Mikel Arteta's latest confession proves that his priorities are currently off the pitch at the moment.

Arsenal started off the season in terrible fashion, losing three on the bounce to Brentford, Manchester City and Chelsea in the Premier League.

As well as conceding nine goals, they failed to score once, and calls for Arteta to be sacked grew.

But a well-timed international break allowed the Gunners to rally and they have looked much more resilient in recent weeks.

Wins over Norwich and Burnley have got smiles back on the faces of fans and Arteta has admitted that getting their support back has been important.

Mikel Arteta is a happy man again at Arsenal

After the victory over Burnley, a video went viral of Aaron Ramsdale giving his shirt to a young fan in the stands.

It has exemplified the growing bond between the supporters and the players and that is something Arteta is keen to build on.

"I felt it," he said. "I felt there was some connection building and I think they realise what they have done, and the players have to show their appreciation and gratitude like that did.

"That only brings more cohesion, more connection and more relationships, closer relationships and that will strengthen the team for sure."

Arsenal had a shoddy season last year when they finished eighth in the Premier League but a strong summer of spending has seen optimism grow.

The likes of Ramsdale, Ben White, Martin Odegaard and Takehiro Tomiyasu have joined to give the Gunners a fresher-looking squad.

(

Image:

AFP via Getty Images)

Arsenal take on Wimbledon in the Carabao Cup tonight and are heavy favourites to go through to the next round.

But while some clubs are struggling to fill their stadiums, the Gunners have already sold over 45,000 tickets.

"I am really happy to hear that [we have sold so many tickets] because the boys are really looking forward to playing at the Emirates again," Arteta added.

Who will win this weekend, Arsenal or Tottenham? Comment below

"Winning that game is the only priority right now and then we can think about Spurs and how special that is as well."

Ahead of a north London derby this weekend against Tottenham, Arteta is desperate to galvanise as much confidence as possible going into the match.

The two teams are in a tricky situation and have long hopes to qualify for the Champions League and an early win over their biggest rivals will be a huge morale boost.