Unai Emery says his side don’t need to deliver ‘brilliant’ performances to pick up points on the road, they just need to be ‘competitive’; as proved by recent wins against Watford and Napoli.
Having dropped points on Sunday at home to Crystal Palace, Arsenal can’t afford negative results at Wolves and Leicester in the coming days.
It means we’ll need to shrug off our patchy form away from the Emirates, something that the boss things can happen if we keep it simple.
“We are speaking about being consistent and competitive,” he told his pre-game press conference.
“Sometimes we can be competitive but less brilliant than in our gameplan and we won doing that.
“Sometimes you are competitive, play brilliantly and it also gives you the victory. The two last matches away, we won against Napoli and against Watford and we weren’t brilliant.
“But we played competitively and it was enough for us to win. But we need to improve because maybe in the next match, it’s not enough for us to win.
“We are continuing in our way of thinking to improve, with big competitiveness. Some moments in the 90 minutes we need to not be brilliant, but to be competitive.
“In other moments, we need to be brilliant to use our quality to win against the opposition. Tomorrow we need more.
“We need to be competitive and we need some moments of quality. But above all, our organisation, our capacity to keep moving ahead but being organised and being consistent.”
Despite Arsenal’s defeat to Palace, our quest for a top-four finish remains in our hands courtesy of other results which included defeats for Sp*rs and Manchester United and a surprising draw between Chelsea and Burnley. After a poor day at the office, it should give a timely boost to the squad.
“At the beginning it’s in our hands if we win,” he said. “We want to be intelligent. On Sunday, we didn’t win but maybe today we can say that one point was important on Sunday.
“Maybe that can happen in the next matches. We will prepare to win but we can win, draw or lose. The first situation for us is in our hands if we win, but then we’re going to play difficult matches.
“Chelsea v Burnley at home was a difficult match and we were thinking they were going to win, but they were playing against a very strong Burnley side, it was a very tough match and the result was a draw.
“We want to be intelligent and consistent in 38 matches. Sometimes, one draw can be the way.”