Arsenal

Arsenal must still target titles during Arteta rebuild - Leno

06/02/2020
Arsenal
Premier League
Bernd Leno
The Gunners goalkeeper says silverware must still be the objective this season, despite the changes that have taken place at Emirates Stadium
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Bernd Leno says Arsenal can’t afford to take too long to adjust to life under Mikel Arteta as there are still titles on the line this season.

Arteta has been in charge at Emirates Stadium for six weeks now having replaced Unai Emery, who was sacked in December after a poor start to the campaign.

And there have certainly been signs of improvement under the 37-year-old, especially at the back where Arsenal have tightened up defensively and now look far harder to play against.

But going forward they continue to struggle for goals, with Sunday’s 0-0 stalemate at Burnley the fifth draw in nine games under Arteta.

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So there is clearly lots of work for Arsenal's head coach to do to get his team firing again and many view the next few months as an opportunity for him to try and rebuild ahead of his first full campaign in charge.

But Leno is adamant that there is plenty to play for this season, with the German keeper pointing to the fact that Arsenal are still in the Europa League and FA Cup - with games against Olympiakos and Portsmouth fast approaching.

“Of course this process takes time but we have to win games,” said Leno

“In the Europa League and FA Cup we have so many difficult games. We saw last season that in the Europa League quarter-finals and semi-finals you get Champions League teams.

“They are all playing for the title and the [Europa League] final was Arsenal against Chelsea [last season], so it was a very, very big game. We want to have this final again and also in the FA Cup.

“Everybody told me that the FA Cup final at Wembley is unbelievable with the atmosphere and it is also a trophy, a title and we are looking forward to playing these games.

“Hopefully we can a win title this season.”

Leno and his Arsenal team-mates are currently in Dubai for the club’s mid-season break training camp.

Most of the players travelled out to the United Arab Emirates earlier in the week for some leisure time with friends and family ahead of the camp, which starts on Friday.

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The squad will then return to England on Tuesday, with Arteta’s side back in action at the weekend when they host Newcastle United at the Emirates.

"It's good to go away," Arteta said after the draw at Burnley. "The players have been through a lot.

"The last two or three months have been tough for them so I wanted to give them a few days off. Then we're going to to Dubai to start working and focusing on Newcastle.”