Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta believes the Gunners’ 1-0 victory over Wigan at the DW Stadium on Saturday is a “big win” for the Gunners as they look to rebuild their title challenge following a difficult month.
The Spanish midfielder netted a penalty after 60 minutes to give Arsene Wenger’s side a much-needed three points after December defeats against Swansea, Olympiakos and Bradford had threatened to derail their season.
However, the north London side overcame Roberto Martinez’s men to go third in the Premier League and add to their run of consecutive victories having previously seen off both West Brom and Reading.
“It’s a big win for us, it’s three [league victories] in a row and we needed a bit of a run to recover what we have missed in the last month,” Arteta told Sky Sports.
“We’re really happy with the points. It was a tough game, the conditions were really hard as well. It was nice as well to get a clean sheet.”
The 30-year-old midfielder calmly slotted home after Theo Walcott was felled in the box by Jean Beausejour, and says the win means his side can now build on this result to recapture their form.
“When you put [penalties] in the net it’s always nice,” he enthused. “We deserved to win the points and the game and that for us is massive at the moment.
“We are focused and determined and we are disappointed with the last month or so. We are going to put it right now. The spirit is terrific room and hopefully we can get the results back.”
Arteta’s team mate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain impressed for the visitors, and feels the future is bright after he and four other young players all signed new deals at the club.
“There are some really exciting young players with me and the boys that have just signed, and we have got more experienced players like Mikel and Santi [Cazorla],” he added.
“I think it’s a good mix of youth and experience, the older boys help us out. It’s going to take time for the younger lads to figure out how to play their way in, but the earlier we can start playing together for the future, it does look bright for us.”
The winger believes referee Jonathan Moss was correct to award a penalty in Walcott’s favour, but suggests the Gunners did enough to win the game regardless.
“Theo managed to get in front of [Beausejour] and from where I stood i thought he did bring him down,” he explained.
“Sometimes you need these decisions to go for you but I think we created enough chances to get a goal anyway so whichever way it comes we’re not too fussed. We’re happy to get the penalty and Mikel did really well to stick it away.”