Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno says there is no time for the players to feel sorry for themselves after an eighth Premier League defeat of the season ramped up the pressure on manager Mikel Arteta.
Sunday is an unhappy first anniversary for the Gunners boss as he reflects on a 2-1 reverse at Everton that extended their winless run to seven league matches and left them just four points above the Premier League’s bottom three.
“A lot of things are going wrong for us but we don’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves, we have to fight for every ball, for our team-mates,” said Leno. “Now the confidence is not at the top level but the only thing that can be said is we should stick together and come out of this situation.”
The 28-year-old German said Arsenal showed a good attitude in the second half at Goodison Park, which he said demonstrated the team was “alive”. “We were fighting for each other, pushing each other,” he added. “It is a tough time but the only thing we can (do is) analyse the game and stay positive.”
Arsenal have suffered their worst start to a season since the 1974/75 campaign, with just 14 points from as many games, and they are seven points worse off than when they sacked Unai Emery last year. They have scored just 12 league goals and were not helped at Goodison by the absence of forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who had a calf problem.
Arteta admitted his team’s lack of goal threat was hampering them. “Our conversion rate has been really low and is it something we have to improve dramatically,” said the Spaniard. “When we needed some luck we hit the post and we didn’t put some chances away.
Normally when you are under this pressure and in this position in the table you get battered by teams but that is not the case. I see the spirit in the team, how they are, how they are willing to do things the right way.”
Arsenal have a break from the Premier League with a League Cup quarter-final at home to Manchester City on Tuesday. Leno hopes that game might offer some respite.
“Maybe in this game we don’t have the pressure like we have in the Premier League because of the table,” he said. “It is only one game and the only thing we want to do is go to the semi-final.”