Mikel Arteta Arsenal
Mikel Arteta Arsenal

Mikel Arteta has managed to steady the ship at Arsenal in the past couple of days by picking up a win vs Southampton and then knocking Sheffield United out from the FA Cup.

And next up, the North London side welcome soon-to-be relegated Norwich City in the English Premier League on Wednesday.

Dani Ceballos scored an injury-time winner to help Arsenal move into the semi-final of the FA Cup but this late strike seemed to overshadow the fact that the Gunners were once again poor in defence, a fact which was pointed out by Robin Van Persie.

The former Dutch striker explained how setpieces continue to be a major issue for his former side and that Mikel Arteta needs to bring in apt replacements if the club seriously wants to get back amongst the big boys.

“What I believe is it is very important for Arsenal and for Mikel to find a way to fix the set pieces,” the former Arsenal forward said on BT Sport, as per Goal.

“Corners, set pieces, crosses, you’re always holding your breath and thinking: ‘Arsenal might concede’. You fix that with mental toughness.

“It’s like when I played with you [Ferdinand] and Vida [Nemanja Vidic], you would die to save the ball. You would put your head first, you would give everything to block the ball.

“That mentality is needed to compete for trophies. To be honest, I don’t really see that now and that’s not new either, we talked about this before and it was even an issue in my time there.

“You need to find defenders who want to do absolutely everything to block that ball. They should try to find those types of defenders.

“I’m not saying these guys are bad, but there is another level up if you want to win trophies.”

Arsenal have a really slim chance of getting back into the Champions League next season meaning their manager already has to start planning for the 2020-21 campaign.

And a big part of that process will be to bring in the right kind of players during the summer transfer window, especially in the defensive department.

The manager has some seriously underwhelming players in his current squad and if the North London side want to finish in the top-four sometime in the near future then Mikel Arteta has no other option but to spend money in the market.

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