Mikel Arteta has backed his Arsenal project to kickstart once ‘normality’ resumes, despite the Gunners disappointing campaign so far.
After the highs of clinching the FA Cup last term, the north London club have been well below-par this season, the club’s worst-ever start to a Premier League season leaving Arsenal in tenth and 12 points behind Chelsea in fourth.
That form looks likely to cost the club a Champions League spot for a fifth season in a row, unless they can win the Europa League this season, having reached the final of the competition two years ago.
The major frustration for the Gunners this term has been inconsistency, with their recent displays, in particular, highlighting their habit of blowing hot and cold on a game-by-game basis.
After an excellent 3-1 win over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium, Arteta’s men then slipped to a 1-1 draw away to Burnley, following a high profile error from Granit Xhaka and countless missed opportunities.
That, in truth, has been the story of their season, with defensive mishaps combined with a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal seeing them struggle to really put a run of form together for a sustained period.
According to Arteta, however, the Spaniard believes that it is only a matter of time before his side go ‘bang’ when things return back to normal.
“We have created a really strong group, a really strong bond with our players, our fans and our staff, and that is going to pay some big [dividends] in the future when everything comes back to normality and we are able to work with some stability,” Arteta said at his pre-match press conference ahead of Thursday’s clash with Olympiakos.
“I think this project is going to go ‘bang’. Sometimes it is difficult to see the moment now but I’m sure where we are going.”
The 38-year-old also revealed his concerns over the sustainability of the club, with the ongoing pandemic likely to have had a major impact on the club’s finances.
“I am, because I want a sustainable club,” Arteta added. “We all want a club that can be run with their own resources.
“Our responsibility, and everything we are planning for the future, is for this club to go back to being sustainable on its own, and being as strong as possible in every department. The financial department is crucial as well.”
Ahead of their Europa League tie with Olympiakos, the former Manchester City assistant admitted now is the time to start putting a run of form together, heading into the final few months of the season.
“What we need to do it put four or five wins in a row,” he added. “If we are able to do that then things are going to look very different in two or three weeks’ time. If we don’t, obviously we don’t have a chance.”