Arsene Wenger admits his side are unhappy with their league standing and pointed the blame at profligacy in front of goal and a leaky defence.
Arsenal currently sit in sixth position in the Premier League, 21 points behind runaway leaders Manchester City and three adrift of neighbours Sp*rs above them. While home form, one defeat to Manchester United aside, has been good, the run of results away from the Emirates has been a real cause for concern, as have costly individual errors.
“What we want is to stop conceding goals, stop missing chances, but as well I want the team to continue to play with the same spirit, the same determination and the same love of the game,” said Wenger ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Crystal Palace.
“That is for me important and is maybe the best way not to concede goals anymore.
“We should be higher [in the table] of course and we are not happy where we are, and we have to correct it. We do not play and put the effort in to be where we are, we want to be higher up.”
Having taken 25 points from a possible 30 at the Emirates, the boss was eager to play up the positives of the campaign although he also accepts that perhaps the balance between attack and defence can be worked on in 2018.
“We have been very consistent at home and the quality of our performances has been absolutely fantastic,” he said.
“We lost one game that even a neutral observer would concede that we had an outstanding performance in a unique game that we lost. Overall I believe the consistency is not in question.
“We have to find a balance, we are an offensive team and we take a gamble and a risk and we stand up for that but we have maybe to find a better balance between offensive and defensive efficiency.
“We always have a high number of players in front of the ball. If you look at the league you can analyse it in that way. You take team after team, how many players are in front of the ball when you attack?
“We are one of the teams in the league who has the most players in front of the ball when we attack, that means that for us to get back quickly and defend quickly and transition is absolutely vital.”