Arteta won’t fret over future

Arteta won’t fret over future

LONDON • Arsenal are off to their worst start to an English top-flight season in 39 years after slumping to their fifth Premier League defeat of the campaign, scoring just 10 goals.

But despite falling to 14th in the standings on Sunday, manager Mikel Arteta insisted he was not worried about losing his job.

Strikes by Pedro Neto and Daniel Podence either side of Gabriel’s equaliser gave Wolves a 2-1 win at the Emirates, a result that left Arsenal on 13 points, eight behind leaders Tottenham, who they face in the north London derby on Sunday.

Arteta’s predecessor and Spanish compatriot Unai Emery was sacked a year to the day on Sunday when the club were sitting eighth, but he claimed he was focused on the team’s future, not his own.

“It’s something that the day I decided to be a coach, I knew that one day, I would be sacked or leave the football club but I don’t know when that is going to happen,” he told reporters.

“In this profession, I know it will happen but I never worry about it. My only concern is to get the best out of the players and give the best possible service to the club.”

Arsenal have lost their last three home league games and only two of their 13 shots were on target on Sunday, prompting Arteta to admit that “the mountain is a big one to climb”.

To compound matters, he confirmed £45 million (S$80.4 million) deadline-day signing Thomas Partey, who has missed the past three games after being taken off with an injury against Aston Villa, is likely to be absent for the whole of this month, including the hectic Christmas schedule.

On the midfielder, he said: “I don’t think he will be with us in the next few games but still, we’ve been missing a lot of players.”

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is also enduring the worst drought of his Arsenal career and his worst run of form in six years. He has just two goals this term, one a penalty, and had just one shot on Sunday, leading Arteta to express concerns over his drop in form.

“I think we all are (worried) because the main goalscorer of the club at the moment isn’t scoring goals, so my biggest concern is how to help him more to score goals because we need his goals,” he said. “He needs to be scoring goals if we want to be successful.”

Wolves, on the other hand, are going from strength to strength, climbing to sixth and within four points of joint-league leaders Tottenham and Liverpool before yesterday’s fixtures.

The away win – their first at Arsenal since 1979 – was only tainted by a sickening clash of heads in the first half between Raul Jimenez and David Luiz, which left the latter bloodied and the former stretchered off.

Wolves said that Mexico forward Jimenez fractured his skull and was “comfortable” following surgery after the game.

Manager Nuno Espirito Santo said he was proud of his team for putting the incident behind them, adding: “We were amazing after that, but especially today because this team showed heart.

“A real belief in the way they ran and worked because of what happened. We want to grow, we want to improve and we want to have solutions.”

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS