottenham's miserable fate in the competition, Arteta – whose side lost three consecutive home matches in European competition for the first time in their history – said: "It shows as well the level of opposition, that people take for granted that you play against an opponent and you will go through, because of the name of the club that they represent.

"It is not like that, every team in Europe is difficult to beat."

Arteta only found solace in the fact Arsenal – who reached the quarter-finals of the competition for the fourth time in their last five campaigns – avoided Europa League elimination.

"If I have to evaluate the performance with what we've done today, with the ball in particular, then it's nowhere near the standards we have set for ourselves," Arteta said.

"We made it really difficult because we didn't have any stability when you give the amount of balls away that we have in the game.

"When that happens, you don't have the control to manage the tie in the way that we should have done and that's related to the amount of chances we missed again."

Tricky opposition will await Arsenal in the quarter-finals, with this competition particularly important given that winning it represents their only realistic path into next season's Champions League.

Premier League rivals Manchester United, Roma, Villarreal and Ajax are among the sides to have made the last eight.

Arsenal's dressing room was a quiet place after the game, goalkeeper Bernd Leno said.

Leno told Arsenal Media: "Everybody knows that it was not a good performance from us. We cannot change it anymore but the positive thing is that it was a warning. We need to be 100 per cent every game. If we play like today then we won't reach anything this season.

"This is probably the closest way to go to the Champions League and also to win a big European trophy so we need to step up."

Arteta, meanwhile, said Arsenal would not rush to pull Bukayo Saka out of the England squad for the World Cup qualifying games at the end of the month.

The young winger missed Thursday's fixture with a muscle injury but may have a chance of facing West Ham on Sunday, and if he misses out then Arsenal will consult with the England camp.

Arsenal survived a second-half scare to book their place in the Europa League quarter-finals despite a 1-0 defeat to Olympiacos. 

With a 3-1 cushion from the first leg, Arsenal managed to exorcise the demons from their round-of-32 defeat to the same opponents a little over a year ago, but it was tighter than they would have wanted.

Youssef El-Arabi scored the crucial goal for Olympiacos last season, and he was on target again to put the visitors ahead on the night on Thursday.

However, the introduction of Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard helped steady the hosts, before Ousseynou Ba's red card ended Olympiacos' hopes.

Back on his former stomping ground, Sokratis was in the thick of the action inside five minutes, bravely blocking Emile Smith Rowe's effort, with both players requiring treatment.

Sokratis got a vital touch to take Nicolas Pepe's effort wide soon after, though some typically slack Arsenal defending saw the hosts caught cold from one long ball, with Bernd Leno denying El-Arabi.

Back in the fold after his north London derby omission, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang snatched at a similarly good chance at the other end, prodding over when one-on-one with Jose Sa.

Arsenal's defence was caught napping again immediately after the restart – Konstantinos Fortounis and Jose Holebas going close.

Yet Arsenal's luck ran out in the 51st minute, El-Arabi's strike deflecting in off David Luiz after Dani Ceballos had lost possession.

Pepe's blistering first-time shot looked set to restore Arsenal's cushion in the tie on the hour, omly for Smith Rowe to inadvertently get in the way.

Aubameyang's frustrating evening was summed up by a dreadful chip late on, though Arsenal were ultimately not made to pay for his profligacy.

Ba's dismissal helped, the defender receiving a ridiculous second yellow for punching the ball away in frustration after he had fouled Gabriel Martinelli.

What does it mean? Olympiacos’ happy hunting ground, but Arsenal get it done

Arsenal have now progressed from six of the seven Europa League knockout ties in which they won the first leg – their only failure coming last season against Olympiacos.

The Greek team were the better side on the night here, though they were also helped by wasteful finishing from Arsenal, who have now lost each of their three home games against Olympiacos. It is the first time the Gunners have lost three consecutive home matches against a single opponent in European competition.

El-Arabi in esteemed company

El-Arabi became just the fourth player to score in three consecutive matches against Arsenal in major European competition, after Lionel Messi (March 2016), Arjen Robben and Robert Lewandowski (both March 2017).

At the other end of the pitch, Aubameyang cut a frustrated figure. The Arsenal captain missed a gilt-edged chance in the clash at the Emirates last term, and his finishing was similarly wasteful this time out, with the Gabon forward squandering three brilliant opportunities in the closing stages.

Ceballos makes another error as Gunners concede again

After his error in the first leg, no player had made more mistakes leading to a goal in this season's Europa League than Ceballos, who was again sloppy on the ball in the build-up to Olympiacos' opener.

From then on, Arsenal's defending left a lot to be desired. The Gunners have now conceded in each of their last 11 matches across all competitions – their longest run without a clean sheet since a stretch of 14 matches without a shut-out between October and December 2019.

What's next?

After their win over Tottenham last weekend, Arsenal have another London derby in store on Sunday, as they travel to West Ham. Olympiacos take on Aris in Greece's top-flight play-offs.

Martin Odegaard has everything to become the "complete player" according to Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, who thinks the Norway international can add more goals to his game. 

Odegaard has impressed since joining the Gunners on loan from Real Madrid in January and followed his first goal for the club against Olympiacos last week with the equaliser in Sunday's 2-1 north London derby win over Tottenham. 

Ahead of the return clash with Olympiacos, where Arsenal hold a 3-1 advantage, Arteta warmly praised the 22-year-old playmaker. 

"He's getting better and better. I think his understanding of what we want is excellent," he told the media. 

"His work rate has been phenomenal. And then he's doing something which, in my opinion, he could improve a lot, which is getting in the opponents' box and being more decisive in the score line. 

"He's doing that. He's scored two goals, he's got some really important entrances in the zone and he looks really dangerous all the time. 

"It's something that if he adds that to his game, he becomes a real complete player." 

Odegaard's two goals in all competitions are more than any other Arsenal midfielder has managed since his debut, with only Bukayo Saka (19) having more than his 11 shots. 

He is also the best among his midfield colleagues over the same period in terms of chances created (13), while behind only Mohamed Elneny in terms of passing accuracy (92.9 versus 90.8 per cent), having played 468 more minutes than the Egypt international. 

"I think everybody has been really impressed with how quickly he adapted. How professional he is," Arteta said. 

"How quickly he adapted to try to engage with everybody at Colney [Arsenal's training ground] and then the performances he is putting in as well." 

Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang is back in contention to start after a disciplinary breach led to him being benched for the win against Spurs. 

Asked whether Aubameyang had been stripped of the Arsenal captaincy, Arteta replied: "That was dealt with on the day. It's been resolved in a really positive way and we move on." 

Fellow forward Gabriel Martinelli could get a chance for valuable first-time minutes against Olympiacos, having struggled for fitness and form this season. 

"If anything, it's my fault," Arteta said over the Brazilian youngster's lack of game time. "He's done everything perfect. He trains incredibly well every day. His attitude cannot be any better. 

"He's really disappointed that he's not playing more, obviously I have spoken to him. But he needs to be a little bit patient. 

"He had some minutes, he had some games as well and it’s true that the competition now for the front positions is very tough. He needs to be patient and he will get his chance." 

Saka, meanwhile, faces a late fitness test having made way at half-time in the game with Spurs due to a hamstring complaint.

Mikel Arteta demanded Arsenal cut out their defensive mistakes, despite being thrilled with the overall performance of his team against Olympiacos in the Europa League.

Arsenal took a big stride towards the Europa League quarter-finals as they ran out 3-1 winners in the first leg of their last-16 tie in Athens, thanks to late goals from Gabriel and Mohamed Elneny on Thursday.

Martin Odegaard's stunner – his first goal for Arsenal after joining from Real Madrid on loan – put the Gunners ahead, but a mix up between Bernd Leno and Dani Ceballos, who has now made two errors leading to goals in the Europa League this season (no player has made more), allowed Olympiacos to equalise.

Ceballos' mistake follows on from Granit Xhaka's error against Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday, though manager Arteta insisted there is no issue with Arsenal's system, but rather the timing of their passes out from the back.

"We started the game really well, very dominant, created a lot of chances, we could have scored two or three at least in the first half, but we gave them two chances," he told BT Sport.

"We gave them the goal, trying to play out from the back, but we reacted really well.

"Overall, positive things, really positive performances but we have to stop making the errors that are costing goals, because we cannot sustain that at this level.

"It's not concentration, it's about when you play the ball. It's not about structure, decision making, it's about when you play the ball, it makes a whole difference."

Arteta, though, claimed his team cannot play with any fear.

"It's not about stopping the way we play, because this is us and we get our rewards by identifying when we do it and how we have to do it," he added.

"The worst that we can do is get the structure to play, but then have too much fear to play. That's a bad mistake to do that."

Arsenal were worthy winners – the Gunners had 18 shots, compared to six from Greek hosts Olympiacos, and eight of them were on target, while Arteta's side also enjoyed 61.5 per cent possession.

The Gunners have won eight of their nine Europa League games this season – drawing the other – and are the highest scorers in the competition so far this term (27 goals), but Arteta explained the next step is to put in a complete performance.

"We were really dominant. We showed our personality to come here and dominate the game," he said.

"The next step is to do that for 90 minutes and give absolutely nothing to the opponent – we are not there yet. 

"We have some of the best moments that we've played this season, understanding the spaces, the quality, the rhythm, the way we attacked the spaces. How we linked with each other, it was great. We need to keep doing it and do it for longer periods."

Odegaard was particularly impressive in the number 10 role, crafting a game-high four chances and had four attempts – more than any other player.

"It's a great result, three goals away from home and a win in this competition is always big," the Madrid loanee told BT Sport.

"The way we struck back after the goal we conceded, and the mentality of this team – I'm really pleased with everything.

"It showed the spirit in the team, the way we back each other. We knew we had to get a goal. That's what it's about – being a team. When one player makes a mistake, you have to strike back as a team and that's what we did today."

Gabriel and Mohamed Elneny scored late on as Arsenal atoned for defensive sloppiness to take a 3-1 lead in their Europa League last-16 tie with Olympiacos.

Having taken the lead through Martin Odegaard's stunning first goal for the club, Arsenal looked set to be the masters of their own downfall in Piraeus.

After surviving a David Luiz mistake late prior to half-time, the Gunners gifted Olympiacos an equalsier when Youssef El-Arabi robbed Dani Ceballos of possession.

Yet with El-Arabi, who scored the winner when Olympiacos knocked Arsenal out last season, squandering another gilt-edged chance, Gabriel headed in a second away goal to give the Gunners the edge before Elneny's wicked strike put them in control ahead of the return leg.

Kieran Tierney's strike inspired Arsenal's comeback against Benfica at the same stadium on February 25, and the full-back should have had an assist to his name in the third minute of this game, but Odegaard dragged wide from his neat cut-back.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's deflected header looked set to put Arsenal ahead three minutes later, only for Jose Sa to make a superb save onto the crossbar.

Odegaard more than made amends for his earlier miss when he struck in the 34th minute, slamming a powerful, left-footed shot beyond Sa from 30 yards.

Arsenal's work was almost undone by David Luiz's error moments later – Giorgos Masouras blazing over.

Thomas Partey forced Sa into action shortly after the restart, before he was taken off for Ceballos, and that change quickly backfired.

Bernd Leno's sloppy pass put Ceballos in trouble, and El-Arabi nipped in to fire home.

El-Arabi could have taken his tally of goals against Arsenal to three when Lazar Randjelovic drilled in a cross, but he failed to divert it on target.

Olympiacos were made to pay – Gabriel rising high above Yann M'Vila to meet Willian's cross and send a looping header into the right-hand corner before Elneny's swerving strike clipped in off the woodwork to give Arsenal breathing space in the tie.

Mikel Arteta insists Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang still has much more to give to Arsenal despite a recent improvement in his performances.

The Gunners captain has only scored nine times in the Premier League this season, a marked reduction from the 44 he managed across the previous two campaigns.

Aubameyang scored just twice in 14 appearances in all competitions from mid-September to the middle of December, but his form in front of goal has improved of late, the Gabon international having netted eight times in his most recent nine outings.

Manager Arteta is happy with Aubameyang's improvement but believes there is more to come from the player.

"Obviously, the stats are much better and related to who he is and what he needs to bring to the team," Arteta told reporters ahead of Thursday's Europa League last-16 first leg against Olympiacos.

"But still, I think he could score many more and he could do better in other aspects. He needs to keep having that mentality and he has that mentality.

"We need players performing at their maximum. When Auba is in a much better place, obviously the team will be in a much better place because at the end, things are decided in both boxes, and what he can produce in the opponents' box has an incredible impact for our team.

"In big moments, you need to have big players performing and making the difference. It looks like, at this moment, he's firing, he's happy, physically he's in a good moment and he's full of confidence."

With Arsenal 10th in the Premier League table and with their FA Cup defence having been ended by Southampton, the Europa League represents their best chance of a trophy and a way back into the Champions League for next season.

Having announced a £47million loss last week amid the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, European football could be critical to Arteta's chances of putting together a squad capable of challenging England's best again.

Despite the potentially tricky year to come, Arteta is confident a major turning point is coming in Arsenal's modern history.

"I want a sustainable club. We all want a club that can be run with their own resources. It is great we have the support from our owners," he said.

"We have had that in the summer when it was much needed because of everything that has happened with COVID and what happened at the club in the last three years without the Champions League and the hit that that took.

"But our responsibility and everything we are planning for the future is for this club to go back to being sustainable on its own and being all the time as strong as possible in every department and the financial department is crucial as well.

"I think this project is going to go 'bang'. This is where we are, but sometimes it is difficult to see the moment now but I'm sure where we are going.

"We have created a really strong group, a really strong bond with our players, with our fans, with our staff and that is going to pay big in the future.

"You need to win to convince anybody that you are doing a good job in the club and taking them in the right direction.

"If you are not inside the club every day and know exactly what is going on within the club, the only way to convince anybody is to win."

Mikel Arteta has heaped praise on Martin Odegaard for how he has started at Arsenal, calling the midfielder's effort "phenomenal".

Odegaard joined Arsenal on loan from Real Madrid towards the end of the January transfer window.

He is yet to register a goal or an assist in eight outings for the Gunners, prompting former players like Martin Keown and Nigel Winterburn to criticise his start.

But Arteta has been highly impressed by the 22-year-old and is thrilled with how well he has settled, amid speculation over whether Arsenal will opt to pursue a permanent move.

"I'm really happy with him," said Arteta. "I think he has settled really, really quickly into the team and with what we demand from the players. 

"His behaviour, his attitude and his work rate has been phenomenal. 

"He has had better moments than others during games to give us the special qualities he has, but overall, I'm really happy with him."

One of the players Odegaard is battling with for selection is emerging attacking midfielder Emile Smith Rowe.

Smith Rowe has been out of action with a hip injury for the last 10 days but might be back in time to face Olympiacos in the Europa League last-16 first leg on Thursday.

"He is going to have a full session [on Wednesday] to see if he can be involved for [Thursday's] game," said Arteta.

"After training, we will know exactly where we are with him."

The tie will see Arsenal come up against former player Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who joined Olympiacos on a two-year deal in January.

Arteta added ahead of the away first leg: "I am looking forward to seeing Papa, he is such a good character and a very popular player here. 

"He was liked and loved by everybody. It was a pleasure to work with him, such a pro. 

"It is true he knows what we try to do, but there isn’t a magic formula. I’m sure he will try to do his best and we will do the same."

Arsenal and Olympiacos have previously met on 10 occasions across all European competitions, with no encounter ending level and both teams winning five times each.

Greek champions Olympiacos dumped Arsenal out of the Europa League last season at the last-32 stage.

The Gunners are hoping to avoid back-to-back eliminations suffered at the hands of the same side, which last happened to them in 2012-13 and 2013-14 against Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

Granit Xhaka has received the backing of team-mates past and present after his calamitous error against Burnley.

The Swiss midfielder was at fault for the Clarets' leveller in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Turf Moor, directing an attempted pass into the midriff of Chris Wood, with the ball diverting into the net.

Since the start of the 2016-17 season, Xhaka has made eight errors leading to goals in the top flight, which is more than any other outfield Premier League player.

He looked set to head into Thursday's Europa League clash at Olympiacos with criticism ringing in his ears, having felt compelled to issue an apology on Instagram.

But the 28-year-old has since been showered with praise by Thomas Partey and ex-Gunner Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who is now with Olympiacos.

"I think he's a great player," said Partey. "We all know he works hard for the club, he works hard for his team-mates when he's on the pitch.

"As we all know in football, you never know when you're going to have a bad day and that's part of it.

"We have to keep raising each other, keep fighting for each other and that's how we're going to have a good game and win matches.

"All the players know what we have to do when we play together. It doesn't matter who we play with, we have to do our best and win games."

Striking a similar tone to Partey, Sokratis – who joined Arsenal in 2018 and left in January this year – offered a glowing tribute to his former team-mate.

"Granit is one of the best team-mates I've had the pleasure of working with," Sokratis told Football London.

"He's a very important player for Arsenal and I believe that he's a good player who can be a leader in the team.

"When you make one mistake everybody will go against you, but I know Granit's character. Before the Burnley game he played five or six games where he was probably the best player in the team.

"I think he's one of Arsenal's best players and certainly one of the best midfielders that I've played with."

In between Arsenal's two-legged round-of-16 clash with Olympiacos, Mikel Arteta's side have the small matter of Sunday's north London derby with Tottenham.

Mikel Arteta concedes the next week will be "massive" in determining the success of Arsenal's season and wants his players to ignore any criticism coming their way.

Arsenal visit Olympiacos in the last 16 of the Europa League on Thursday, with Arteta hoping the Gunners can gain revenge.

They were beaten on away goals by the Greek side in the last 32 of last season's competition.

The tournament represents the Gunners' best chance of reaching next year's Champions League, with them having slumped to 10th in the Premier League.

A key week will also see Arsenal face rivals Tottenham in the north London derby on Sunday, before the return leg against Olympiacos.

Arsenal also face West Ham in another London derby before the international break and Arteta knows the pressure is on.

"The players have to focus on performing as good as possible and try to do their best on the pitch," Arteta said. 

"That criticism with where it is coming from with which intentions is something that they must not pay attention to because they cannot control.

"The better we do individually and the better we do collectively, things are going to work better and that's the responsibility they have all the time when they jump on that pitch.

"Obviously, it's a massive week for us, we have four very important games coming up and we need to win all of them. That is our reality and this is how we are going to approach it.

"But we are talking about [it being a decisive week] every week."

Arteta reflected on the Olympiacos loss last year, which saw Arsenal beaten 2-1 at home in the final moments of extra time in the second leg, having earned a 1-0 away win in the opening clash.

"Well obviously, it was a really tough one to swallow," he said.

"The way it happened at the end was really cruel after everything we did in the two games to lose it the way we did it and with the last chance that Auba [Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang] had. 

"But we moved on. Obviously, we have some feeling towards that team and we want to put it right.

"Emotionally it really drained us because it was a rollercoaster during the game and with what happened, it could have ended in a beautiful way, but it ended in a really harsh way for us. 

"I think emotionally it took some time to get the team and some individuals lifted because it really hurt.

"We have the two games to look at and everything that happened in those two games. The disappointment that we had to digest, and it took some time to do that because it was a hard one. We had a lot of faith and enthusiasm in the competition, and we were knocked out.

"And now we have another opportunity. It's the beauty of this game. It's a completely different context but the reality is the same that we have to beat them twice to go through in the competition and we have to be better than them.

"They are coming from playing in the Champions League. They played against City two really good games as well so it will be a really tough opponent.

"It's a team that is used to playing in all those competitions and they beat us last year. It doesn't matter the manner but they did it last year so we have to be better than last year to beat them now."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.