February 29, 2024

Arteta urges free-scoring Arsenal to stay ‘ruthless’ in Premier League title race

Arteta urges free-scoring Arsenal to stay ‘ruthless’ in Premier League title race

Mikel Arteta has urged his free-scoring Arsenal team to stay “ruthless and efficient” as they seek a seventh straight win in their hunt for a first Premier League title since 2004.

The Gunners were in pole position for the bulk of last season but faltered in the home stretch, allowing Manchester City to overtake them and secure a third straight title.

Arsenal, who travel to face relegation-threatened Sheffield United on Monday, are currently third in the table, two points behind leaders Liverpool and one point behind City after six league wins in a row.

Arteta’s men have scored 25 goals in those matches and conceded just three times.

The Spaniard was asked about the potential importance of goal difference in a tight title race at his pre-match press conference on Thursday.

“For sure it’s an important element,” said Arteta. “First of all you have to earn the right to win the games and then we want to be ruthless and efficient in front of goal and I think lately we’ve been really good.”

Arteta said he was aware of the dangers of over-confidence among his players, with the Arsenal manager expecting a tough match against bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United.

“We were very clear straight after Newcastle (a 4-1 win) the difficulty that we will have on Monday to beat Sheffield so hopefully they are very, very aware,” he said.

Liverpool play on Saturday and City are in action on Sunday, meaning Arsenal are likely to be further adrift by the time they kick off, but Arteta was unfazed.

“What we want to do is go to Sheffield, perform the way we are performing and win the match and the rest we can’t control,” he said.