Mikel Arteta has admitted he is still ‘very, very far’ from having his own Arsenal team, adding that the Gunners’ league position this season is ‘not acceptable’.
Arsenal have enjoyed a strong spell since Christmas, winning seven of their last 12 Premier League games, including an impressive 3-1 success at Leicester City last weekend.
But they still head into Saturday’s clash at Burnley sitting a disappointing 10th in the table following a poor first half of the campaign, and Arteta knows he is still some way off having the team he wants to match his ambitions in north London.
What’s been said?
When asked how close the current Arsenal side was to being what he views as his own, Arteta said: “Very far. Very, very far.
“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 more situations to feel when advantages are obtained.
“More control of games, more defensive actions in the opponent's half, fewer giveaways in our own half, more clean sheets. There's a lot to do – more goals to score, more creativity. A lot to do.
“When you look at the league table it is not acceptable. We are Arsenal Football Club and we should be nowhere near here. If somebody is happy with that he is in the wrong place.”
Since Christmas, Arsenal have won seven of their 12 league games, picking up 23 points from a possible 36.
Only Manchester City (36) and West Ham (24) have picked up more league points than Arteta’s side since the festive period, with the Gunners sitting third in the form table during that time.
Manchester City (31) and Manchester United (24) are the only two sides to score more than Arsenal (22) in that period and only City (four) have conceded less than the nine goals Arteta’s side have let in.
Is Arteta seeing progress?
Despite saying Arsenal are still way off being where he wants them to be, the Spaniard does believe his side are heading in the right direction.
When asked if he was seeing signs that his team are edging closer towards his long-term vision for the future, the Gunners boss said: “Yes, I am.
“I think I mentioned that when you look at the previous game we played against a team a few months ago, and you look at where the team is right now, I think it's always a good way of seeing the progression, and I've seen that.”