Mikel Arteta remains confident that Arsenal are on the right track despite a series of Premier League defeats knocking the stuffing out of early-season optimism.
After eight games of the 2020/21 campaign, the Gunners sit in 11th place in the Premier League with four wins matched by four defeats.
While the Europa League has been a doddle, and we’ve achieved notable wins over Liverpool, twice, and Manchester United, the recent 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa brought our defensive fragility and attacking toothlessness into sharp focus. Indeed, it’s hard to shake the feeling that this has been anything other than a frustrating season so far.
As he closes in on a year in the job, the boss is well aware of the hard work that still needs to be done if we’re to close the gap on our traditional ‘big six’ rivals.
“We’re a long way, I’m afraid,” Arteta told Arsenal.com. “It’s part of a process. The results have to be immediate, and the challenge we have with the club we are representing is that we have to win as quickly as possible every game in every competition.
“So far we have played 14 games in all competitions this season, we won 10 and lost four and the four of them have been in the Premier League, so it is a little bit imbalanced.
“There are a lot of things to do, short term and medium term, we have seen a lot of changes not only on the pitch but structurally as a club as well, it’s been difficult, it’s been a challenging time in the last three or four months, a lot of things have happened.
“We have to settle and everyone has to realise where we are now, but I see the future as really bright. I am a really positive person and I tend to learn much more when things don’t go well and we have a defeat like we had the other day that really hurt after the performance we had at Old Trafford.
“We have to understand why it happened, be really critical first of all with myself and try to understand the players better, and give them more solutions to win more football matches.”
Arsenal returns to action on Sunday afternoon when we faced newly-promoted Leeds United at Elland Road. With so many players away on international duty at the moment, Arteta faces an anxious couple of days before being able to flesh out his plans for a massive game.