Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta has called for his teammates to build upon the recent run of good results and produce more consistent performances in the Premier League (via Arsenal.com). The veteran midfielder revealed that the players would have to be consistent both individually and as a team, while also admitting to the difficulty of maintaining concentration for long periods of time.
Arteta, who was an Everton player before making the move to Arsenal, also expressed his opinion that the Premier League was the toughest competition to be successful in due to the constant stream of fixtures. Especially for a big club like Arsenal, who play in multiple competitions at the same time, the constant strain can overwhelm even the best players.
Speaking to Arsenal Player, he said, “It is something different to be consistent individually and consistent as a team, they are two different things but in the end they are related.
“Now for someone to be consistent in the Premier League you have to win every week and compete at the highest level every week – but to compete for the Premier League is really, really hard.
“To be consistent, I think individually you start with your own preparation, your mentality, your desire, the way you face every training session, the way you communicate with your other players and everything.
“They cannot be lost by one per cent at any moment because that is gift for the opposition so that is the minimum you can demand.”
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So far, our players are doing a great job, and have been playing at peak levels over the past few games. However, the fatigue does start to pile up; Sanchez, for example, looked a shade off the pace against Bayern Munich and was nowhere near his usual lethal self around the box. With the fixtures coming along at a constant rate of two per week, squad rotation thus becomes essential to preserve forward momentum in competitions like the Premier League.
But this is also Arsenal’s biggest problem, we simply do not have enough cover to rotate on a regular basis. Players like Francis Coquelin and Sanchez have no real replacements available should they be unfit, and with a couple of injuries our shallow squad depth is brutally exposed. While we are very capable of challenging the big boys with the squad we have right now, Arsene Wenger needs to buy some reinforcement players ASAP if we want to sustain our momentum all the way to April and not collapse somewhere along the way instead.