Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta wants his players to demand even more from themselves in the wake of Thursday’s 4-1 win over Molde in the Europa League, explaining that no one can afford to settle if the Gunners are to achieve their aim of once becoming an elite club.
The Spaniard has stressed that every Arsenal player has to make a difference because there remains a lot of room for improvement and he will give most chances only to those individuals who can deliver on a more consistent basis.
Club-record signing Nicolas Pepe was on the scoresheet for the second Europa League game in a row, but the winger didn’t even make it off the bench in the Premier League win over Manchester United last weekend and Arteta says that will only change with better consistency.
“Throughout the game, throughout 90 minutes, every ball, in every action and every time he's on the ball in the final third he [needs to] make a difference. And do it more and more and more,” Arteta said after beating Molde, via Arsenal.com.
“The final product has to be better, not just from him but if you want to become a top, top team and score many more goals then it's something we have to put higher demands on at the moment.”
He is isn’t solely picking on Pepe, who cannot currently command a starting place in the Premier League because Willian is having a greater impact on the team’s performances, as the same principle applies to every single player in the squad.
“It's not just Willian or Nico, I think in general consistency-wise in the final third, with the quality that we have, we have to finish more things better. We can improve a lot,” the boss added.
“That goes for every player, if Nico scores three goals then his aim has to be to score 10. Willian the same, three assists? He needs 10. If we don't have that mindset then we won't become the top team that we want to be.”
Arsenal are back in action on Sunday when they host Aston Villa in the Premier League.