Arsenal slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Everton and are now only four points above the relegation places
Mikel Arteta has admitted he understands questions about his position at Arsenal following the team’s latest setback, but is focused on turning their fortunes around.
With Fulham securing a 1-1 draw at Newcastle later on Saturday, Arsenal are now only four points above the relegation places.
It is a far cry from the unbeaten start to the season – which followed FA Cup final glory last term – when there were suggestions that Arteta had unlocked the secret at the Emirates and was capable of masterminding a title push.
Title challenges are a distant memory and while it is too early to be suggesting Arsenal are in the relegation battle, Arteta is aware of the need to turn things around and can understand why some are questioning if he is the right man for the job.
“I understand that,” Arteta said in response to questions about whether his position is under threat. “My energy and my focus is only on getting the team out of that situation, maintaining the spirit on the team and the fight the boys showed every time they go on the pitch. You can see that, you cannot deny that.
“Obviously, again, the results – there is no question about that, it’s not good enough and it’s not acceptable for the standards of this football club and this is the challenge and the fight that we are against.”
Arteta, who is without captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang due to a calf injury, is convinced his methods are correct, but knows the team need to turn their form around.
“It’s a really complicated situation, but I am very encouraged from what I see from the players to continue doing what we are trying to do,” he said. “We think that of course we have to improve, but I think we’ve been very, very unlucky not to pick up many, many more points.”
Arteta feels fine margins are the difference between victory and defeat for his side at present.
He said: “Again, when we analyse every game, the reasons why we are losing football matches, compared to other teams winning them, the margins are small. But we need those margins [to change] very quickly before the situation gets impossible to handle.”