Arteta admits Arsenal aren’t out of woods yet; explains Allardyce threat
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has warned his players back-to-back victories is not enough to satisfy his needs and urged them to put together a lengthy winning run.
The Gunners travel to West Brom on Saturday eager to continue their encouraging form over the festive period.
Before the Boxing Day success against Chelsea, Arsenal had gone seven games without a win in the Premier League but they followed up the London derby triumph with a narrow victory at Brighton on Tuesday to lift spirits at the club.
“We needed those results, that’s for sure but we need a much longer run than that,” Arteta insisted.
“There are things we have done much better to get the results in the last two games. But there are things that still we have to do better and improve.
“Confidence-wise it is a completely different scenario when you are winning football matches. Everybody plays with more freedom, more belief; the pressure gets released a little bit and that is always a positive thing towards performances.”
Successive wins helped Arsenal move nine points clear of the relegation zone, which is where West Brom currently reside.
A poor start to the campaign saw Slaven Bilic sacked earlier this month and replaced by Sam Allardyce, who has enjoyed a long-running feud with the Gunners during his career.
Life under the new Baggies boss has brought mixed results with an impressive 1-1 draw at champions Liverpool sandwiched between heavy home defeats to Aston Villa and Leeds.
Arteta added: “The first one against Liverpool where they had a really clear plan and they executed it really good.
“Even going 1-0 down, they didn’t really change anything at all. They knew they would have their moments, they grew and got into the game and were much more efficient in the second half and put Liverpool in trouble.
“Sam is very efficient about what he does. He has a very clear philosophy of playing, he always picks up results. He always makes it really difficult for you and he is not going to be different.
“His teams are always really well organised and know exactly what to do so it will be a tough test again.”
When Allardyce first took over at the Hawthorns, he listed Arsenal among the clubs who were West Brom’s rivals in the battle to avoid the drop.
At the time Arteta’s team were only four points above the bottom three. He admitted the run of form they had been on merited their name being included in the relegation mix.
The 38-year-old said: “But when you lose the games that we did and you are in the position that we were in in the table, at the end it is what it is and you have to accept that.
“There is nothing worse for me than trying to run away from that reality. For me, the worrying thing for me was the way that we were losing football matches and why we were losing them.
“That obviously brings a sense of fear that ‘wow, with them doing nothing they can still beat you’. But we’ve broken that tendency now and we’re in a more positive run.
“But again, there is a lot to do.”