Nine consecutive victories across three competitions represents an impressive turnaround for Arsenal given the early season defeats to Manchester City and Chelsea, however, Unai Emery insists his side can get better.
Citing the attacking threat posed by Watford, who could easily have won at the Emirates had they taken their chances, and Fulham, who were dangerous in the first half at Craven Cottage, in our last two league fixtures, the Spaniard made clear that his players must tighten up defensively in the future.
“I think we need to improve a lot,” he said ahead of Monday’s clash with Leicester.
“I think we have to continue doing a lot of the things to get better. Our demands need to be very high. The supporters can enjoy it with us but also we’re speaking with our reality every day.
“We need to improve because for example the match against Fulham was a very good result and a very good game for 90 minutes. But in the first 45 minutes I thought we needed to do better.
“If we are remembering the last match at the Emirates [against Watford], we won but not playing like we want, with the control against the opposition. For me now, the most important thing is not to rush.
“The next game against Leicester is very big, very difficult. Leicester are a very good team and play with a clear identity under Claude Puel. They are very competitive, have very good players and we need every single player, and our mentality together to be stronger than in the last match.”
Several Arsenal players have talked up a change in mentality in the dressing room since the summer. Emery doesn’t believe his players can lay claim to a ‘winning’ mentality just yet, he just wants them to keep proving their mettle in both training and matches.
“This is one process: to work every day and not the possibility to say now we have a winning mentality,” he said.
“We need to continue improving, continue creating in our way. The strong mentality is [to show] each minute, each ball, each moment of the 90 minutes to show every supporter we are deciding to win with our example on the pitch. We need to give every action with that mentality.
“This process is very hard, very long and this is the way to do it together. Also with the supporters, we are stronger with them helping us, like for example against Fulham and in every match at the Emirates.”