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Arteta wants a more hostile atmosphere from Arsenal fans at the Emirates

Arteta wants a more hostile atmosphere from Arsenal fans at the Emirates

With Arsenal hosting Liverpool in a mouth-watering FA Cup clash this weekend, Mikel Arteta has called on the home fans to ramp up the atmosphere at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal’s most recent home fixture ended in a 2-0 defeat to West Ham United and what followed was an equally appalling 2-1 loss to Fulham, ensuring back-to-back London derby defeats for Arteta’s faltering side.

The defeat to West Ham was Arsenal’s first on home turf this term, having gone unbeaten in the previous nine (W7, D2).

However, they only have themselves to blame for the heart-wrenching loss to Fulham that has bumped Arteta’s side down to fourth place in the Premier League rankings.

Heavily touted as title contenders before ball was kicked this season, Arsenal now have it all to do with a five-point gulf separating them from pacesetters Liverpool.

Both sides are preparing to battle in the headline fixture of the FA Cup third round, and Arteta would be expecting the home fans to make the stadium unbearable for the rampant Reds.

The weekend showdown takes on added significance given Arsenal’s faltering league form, plus the fact that they have failed to cross the fourth-round boundary since winning the FA Cup title in 2020.

The atmosphere at the Emirates was hailed as a contributing factor to Arsenal’s 2022/23 title run – however futile – which was characterised by a series of intense and relentless displays. 

However, the intensity has taken a significant knock in recent months and was noticeably flat in the defeat to West Ham.

“Can we tweak it and make it even more hostile? I think we can,” Arteta told The Guardian when asked whether Arsenal could create their own version of the environment Liverpool fosters at Anfield.

“That’s the next step in my opinion. We have to be so grateful for what we’re achieving in our home ground. Sunday is going to be another big one.”

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