Monday 11 December 2017

Arteta hits out at Gunners form

Jeremy Wilson and Chris Bascombe

ARSENAL midfielder Mikel Arteta has bluntly admitted that the club's form is unacceptable and concedes that an urgent improvement is necessary as they battle to preserve their Champions League status.

Arsenal are still awaiting their first Premier League win of 2012, with Wednesday's goalless draw against Bolton leaving them seventh, five points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea.

Arsène Wenger remains publicly bullish about his team's ability to recover and claim a place in next season's Champions League, but Arteta has addressed the urgency of the situation.

Arsenal have never previously finished outside the top four under Wenger, but, in 15 seasons under the Frenchman, have never been outside the top six at the beginning of February. Had they lost against Bolton on Tuesday, it would also have been the first time that they had ever suffered four straight league defeats under Wenger.

"It's not good enough," Arteta said. "We have the players and the quality to have a better result than we got against Bolton. We really need to start picking up points now. "We should have won at Bolton. We had a lot of chances to win the game comfortably in the first half, but, once again, we've not been good enough to take them. And if you don't take your chances it's always going to be difficult."

Arsenal face another relegation-threatened side, Blackburn, tomorrow and they know time is running out if they are to overhaul Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle in the race to finish fourth.

"We should win against Blackburn," Arteta said. "We lost against them away and we should have won that one. We know they are going to make it tough as they are in a relegation battle and we know how hard teams in that situation battle."

The Arsenal Supporters' Trust (AST), meanwhile, has said that members will be surveyed during the summer about Wenger's performance. Supporters have been showing unprecedented dissatisfaction towards Wenger but the AST believes that the club's most successful-ever manager can only be judged at the end of the season. (©Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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