EPL

Arteta warns Arsenal are 'very far' from hitting manager's target

By Sports Desk March 06, 2021

Mikel Arteta has declared his Arsenal team remain nowhere near his vision for what they can become.

A hint of improvement in the Gunners ranks has seen them lose just once of their past five games, a 1-0 defeat to Premier League leaders Manchester City.

They scraped past Benfica in the Europa League thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's late winner in the second leg and followed that up with an eye-catching 3-1 victory at Leicester City.

But Arteta has not been blinded to his team's weaknesses by those results, and he feels they remain a long way from his idea of how they could shape up.

"Very far – very, very far," he said.

"There's still a lot to improve, a lot of quality to add. [We need to be] much more efficient in decision-making; much quicker to open situations up when advantages are there; many situations to feel when advantages [can be] obtained.

"More control of games; more defensive actions in the opponent's half; fewer giveaways in our own half; more clean sheets. More goals to score, more creativity. A lot to do."

Arteta left his role on Pep Guardiola's Manchester City staff in December 2019 to take the Arsenal top job.

While City look to be hurtling to another Premier League title, Arsenal headed into Saturday's game against Burnley sitting 10th in the table – 10 points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

"When you look at the league table it is not acceptable," Arteta said. "We are Arsenal Football Club and we should be nowhere near here. If somebody is happy with that, he is in the wrong place."

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    While there was never any doubt about Pedri's technical abilities, adapting his game to fit in at a club with a style of play as iconic and ingrained as Barca's was likely – in theory – to take time. Regardless of how things work at Las Palmas, Barcelona are simply a different beast in every way, shape or form.

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    Snow may have prevented a move to Madrid three years ago, but Pedri's outlook at Barcelona is gloriously bright.

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