Ever the optimist, Mikel Arteta says that as soon as his team learn to stop giving the opposition gilt-edged chances to score goals they’ll be stronger.
He’s not wrong, but at the moment it’s a recurring theme. After gifting Burnley a goal at the weekend, David Luiz did his best in the first half in the 3-1 win over Olympiacos, before Bernd Leno and Dani Ceballos conspired to let the Greek side back into it in the second.
Speaking afterwards, it was put to the Arsenal boss that we’re our own worst enemy, which saw him reply, “Yeah, they are not far off.
“The goals or the chances that we have conceded are coming from ourselves. That is really positive because the moment we stop it we will be even stronger.
“But the reality is that we have to stop it immediately because if not the games are always there to drop points.
“It is my responsibility, we make them play the way I want them to play, it is just understanding the risk and rewards, the balls we have to play and as I said before, when.
“We have to get better at that, because if not it creates tension and insecurity, and it creates belief in the opponent and it is unnecessary.
“You know you have to play the ball to this player, but when is the difference… is it now, a second later or a second earlier?
“That gives the opponent a chance to press or intercept a pass or not and that is where the difference is.
“To discriminate the decision making and when it has to be done is what dictates in the next action whether you are successful or not. But it is not about stopping or discouraging the team not to play, we just have to understand when to do it and that’s crucial.
“If not you create insecurity in a game that is totally under control and it brings the team into an insecurity mode because you gift to the opponent how much we have in the game, the chances that we missed and it is unnecessary.
“It’s true that the reaction after that to score goal – and we probably should have scored one more – was great to see as well.
Nevertheless, goals from Martin Odegaard, Gabriel and Mo Elneny provided a nice cushion for the second leg, and all eyes now are on the North London derby on Sunday.