Mikel Arteta sends message to Arsenal fans behind ‘Kroenke Out’ banner

Aston Villa v Arsenal FC - Premier League
Mikel Arteta was not impressed with the banner flown over Villa Park (Picture: Pool via Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta has defended the Arsenal hierarchy, claiming he has all the backing he needs, after a plane flew a banner over Villa Park on Tuesday night, which read: ‘Back Arteta Kroenke Out.’

The Gunners were beaten 1-0 by Aston Villa in the Premier League, halting the momentum they had gathered by beating Liverpool and Manchester City in the last week.

The ‘Kroenke Out’ group organised the banner to be flown just after kick-off in Birmingham in protest over Stan Kroenke’s ownership of Arsenal.

The subsection of Arsenal fans believe that the owner has not invested heavily enough in the club and only will Arteta get the financial backing he needs if Kroenke leaves.

However, the Spanish manager was defiant over the protest and says he feels the support of everyone at the club, calling on fans to trust him.

‘The Kroenke’s and the board and the sporting director and everybody, I feel full backing with them,’ Arteta told Sky Sports.

‘What we don’t know is a lot of things that we have to wait a little bit of time to be there.

Aston Villa v Arsenal FC - Premier League
The ‘Back Arteta Kroenke Out’ banner was flown over the Aston Villa vs Arsenal match (Picture: AMA/Getty Images)

‘But backing and support, 100%, I don’t need that.

‘The fans have to believe what I’m saying because if not, believe me, I would not say that.’

After the gruelling wins over Liverpool last week and Manchester City on Sunday, Arteta could not fault the attitude of his players, despite the defeat to Villa.

He does admit that there is a substantial gap between his team and the consistently better sides, though, with the defeat confirming that Arsenal will finish outside the top six in the Premier League for the first time in 25 years.

‘I’m not disappointed about the attitude at all,’ said Arteta. ‘I know where we are in certain moments, in certain areas of the pitch and the things that we need to improve more. We will get that, but we need a bit more time.

‘The gap doesn’t lie, the gap with the top teams in the country and we have to make that gap smaller and really quickly.’

Arsenal stay 10th in the table with one game to play, meaning their best possible finish is eighth, although they cannot drop below 10th, despite the results on the final day of the season.

MORE: Aston Villa should have beaten Arsenal by more, reckons Jack Grealish

MORE: Plane flies ‘Back Arteta Kroenke Out’ banner over Aston Villa vs Arsenal

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