Mikel Arteta admitted his Arsenal side must turn things around sooner rather than later or will find themselves in big trouble after their woeful run of form continued with a heavy 4-1 defeat against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup.
Arsenal were dumped out of the competition at the quarter-final stage on Tuesday night with Pep Guardiola’s men registering a comfortable 4-1 win.
Alexandre Lacazette had cancelled out Gabriel Jesus‘ early opener to send Arsenal into the interval all square but a ruthless second-half performance saw the visitors run away with the tie with Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden and Aymeric Laporte all finding the back of the net.
Mikel Arteta admitted Arsenal must work their way out of their rut or could be in big trouble
It was more misery for Arsenal on Tuesday as Man City dumped them out of the Carabao Cup
ARSENAL’S NEXT FIVE FIXTURES
(H) Chelsea – December 26 (Premier League)
(A) Brighton – December 29 (Premier League)
(A) West Brom – January 2 (Premier League)
(H) Newcastle – January 9 (FA Cup)
(A) Southampton – January 26 (Premier League)
Arteta conceded after the game that Arsenal are stuck in a rut with just one victory from their last six games in all competitions, but remains optimistic he has the characters in his squad to change their fortunes.
‘We have to turn it around, there is no question,’ the Arsenal boss admitted after the match.
‘If we don’t, we are in big trouble, so that (next run of games) is the moment which is going to decide our season.
‘I am focused on the fighters that we have (in the squad), the spirit which we showed tonight again going against a really difficult opponent and the way we tried.
‘On the basis of what we showed tonight, I have fighters in my team.’
It doesn’t get any easier for Arsenal though, who are currently just four points above the relegation zone in the Premier League, with a game against Chelsea at the Emirates on Boxing Day to start their season-defining run.
On the defeat to City, Arteta admitted it was a bitter pill to swallow, saying: ‘Against this level of opponent they penalise you.
‘We have a great counter-attack moment but they then score in an offside position and you end up losing the game again.
Arsenal fell behind after the break when Alex Runarsson let Riyad Mahrez’s shot slip through
Phil Foden (right) scored City’s third as the visitors ran away with the tie in the second half
‘It’s a hard one to take considering how the game went. This level of opponent, when you give the goals away it makes the game impossible. A lot of strange things are happening in every game and that makes things really difficult.
‘After that moment, we are in a difficult position, but we got back in the game and had a spell for 25 minutes in which we were the better team. Then we conceded the second goal the way we did.’
As Sportsmail reported, Arteta is expected to be backed in the January window and the Arsenal boss hinted there could be some new arrivals.
He added: ‘We are looking at options coming in and out. We will see what happens. It is a really complicated window.’
Aymeric Laporte (right) added gloss to the scoreline by adding City’s fourth of the evening
Arsenal boss Arteta was distraught by the loss but insists he still has fighters in his squad