Mikel Arteta insisted Arsenal “want to be the best” and claims that his side can improve in “every department” despite their positive recent form.
The Gunners lost their first three Premier League games of the season but have gone unbeaten in eight games across all competitions since then, winning six and drawing two.
Arsenal have also kept five clean sheets across that period, conceding just four goals and scoring 15 of their own, but Arteta is not satisfied with his side’s progress and is convinced they can reach an even higher level.
“[We have improved by] going game by game, trying to improve every single game, trying to keep the spirit and the perspective in the right place when things are not working and the same when things are getting better,” Arteta said ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League clash with Leicester City.
“There are still a lot of things to improve. We know that we don’t want to be where we are, we want to be the best and to do that there are a lot of things that have to get better.
“I think in every department we can get better. The use of the ball, the understanding of the game, how we manage situations, how we deal with moments of pressure.
“In everything, every department I think we still have a lot of improvements to make, but there are some basics that we are doing much better, which helps a lot in football matches.”
Working hard for the weekend
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) October 28, 2021
The Arsenal manager refused to put a label on what the side need to achieve in terms of results in order to have a successful season, instead choosing to focus on how they can perform better in each game.
“I think to be successful we have to play well first,” Arteta added. “We have to be dominant and we have to have the identity that we have in every single game and compete and be a really difficult team to beat and, if that happens, we will have a better chance.
“A consequence of that would be success, but I just focus on the process and what is in our hands to try together.”
Arteta was also asked about 20-year-old centre-back William Saliba, who is on loan at Marseille from Arsenal and impressed in a 0-0 draw against a star-studded Paris Saint-Germain side in Ligue 1 on October 24.
In all competitions, Saliba ranks second for Marseille players in passes and pass accuracy into the final third (94, 89.92 per cent), fourth for completed dribbles and dribble success rate among players to have attempted more than one dribble (13, 72.22 per cent).
The Frenchman is also third in all tournaments for tackles won (14) and has the best tackle success rate of any player to have completed more than five (82.35 per cent).
“Yes I [saw Sailba’s performance],” Arteta continued. “We are always in touch. Edu and Ben [Knapper] the loans coach were there to watch him and to keep a close eye on him and the progress they are making. Obviously, he is our player and we do it with all the loan players we have.
“[Sailba staying at Arsenal and competing for a starting spot is] a decision we will make in the summer. He is our player and naturally, that will happen but we have to sit down in the summer and decide what the best step is next.
“I think there is room [for Saliba, Ben White and Gabriel]. It will depend on what happens with other players and that’s not a conversation to have now.”
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