Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta remarked on Friday (April 8) that they need to become more ruthless in front of goal following the recent disappointments if they are to make it to the top four and qualify for the Champions League.
Arsenal’s aspirations of finishing in the top four of the English Premier League were smashed following a 3-0 defeat to Crystal Palace on Monday.
They are in fifth place, one point below Tottenham Hotspur on goal difference, with a home game versus Brighton & Hove Albion scheduled for Saturday.
After a five-game undefeated streak that catapulted them to fourth place, the north London club has only netted once in their previous three league games, far below average.
Arteta said “The setback has happened and it’s happened with nine games to go and we have to react now. We have to show tomorrow the energy, the commitment, and the passion that we want to play the game tomorrow in front of our fans. We’re going to try to score more goals and we’re certainly creating the chances to do so, but we have struggled in recent matches to put the ball in the net and we need to be more efficient in the opponents’ box.”
Following the January transfer of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Barcelona, Alexandre Lacazette is Arsenal’s solitary senior player in that position, although the Frenchman has only struck four times in 24 league games this season.
“Laca’s contribution to the team in many other ways has been phenomenal. Of course, we want the strikers to score goals and we know that when we’re winning games as well and we require them to do that”
Arsenal will be lacking midfielder Thomas Partey after he sustained a thigh injury against Crystal Palace, although Arteta indicated he didn’t know if the Ghanaian would miss the rest of the season.
“It’s a little bit ambiguous, but he has a significant injury and we’ll have to keep assessing him, but he will be out for some weeks. It could be (an issue), but it could also not be because it’s an area where he had a previous injury as well and he felt it straight away.”