After Arsenal’s uncomfortable 2-2 draw with Sporting CP on Thursday, Mikel Arteta has cautioned his players that they must make significant improvements if they want to compete for major trophies.
The Gunners went ahead in the first half with a goal from William Saliba, but then conceded two goals for the second game in a row, leaving them chasing the match.
Following the game, Arteta expressed his disappointment with the team’s performance, stating that they must improve massively if they want to continue winning games.
He emphasized that conceding two poor goals away from home in Europe makes it difficult to achieve a positive result, and the team gave away too many simple balls.
“It’s true that it’s something that we must improve massively if we want to keep winning games,” he told BT Sport.
“When you concede two poor goals like we did away from home in Europe it’s very difficult to get a positive result. We gave too many simple balls away.
“Today we didn’t defend well enough, and we have to do better up against our opponents.”
Arsenal has conceded 12 goals across their last ten games in all competitions and has only managed to keep two clean sheets during that time.
Arteta warned his side that they cannot afford to continue their sloppy defensive performances and stressed the importance of defending well, especially in a competition where one mistake can mean the difference between winning or losing.
The manager acknowledged that the team has had many emotional games recently and that making several changes affected the cohesion of the team.
However, he emphasized that the team needed to adapt and click quickly, or else they would not succeed.
Arteta urged his players to improve their performance and work hard to ensure that they do not repeat the same mistakes in future games.
“We are conceding too many simple goals and we’ve talked about the importance of boxes, especially in a competition where you are in or out,” he explained.
“Today we didn’t defend that well enough, and we have to do better up against our opponents.
“We’ve had a lot of really emotional games recently, and today we made a lot of changes, meaning that cohesion needs some time. You could feel that in the first 10-15 minutes that we needed some time to adapt and to click, but if we don’t expose them, that’s never going to happen.“