Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has admitted that he feels worried about his team as the new Premier League season approaches.
The Spaniard was speaking following Sunday’s 2-1 friendly defeat to Chelsea. Kai Havertz opened the scoring for the Blues, assisted by Timo Werner. Granit Xhaka equalised in the second half, but Tammy Abraham netted the decisive goal. The result comes as a second defeat in five pre-season games for the Gunners.
After a 2-1 defeat to Hibernian and a 2-2 draw with Rangers, 4-1 wins against Millwall and Watford followed.
Despite those wins, the loss to Chelsea – which featured a goal conceded from playing out from the back – is a realisation for Arteta that his squad is not where it should be.
He told Arsenal’s official website: “It worries me because when you give the ball away when you’re in the position we’re in, in one or two passes they can attack your goal.
“It’s a really difficult situation to resolve. From those situations as well, we created many chances today.
“We need to know when to take the risk. It’s more about the perception and interpreting the players that we have to use in certain areas more than the actual action.
“But you know that against these teams, they punish you in the Premier League.”
Thomas Partey’s ankle injury worsened Arsenal’s afternoon and Arteta admitted concern for the Ghanaian midfielder.
“I just had a talk with the doctor,” he said.
“He’ll have a scan tomorrow. At the moment it’s not looking good.”
Xhaka staying at Arsenal
Elsewhere, Arteta revealed that Xhaka is staying at Arsenal.
The Switzerland international has been heavily linked with a transfer to Jose Mourinho’s Roma.
But Arteta said after the midfielder’s goal against Chelsea: “Granit is going to stay with us. He’s a player that we rate and value so much, he’s a key member of our squad.
“He’s trained two days. He wanted to play today and I think it’s very clear commitment from his side that he wants to be here.”
Arsenal return to action on Sunday when facing Tottenham in their final pre-season friendly.