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Arteta: Arsenal future is bright

Start to the season has been ‘imbalanced’, says Gunners boss

19 November, 2020 — By Steve Barnett

ARSENAL boss Mikel Arteta insists the club’s “future is bright” despite their “imbalanced” start to the season.

The Gunners return to Premier League action on Sunday with a testing trip to face an attack-minded Leeds United side.

A win is vital for Arteta, who, due to the international break, has had two weeks to stew over the shocking 3-0 home defeat against Aston Villa last time out.

Reflecting on how close his charges are to becoming “the team we’re supposed to be”, the Arsenal boss told the club’s website: “We’re a long way, I’m afraid. It’s part of a process. The results have to be immediate, and the challenge we have with the club we are representing is that we have to win as quickly as possible every game in every competition.

“So far we have played 14 games in all competitions this season. We won 10 and lost four, and the four of them have all been in the Premier League, so it is a little bit imbalanced.”

Admitting things “have been difficult”, Arteta added: “There are a lot of things to do, short term and medium term.

“We have seen a lot of changes, not only on the pitch but structurally as a club as well.

“It’s been a challenging time in the last three or four months, a lot of things have happened.

“We have to settle and everyone has to realise where we are now, but I see the future as really bright.

“I am a really positive person and I tend to learn much more when things don’t go well and we have a defeat like we had the other day [against Aston Villa].

“We have to understand why it happened, and be really critical – first of all with myself, and then try to understand the players better, and give them more solutions to win more football matches.”

One of Arteta’s go-to midfielders will be missing for the trip to Elland Road after it was revealed Mohamed Elneny is self-isolating in Cairo after testing positive for Covid-19 while on international duty with Egypt.

Elneny has impressed for the Gunners since returning to the club in the summer following a loan spell in Turkey, featuring in five of the eight league games they have played so far this term.

The 28-year-old is currently showing no symptoms but tested positive after arriving in Togo with the Egyptian squad ahead of their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Tuesday. It comes just three days after his teammate, Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah, also tested positive while on international duty.

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