Mikel Arteta has admitted the current Arsenal squad is still a long way away from being his team, amid their disappointing league campaign thus far.
There may have been noticeable improvements since the turn of the year, yet the Gunners are still a long way off the qualification places for next years European competitions, Arsenal currently sitting in tenth, ten points behind London rivals Chelsea in fourth.
With winning this season’s Europa League likely to be their only chance of securing a place in the Champions League, it is possible that they will have to endure a fifth season away from Europe’s elite competition, their last involvement having coming back in 2016/17 under Arsene Wenger.
While they have no doubt underperformed in recent years, there is a feeling that the current Gunners squad simply isn’t good enough, with the team seemingly in need of major investment to try and close the gap on the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool.
Arteta has already set about re-shaping his squad, allowing the likes of Mesut Ozil, Shkodran Mustafi, Sead Kolasinac and Sokratis to depart the club in January, yet there still remains a shortage of top-quality incomings.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of this weekend’s game against Burnley, the Spaniard outlined a whole host of areas his side need to improve upon, and when asked how far he feels he is from having a squad he would consider his own, Arteta replied: “Very far. Very, very far.
“There’s still a lot to improve, a lot of quality to add. [We need to be] much more efficient in decision-making, much quicker to open situations up when advantages are there, many more situations to feel when advantages are obtained.
“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.
“When you look at the league table it is not acceptable. We are Arsenal Football Club and we should be nowhere near here. If somebody is happy with that he is in the wrong place.”