Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal’s league position is ‘not acceptable’

Mikel Arteta has branded Arsenal’s league position ‘not acceptable’, with the Gunners currently sitting 10th in the top flight, 10 points off the top four.

Arsenal spent part of December in the lower echelons of the Premier League, with West Brom boss Sam Allardyce at one point insisting that the Gunners were genuine relegation candidates.

Although Arteta’s side have ditched their relegation form to move comfortably clear of the drop zone, they remain off the pace for the European places. Failure to qualify for the Champions League or Europa League would see Arsenal miss out on European football for the first time since the 1995/96 season.

Martin OdegaardMartin Odegaard
Arsenal are nine points behind Everton in the final Europa League spot | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

“When you look at the league table it is not acceptable.,” Arteta said (via the Mirror). “We are Arsenal Football Club and we should be nowhere near here. If somebody is happy with that he is in the wrong place.

“A year ago if you’d have told me everything that’s happened I would have said ‘what are you talking about?’ But the reality is that a lot has happened so let’s go day by day.

“We are very far. Very, very far (from where we want to be). There’s still a lot to improve, a lot of quality to add. Much more efficient in decision making, much quicker to open situations up when advantages are there.

“We need more control of games, more defensive actions in the opponent’s half, fewer giveaways in our own half, more clean sheets. There’s a lot to do – more goals to score, more creativity. A lot to do.”

Arsenal face Burnley on Saturday, and their defeat to the Clarets in December’s reverse fixture signalled a real low point in the Gunners’ season.

“The previous Burnley game was very strange when we looked at it, the amount of chances that we created,” Arteta added. “We went down to ten men, conceded from a set piece and then it is a disaster. But look at the team is right now, I think it’s always a good way of seeing the progression.”

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