‘That’s something we have to improve dramatically’: Mikel Arteta urges new-look Arsenal to develop killer instinct against smaller teams to help catch Premier League’s elite
- Arsenal have won two trophies in the past three months under boss Mikel Arteta
- The club drew 14 league games last year and Arteta is hoping for improvement
- Arteta has since urged his team to turn the Emirates into a fortress this season
- Arsenal next host Sheffield United – who had escaped the ground with a point
Mikel Arteta insists Arsenal must still develop a killer instinct against the smaller teams if they are to catch the country’s top sides.
The Gunners have won two trophies in the past three months and made another step forward under Arteta with Carabao Cup victory over Liverpool on Thursday night.
But last season they drew 14 league games – the joint-most in the division – including six on home soil.
Mikel Arteta insists that Arsenal must still develop a killer instinct against the smaller teams
Arteta has challenged his side to make the Emirates a fortress – starting on Sunday against Sheffield United, who were among the teams to leave north London with a point last year.
‘Obviously that’s something we have to improve dramatically. We want to give ourselves the best chance to be as high as possible in that table,’ Arteta said.
‘We have to do it at home. I know it’s going to be crucial, our home form. Away we have improved so much already, let’s keep trying to do it but every game is tricky… sometimes small details make the difference.’
The Gunners manager has challenged his new-look side to turn the Emirates into a fortress
Arteta remained tight-lipped on Friday when quizzed on possible arrivals and departures before Monday’s transfer deadline.
They are keen on midfielders Houssem Aouar of Lyon and Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey, while the likes of Lucas Torreira, Sead Kolasinac and Sokratis Papastathopoulos could leave.
The Gunners boss admitted the next few days would be ‘crucial’ in Arsenal’s season and he understands if players are distracted by all the uncertainty.
After all, Arteta secured himself a deadline-day move to Arsenal in 2011 which went right down to the wire.
Arsenal are keen on signing Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar (right) before the window shuts
‘I’ve been in that position and you can try to be very focused but then you leave the training ground and you get a phone call from the agent, from another manager, from another owner. Your head is spinning, you have a family, you’re thinking about moving to a different country, different city,’ he said.
‘I just ask them: “When you guys are here, try to be committed, focused and represent the club as well as possible”. But what will happen sometimes is just not in our hands.’
He added: ‘I’ve been there and that probably helps me to understand certain things when players feel like that.’
Arteta is aware about the distractions due to transfers after joining Arsenal on deadline day
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