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Mikel Arteta understands the pressure he is under after Arsenal’s dismal Premier League campaign continued with a 2-1 loss to Everton.

Nicolas Pepe’s penalty cancelled out Rob Holding’s own goal at Goodison Park on Saturday, but Yerry Mina scored what proved to be a 45th-minute winner.

Arsenal’s 14 points from 14 games is their worst record at this stage of a season since the 1974-75 campaign (converted to three points per win).

With his side just four points clear of the relegation zone, Arteta said he understood the pressure he was facing.

“Obviously it’s a really complicated situation, but I am very encouraged from what I see from the players to try and continue doing what we are trying to do with things. Of course, we have to improve,” the Arsenal manager told a news conference.

“But as well I think we’ve been very, very unlucky not to pick up many, many more points in this position.”

Arteta added: “My energy and my focus are only on getting the team out of that situation, maintaining the spirit of the team, the fight that the boys show every time they go on the pitch, and the energy the boys show on the pitch. You can see that, you cannot deny that.

“Obviously, we are against the results, there’s no question about that. It’s not good enough, it’s not acceptable for the standards of this football club and this is the challenge. And the fact that we are against.”

Arsenal are without a goal from open play in any of their past five Premier League away games.

Arteta said a combination of things were hurting Arsenal, who are in action again with an EFL Cup quarter-final against Manchester City on Tuesday.

“The opponents are not generating anything. We lost against Burnley without conceding a single shot on target as well. This is how teams win a lot of games in the Premier League,” he said.

“And we are not going to generate 15 or 20 chances against blocks like that it’s not realistic. When we have done as well we haven’t been accurate enough to finalise those actions so it’s a bad combination.

“Sometimes it’s been that we played with 10 men, the other week we conceded an own goal, today we conceded an own goal. It’s a lot of things happening at the same time and when that happens it’s difficult.”

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December 20, 2020
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