Arteta: We have to be more ruthless

17 Apr 2023
Mikel Arteta

Arsenal manager says his side must improve their game management after dropping more points

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Mikel Arteta says his Arsenal side need to be more ruthless if they are to end the club's 19-year wait for a Premier League title.

For the second successive weekend, the Gunners squandered a two-goal advantage as they drew 2-2 at West Ham United, having done the same at Liverpool.

"We needed that ruthless mindset in that moment to go and kill the team," said Arteta. "When a team is there for the killing, you have to kill it. Today we haven’t done it."

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When questioned on whether his team is starting to feel the pressure, Arteta explained it was his side's lack of game management that was the issue.

"If I see a team from the beginning playing like that, when I see a team playing with that flow? And at two-nil, that’s certainly not the pressure," Arteta added.

"We misunderstood what the game required in that moment."

With the result at London Stadium, Arsenal became just the fifth side in the competition’s history to throw away a 2-0 lead in successive matches.

Overall, it is the fourth time this campaign that Arteta’s men have drawn a match in which they have led, with only Brentford (five) doing so more often.

Having held an eight-point advantage prior to Matchweek 30, the lead at the top of the table now stands at only four points.

Pre-MW30 compared to post-MW31
Club Played W D L Pts
Arsenal 29 23 3 3 72
Man City 28 20 4 4 64
Club Played W D L Pts
Arsenal 31 23 5 3 74
Man City 30 22 4 4 70

Arteta and Arsenal are in uncharted territory at this stage of a season, while Pep Guardiola and his side are far more experienced when it comes to handling the pressure of a title run-in.

Indeed, across the last five seasons, Man City have delivered the most points in the second half of the campaign.

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The Gunners have the chance to open up a seven-point lead when they host Southampton on Friday, albeit having played two matches more.

City are not back in Premier League action until 26 April, when they host Arsenal in a match that could prove decisive in the destination of the Trophy.

Arsenal are hoping to avoid a piece of unwanted history.

If they don't win the title this season, they would eclipse Newcastle United's record of being top of the table for 212 days and not winning the Trophy, set back in 1995/96.

Arsenal have already been at the summit for 235 days this season.

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