EletiofeArsenal have no margin for error in race for...

Arsenal have no margin for error in race for Europe, admits Mikel Arteta


- Advertisment -

  • Manager says his side must string some wins together
  • Arteta unsure whether Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will stay

Mikel Arteta and Bernd Leno

Mikel Arteta fistbumps Bernd Leno after Arsenal’s defeat at Manchester City on Wednesday.
Photograph: Getty Images

Mikel Arteta accepts Arsenal have no scope to falter as they aim to close the gap on the European places, with time running out to compose the kind of winning run that would avert a series of excruciating financial decisions.

Arsenal travel to Brighton on Saturday to begin a series of fixtures that, if navigated correctly, could at least haul them towards the Europa League spots. Falling further behind would have unhappy consequences and Arteta knows that, with Southampton and Norwich in store after they have faced Graham Potter’s side, they are entering now-or-never territory.

“I don’t think we have any margin for error,” Arteta said. “I think we have to be very, very consistent and get a streak of games winning in a row if we want to lift the belief and reduce the margin of points we have between us and the other top clubs.”

Asked how many points he believes Arsenal require, Arteta said he had “no clue with the numbers”. But the 70-point total that brought fifth place last season is mathematically out of reach and they remain four points shy of sixth. They may have to win at least seven of their nine games and their ability to retain players such as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is likely to depend on it.

“It’s a question for the club to respond to,” he said when it was suggested Arsenal would sell Aubameyang if the captain does not agree a contract extension. “I was very clear on Monday about my intentions and, whether we have the financial ability to do the deal and if we are able to convince him it is the right path to continue his career here, it’s another question.”

The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email.

It is one of many, including the issue of David Luiz’s future. The defender, who had a disastrous cameo in the 3-0 defeat at Manchester City on Wednesday, will leave the club next week if no new deal is agreed. Given that Arteta wants to finalise a permanent move for the on-loan centre-back Pablo Marí, despite the Spaniard’s serious-looking injury at the Etihad, there is the sense David Luiz represents an unaffordable luxury. “This cannot be affected just because a player gets injured doing his job and defending our club,” Arteta said of Marí’s status.

Arteta also spoke of the need to coax more from the club’s record signing, Nicolas Pépé, an unused substitute in Manchester. “It’s clear his consistency has not been at the level he can produce, he is the first one to accept that,” he said. “That’s what I’m going to demand from a player of his level and calibre. He has to be producing every three days at the level he can.”

Latest news

- Advertisement -

Microsoft’s New Recall AI Tool May Be a ‘Privacy Nightmare’

Sex, drugs, and … Eventbrite? A WIRED investigation published this week uncovered a network of spammers and scammers pushing...

Mexico Is So Hot, Monkeys Are Falling to Their Death From Trees

This story originally appeared on WIRED en Español and has been translated from Spanish.Brown howler monkeys are dropping dead...

Must read

- Advertisement -

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you