Xenia Sports – London
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta believes his side must become “super-efficient” again to kick-start their Premier League campaign.
The Gunners head to Everton on Saturday without a league win since beating Manchester United at Old Trafford in early November.
Arsenal has paid a heavy price for missed opportunities – something which Arteta feels is crucial to recapturing the form which saw them win the FA Cup following Project Restart.
“In key moments we were super-efficient. This season, in key moments we have not been super-efficient,” said Arteta, who has presided over Arsenal’s worst start to a top-flight season since 1974-75.
“We had three one-v-one situations against Liverpool at Anfield, another three against Manchester City and we did not convert them.
“The opportunity they had, they scored. The margins have been really small.
“The numbers we have created against big teams have been much better than the ones we produced before, but we got different results.
“That is sometimes related to bad luck, sometimes it is confidence.
“This game is about putting away the ball when you have moments in the game.”
Following their success over Chelsea at Wembley and then winning the FA Community Shield after a penalty shoot-out against Liverpool, hopes were high of a positive campaign ahead.
Arteta, though, will look to focus on matters he can control as Arsenal look to the future.
“The reality of where we are, I know it really well. People inside the club know it, but you cannot stop the speculation and expectations,” he said.
“But it is much better to have high expectations than low expectations – this is what this club is about.
“The fact that we are in a different position right now in the Premier League, we cannot take that away.
“This is us right now and we have to get through that.”
It is almost a year since Arteta took charge of Arsenal, the former midfielder returning to the top job at the Emirates Stadium following the departure of Unai Emery.
Arteta recovered from contracting Covid-19 at the start of the pandemic, eventually ending the interrupted campaign with Wembley glory.
“I want to believe I am much better,” said the Spaniard as he reflected on the upcoming anniversary of his appointment.
“I have experienced things in a year than in a normal job you would experience in 10, but it has been great.
“Great because of the people I have around me, the experience we have been able to share with everyone in the club, with the players – in this moment, it has united everybody a lot.
“We have gone through that and we will get through it and I have some really good highlights.”