Having conceded the least number of goals in the Premier League, Arteta has asked his players to be more effective at the other end of the pitch in order to compete against the top teams. Arsenal followed up their impressive win against Manchester United with a comfortable victory against Molde in the Europa League. Arteta, who fielded more youngsters in the Europa League game has admitted the attacking potential of the team. However, the Spaniard has asked his team to be more consistent while playing different styles of opposition.
Speaking ahead of their Premier League game against Aston Villa, the Gunners manager said “To get that balance right is not easy. Considering the fixtures we have played this season, playing Liverpool three times, Manchester City and Leicester. It is not easy. It is something that we have been working on the last two weeks. You could see last night that we were much more fluent in attack. We scored the goals and we had more opportunities.
It is part of the team that still has to evolve because we haven’t played many games against low blocks. That is something we have to improve on. To be a top team you have to score 90-100 goals if you want to be competing with the top guns. It is a challenge for us and an area we have to improve and get better.”
Emiliano Martinez, who moved from Arsenal to Aston Villa in the summer is expected to be in the starting XI, and Arteta believes the goalkeeper deserved to get regular first-team experience. He added “He had a career of 10 years here. It wasn’t just the last six or eight months. You have to look at everything he did through his time at the club. Obviously it wasn’t in my plans to sell him. We gave him the chance because he deserved it. He performed really well but we have to balance the books, make the right choices in the market and I couldn’t guarantee him to be the No 1.
He is a very ambitious person, he had been working really hard and he could see that the opportunity was there. He has got the chance to play with Argentina. When a player asks you to do that I think you have to be open enough and tell him what you think about it. And if he makes the decision to leave to try and support him because he deserved it for how he served the club over the years.”