Mikel Arteta responds to Gary Neville’s reason for writing off Arsenal | Football

The pundit says the Gunners lack ‘killer instinct’ up top (Pictures: Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta has dismissed concerns over Arsenal’s lack of a prolific striker after Gary Neville claimed their lack of ‘ruthlessness’ in attack could ultimately cost them the title.

The Gunners could have fallen eight points adrift of Premier League leaders Liverpool last week but instead closed the gap to the top with a 3-1 victory – though they have since been overtaken in the table by Manchester City.

Despite seeing Arsenal pull off a huge win, Sky Sports pundit Neville actually U-turned on his pre-season prediction that they would win the league and suggested they lacked the ‘killer instinct’ necessary to keep pace with Liverpool and City.

‘I think Arsenal, when I watch them, are a better team than Liverpool but I think Liverpool are a more ruthless team, they’re more ruthless in the final third,’ explained the former Manchester United right-back.

‘And I think that could just cost them in the end, and that’s me having said at the start of the season I thought Arsenal would win the league.

‘But there’s still so many signs today, so many examples, of Arsenal not having that killer instinct in the final part of the pitch that I think at some point in the last part of this season it’s going to hurt them.’

But when asked about Neville’s comments, and whether it is possible to win the title without a 30-goals-a-season striker, Arteta hit back with the Spaniard adamant his team does have enough goals in it.

Probed on Neville’s view of Arsenal, Arteta told Sky Sports: ‘Well that’s a fact that we haven’t had a player that scores 25 or 30 goals in the last however many years.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta

Arteta is confident his team does have enough goalscorers (Picture: Getty)

‘But it’s what we have, and within that we believe that we can still be very close [to winning the title]. We’re going to try for sure.’

Asked if he will press to sign a more prolific frontman, Arteta continued: ‘That is not a conversation for now.

‘What I discuss with Edu, and with my players, is how we can help them more, for someone to do that [become the prolific forward that is missing].

‘Because before that Martin Odegaard never scored more than four goals in his career and he scored 15 [last season]. And Bukayo the same, scored another 15, and Martinelli the same.

‘So why don’t you think to go on that field and say, “I’m going to score three goals every game” and if you have that mentality and think out of the box then maybe it’s going to happen if you work every day to it.

‘If you don’t even think about it, I don’t think it’s going to happen.’

Arsenal are currently five points behind Liverpool in the table with a game in hand and face a tricky test on Sunday with an away trip to the London Stadium to face West Ham.

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