Mikel Arteta says Arsenal are best in Premier League at all but one thing | Football


The Spaniard’s side have slipped to fourth after a poor run of form (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has given a bullish defence of his side’s performances and believes they are the best team in the Premier League at all but one thing.

The Gunners were top of the table on Christmas Day but have slipped to fourth place after losing back-to-back league matches, while they have only won one of their last seven games in all competitions.

They are actually on a three-game losing streak in all competitions, having been knocked out of the FA Cup at home to Liverpool, and will be looking to bounce back when they take on Crystal Palace on Saturday.

One big factor in Arsenal’s recent blip has been their lack of goals, with 16 players having scored more times in the Premier League this season than the Gunners’ top scorer, Bukayo Saka, who has netted just six times.

Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah have just eight league goals between them and the side have underperformed their Expected Goals as a whole, netting 37 times from 40.56 xG.

But Arteta has defended his team and insists they are doing all the right things despite their current form, but they just need to sharpen up their profligate finishing.

‘You look at all the data and it is Arsenal, Arsenal, Arsenal at the top,’ said the Spanish coach ahead of hosting Palace.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta

Arsenal spent a week in Dubai on a warm-weather camp (Picture: Getty)

‘The reality is we haven’t won enough matches. There is something underneath that, it is like an onion. The first layer, second layer… we have to go to the bottom of it to understand what is making us win or lose.

‘It is the small details, the margins and then (what has happened in the penalty) boxes has played a big part of that. We have to change that.’

Asked outright if Arsenal are the best in the league at everything apart from finishing, he replied: ‘If you look at it from that perspective, objectively what we are producing, the answer clearly is yes.’

Addressing the need to get back to winning ways, Arteta added: ‘We better start to pick up points that is for sure, if we want it be up there, to start to have consistently three points on the board. We know that at this level, you cannot have more slip-ups at this level.

‘We want to cut that (lead) as quick as possible and every time you lose, the next most important thing is to win. We have not managed to do that and that is the reality and we have to face it.

‘We have done a lot of things to try to do that and to produce as much as possible in the games and as little as possible from the opponent, which has happened, but in the end you have to win the games and that hasn’t happened.’

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