Mikel Arteta accepts that Arsenal’s form ‘has not been good enough’ this season but insists the club has ‘made a lot of progress’ during his first year in charge.
Arteta will celebrate a year in charge of the north London side on Sunday but has found his position come under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks, Arsenal currently just five points above the relegation places following their worst ever start to a Premier League season.
The Gunners are without a win in their past six league fixtures ahead of this weekend’s clash with Everton and the pressure is mounting at the Emirates, with Arteta admitting it has been a ‘challenging’ first year in senior management.
Despite their difficult start to the current campaign, the Spaniard believes Arsenal have shown plenty of signs of progress throughout the calendar year and has pointed to their FA Cup and Community Shield victories as evidence of their progression.
“It’s been one of the most challenging years in the clubs history, for many, many different reasons,” Arteta said at his pre-match press conference.
Arsenal avoid losing fifth consecutive home league game for the first time in their history:
✖️ 0-1 vs Leicester
✖️ 0-3 vs Aston Villa
✖️ 1-2 vs Wolves
✖️ 0-1 vs Burnley
🤝 1-1 vs Southampton
Now, the red card streak needs to end. pic.twitter.com/HwYLAi0bls
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 16, 2020
“I feel we have made a lot of progress and we have implemented a lot of positive things that have worked really well. We have gone through structural changes all across the club which has obviously shaken the club big time.
“I would say the highlights of the year are the two trophies we have won together and the most disappointing thing is that we haven’t had our fans with us to take us through these difficult moments.”
However, Arteta admits their current plight has taken the gloss off a ‘positive’ start to his reign as Arsenal manager and says he must ‘accept’ their Premier League form has not been good enough.
“It could have been a really positive year but the recent form in the Premier League has taken the gloss off what we have done in the calendar year,” he said.
“We have to accept the Premier League form in recent weeks has not been good enough for this football club.”