Press conference

‘Emotionally we have to be calmer and more secure’

Mikel Arteta has called on his side to be calmer and more secure on the pitch to help reduce the number of individual errors that they are making.

Since 2017, we have conceded the most penalties in the Premier League (23), made the most errors leading to a goal (35) and been shown the most red cards (14).

So what can be done to stop these mistakes happening?

“It’s very difficult because a lot is expected in the situation of a football match, but then emotionally we have to be much more calm and much more secure,” Arteta said.

“We have to manage the games much better in certain situations and that comes with maturity and that comes from learning, so every time you do that hopefully you learn and it doesn’t happen again to the same player, but then something happens to a different one.

“The positive thing is that I think it’s in our control and it’s not something that the opponents are doing and we can’t control it. I think it’s easier to fix but we have to fix it very quickly because if not the margins are so small and you’re close to losing points all the time.”

Despite Granit Xhaka’s error in trying to play out from the back at Burnley on Saturday, Arteta insists he will continue to ask his team to play the way he demands.

“I will always do that as long as we, all the time, follow our principles and the rules that we have,” he said. “It's the way we play, when we decide when to play, when not to play, the type of football we have to play with the right distances, the right feet.

“If not, we don't play. If you don't have the right structure, you don't play. It's too risky. It's what you gain from the risks that are there, and the rewards have to much bigger than the risks. When it's not, you don't have to play. If it's a no-play zone, you don't have to play.”

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