Mikel Arteta admits he is “concerned” about Arsenal’s missing goals after drawing a gap at Leeds United as the Gunners boss urges his side to be “more ruthless” after scoring four of the has not scored a goal in the last five league games
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has admitted he’s concerned the team haven’t scored after another shot against Leeds United.
The Gunners only drew 0-0 at Elland Road as Nicolas Pepe’s second-half dismissal stifled the team that had missed four of their last five Premier League games.
Arteta’s men have survived an up and down campaign so far and are in eleventh place after nine games. The Spaniard said Arsenal’s current lack of firepower stood in the way of becoming a “top team”.
Mikel Arteta said Arsenal’s lack of goals after the 0-0 draw with Leeds United was a cause for concern
The Gunners have not scored in four of their last five league games, with striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang only scoring twice
“It obviously worries me because we need goals and we need a lot of goals to win football matches and be the best team we want to be – without that it’s impossible,” he said after the game.
“It doesn’t matter how good we are defensive. It’s not a shortage of attacking players that we have because we have constantly attacking players on the field, but we need some moments where we need to make decisions earlier, better and they need to be more ruthless.
“But it’s the hardest part in football. Sometimes we go through these patches and have to get over them. I have to help the players do this as soon as possible.”
Arsenal’s top scorer is striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with just two Premier League goals. The Gabon striker has scored one goal since September.
Their task became much more difficult after Nicolas Pepe (R) was sent off at the start of the second half
He fought again and was unable to make his mark in the game, but Arteta said his front line provided some glimpses of quality in the first half. He admitted, however, that his side was having a hard time playing against Marcelo Bielsa’s urgent side.
‘In a few moments it worked really well. We had a patch in the first half, a 25 minute patch when we were really good and efficient, we pushed up, we created some really good opportunities and made it really difficult for them.
‘Then there was a spell in the 15 or 20 minutes of the first half where we started giving the ball away. We didn’t control certain fields against them and they suffocated us, which they always would. You did it against every team in the Premier League.
‘It is impossible to dominate this team for 90 minutes. And then, in the second half, if you hope you’ll adjust and improve things, let’s go to 10 men and then it’s obviously a mountain to climb. ‘
Arteta urged his team to be “more ruthless” in order to turn into a top team
Arsenal’s quest to score was certainly much more difficult after an irritated header from Pepe against Ezgjan Alioski in the 51st minute.
Things boiled over when the couple exchanged thrusts before Pepe made decisive contact and Alioski quickly fell to the floor. Anthony Taylor then bathed him early after checking the footage on the pitch-side monitor.
Arteta called the £ 72million man’s behavior “unacceptable” after giving him a rare start and an opportunity to impress.
‘It’s unacceptable. I told him it was unacceptable. We knew how intense, aggressive and lively Leeds is in every action.
“You have to be able to handle it because it’s part of the plot against this team.”