• Quality will dip if changes are not made, Arteta says
• ‘The intensity is raising every year, the pressure too’

Mikel Arteta has warned that players at the top level are “cracking and cracking” under the strain of the fixture calendar and believes football will suffer a dip in standards if changes are not made quickly.

In a staggered week of FA Cup fifth-round football Arteta’s Arsenal side travel to Portsmouth on Monday night; the ties are spread out until Thursday due to television requirements and the lack of weekends available because of the introduction of a winter break.

Related: Kevin De Bruyne at the heart of new era emerging at Manchester City

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