Mikel Arteta admits injuries and suspensions have made it difficult for Arsenal to find ‘consistency’ in their performances so far this season.
Arsenal endured their worst-ever start to a Premier League campaign before enjoying a mini-revival following a Boxing Day victory over Chelsea, that win sparking a seven-game unbeaten run to move the Gunners up the division.
Those results have since been followed by back-to-back losses against Wolves and Aston Villa, however, the former defeat seeing both David Luiz and Bernd Leno dismissed at Molineux as the north Londoners finished with nine men.
Arsenal are also currently without a number of key figures through injury including summer signing Thomas Partey and Kieran Tierney, and Arteta admits his side’s absences have made it difficult for the Gunners to find consistency as they bid to recover from a dismal start to the campaign.
“I don’t like to use excuses,” said Arteta at his pre-match press conference. “It is what it is. We have to adapt and we have other players trying to do the job.
“You need some consistency. You need a team that has to play and you need consistency in your starting XI’s to get that cohesion, chemistry and togetherness. We haven’t been able to do that.
“It’s the context, it’s the situation, it’s the Covid, it’s the strange year, [with] no pre-season – it’s a lot of factors. But I think we could still be in a much better place just looking at games we have won ourselves and what we have given away.”
Arsenal host Leeds at the Emirates this weekend ahead of a defining run of fixtures in the club’s season, meeting Benfica in the first leg of a Europa League double-header on Thursday with a clash against league leaders Manchester City sandwiched between two dates with the Portuguese side.