Mikel Arteta says Arsenal lacked aggression in the final third against West Ham and struggled to cope with the visitors ‘deep block’ on a tense afternoon at the Emirates.
The Gunners prevailed 1-0 thanks to a VAR-checked strike by substitute Alex Lacazette 12 minutes from time.
Despite having 60 percent possession we looked vulnerable on the break when we gave the ball away cheaply and were thankful for important saves by keeper Bernd Leno.
While the result continues an unbeaten Premier League run that stretches back to December last year, Arteta says there are areas that obviously need to improve.
In his post-game press conference, he said: “We had moments, obviously in the first half when teams are so compact and defend with that deep block – we gave a lot of simple balls away in dangerous areas, where we allowed the opposition to generate transition moments which they are good at.
“After that it was a free-kick and after that it was a corner, so we struggled a little bit to find our flow, and when we did it a little bit in the final third, we lacked the final pass, the right pass and as well the desire to be more aggressive and finish more actions in the final third.”
While the stats suggest we’re riding our luck in certain games, one defeat in 12 games is an undeniable upturn in form from the tail-end of the Emery era.
Arteta says he has no intention of getting carried away. “It’s only turning a corner in terms of results,” he noted.
“A little bit in terms of the things I want to see from my team, but they were telling me now that ‘I’ve turned the ship around’, that ship still has to turn a few times more to see what we want to see.
“It’s part of the process, it doesn’t happen overnight, we are positive that we can keep going on this from the eight or nine weeks that we’ve been here.
“It will be down to the performances that we put in and it will be related to the results.”