Mikel Arteta has discussed Arsenal’s ‘game management’ and his desire for more ‘control’, following criticism by forward Alexandre Lacazette after the draw with Sheffield United.
Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw by Chris Wilder’s side at the Emirates on Saturday, John Fleck’s deflected equaliser rescuing a point for the visitors following Gabriel Martinelli’s first-half opener.
Following the clash, stand-in captain Alexandre Lacazette labelled his teammates ‘naive’ for conceding yet another late goal, the French forward criticising his side as they dropped points from a winning position for the sixth time in the Premier League this season.
Speaking on Lacazette’s comments, Arteta understood the 28-year-old’s remarks and says it is part of his side’s development ‘process’ in being able to control matches in which they are leading.
“It’s part of the game management,” Arteta told his pre-match press conference. “There were things we could have done better, to put more pressure on our opponents and bring the ball into certain areas where we can control the game. That will come. It is a good process for us to learn about those situations.”
The draw stretched Arsenal’s record to just one win in six fixtures since Arteta’s arrival as manager, the club currently languishing in 10th position in the Premier League and a huge ten points adrift of the Champions League places.
Despite their stuttering start under the Spaniard’s reign, Arteta rebuffed any suggestions that he is struggling to convince the players that the club is heading in the right direction.
“I don’t have that feeling,” he added. “The feedback I’m getting is very positive. When we don’t win they know the reasons why. There are many different aspects to that, some that we can influence and some that we can’t. But they are there. They are very aware of that.”
Arsenal go up against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night, just three weeks after the last meeting against their London rivals, the Gunners surrendering a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 in Arteta’s second game in charge.