Mikel Arteta has taken “full responsibility” for the problems at Arsenal after Bernd Leno claimed there is a “lack of focus” amongst the players.
The Gunners head to Everton on Saturday without a league win since beating Manchester United at Old Trafford in early November.
Following their success over Chelsea at Wembley to win the FA Cup and then winning the FA Community Shield after a penalty shoot-out against Liverpool, hopes were high of a positive campaign ahead.
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But it has been anything but,, as the Gunners’ poor form sees them in 15th place and five points off the relegation places.
“We get red cards, make mistakes, are disorganised,” Leno told Sky Germany. “These are things that we have clearly addressed a thousand times. In the end, that’s a lack of focus among the players.
“The coach is not an issue in the dressing room, and there is no criticism of him. We criticise ourselves and the players know that they are responsible.”
When asked about Leno’s comments at a pre-match press conference, Arteta responded: “I take full responsibility because at the end of the day I pick the players that have to be on the pitch and I have to able to try and transmit to them and get themselves in a state of mind that they can control themselves.
“Unfortunately in football everything can go so quick and emotions take a big part.
“But I want the players to play with that freedom and take the pressure off them in this moment because it is really needed. That, in my opinion, is when you get the best out of them.”