has warned his players it would be ‘very arrogant’ not to take the and the threat of an improving side seriously this evening.
Although the Gunners have made undoubted progress under the management of their former captain, the 2020 triumph represents the only major trophy of his tenure to date.
Arsenal, meanwhile, haven’t won the League Cup since 1993 when George Graham was still in charge and progress to the next stage of the competition this season will be anything but straightforward.
While West Ham have wobbled in recent weeks, David Moyes’ side are tough to beat on their own patch and dealt a major blow to Arsenal’s title hopes last season when they came from 2-0 down to force a draw.
Arteta’s side are currently navigating an exceptionally busy period of the season, juggling European and domestic commitments but the Arsenal boss has warned his players they cannot afford to treat tonight’s game as anything other than a top priority.
‘I don’t think I have three World Cup winners in the squad that can think like this about the Carabao Cup,’ he said.
‘I might be wrong, but I don’t think anyone can think like that. I think that would be very, very arrogant.
‘I don’t know if we can convince them (the fans). If you ask about what the priority would be, it wouldn’t be the Carabao Cup for sure.
‘For us it’s more internally how we use it. The amount of work we put in ourselves and how we approach every single game playing for Arsenal Football Club. You cannot approach it in any different way because that’s not respecting the game.
‘I don’t think the players think like that,” he added, when asked whether players, too, saw the benefit that an early exit could have in decongesting the fixture list.
‘I think they get really upset when they lose. After you are out you try to look at the bigger picture and say, ‘ Ok, now we’re going to use it in a different way.’ But if you ask someone what they want to do tomorrow, for sure they want to win the game.’
, . , and .