As we head towards another weekend of Premier League action, Mikel Arteta is still likely to be contemplating where it all went wrong for Arsenal against Aston Villa.
After a superb away win at Old Trafford, the Gunners followed it up with their worst showing of the season at home.
It was the north Londoners fourth defeat from eight in what’s become an inconsistent league campaign thus far, and one in which they’ve scored just nine goals.
After ending the last campaign so well, Arsenal fans would probably have expected more this season, but no one is more aware of that than Arteta himself.
“We’re a long way, I’m afraid,” he said to the official Arsenal website. in response to a question of how close the team were to being how he wanted it.
“It’s part of a process. The results have to be immediate, and the challenge we have with the club we are representing is that we have to win as quickly as possible every game in every competition.
“So far we have played 14 games in all competitions this season, we won 10 and lost four and the four of them have been in the Premier League, so it is a little bit imbalanced.
“There are a lot of things to do, short term and medium term, we have seen a lot of changes not only on the pitch but structurally as a club as well, it’s been difficult, it’s been a challenging time in the last three or four months, a lot of things have happened.
“We have to settle and everyone has to realise where we are now, but I see the future as really bright. I am a really positive person and I tend to learn much more when things don’t go well and we have a defeat like we had the other day that really hurt after the performance we had at Old Trafford.
“We have to understand why it happened, be really critical first of all with myself and try to understand the players better, and give them more solutions to win more football matches.”
The Spaniard needs to be given time by the Gunners faithful of course.
Unai Emery was quickly hounded out of the job when things didn’t really go his way, and there was no compassion shown to Arsene Wenger by the end of his tenure either.
As long as the Arsenal board and supporters are patient, there’s no reason why Arteta can’t deliver.