Mikel Arteta has told his Arsenal squad they must continue to share the burden of scoring goals, and not just rely on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, if they want to challenge the top teams in the Premier League.
The Gunners managed to win the FA Cup under Arteta last season after the Spaniard turned their campaign around following his appointment in December.
It was, however, a criticism of Arsenal that they were too reliant on Aubameyang and that was summed up by the forward scoring all the team’s goals in the FA Cup semi-final and final wins.
On Saturday, though, Arsenal bucked that trend as they beat West Ham 2-1 thanks to goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah.
Arteta now wants his side to kick on from that and learn how they can become less reliant on Aubameyang’s goals.
“We need to share the goals much better. I have already explained it,” said Arteta.
“We need to produce as a team if we are going to fight with the top teams in this country and if we just rely one player we are not going make it.
“So they all have to take responsibility – and I have to take it as well by producing those moments for players in different positions in order to achieve that target.”
Arsenal struggled against West Ham on Saturday and in the end they were lucky to come away with all three points.
Nketiah turned out to be the hero on the night, coming off the bench to score a late winner, and Arteta has praised the youngster’s knack of being in the right place at the right time.
“I think it is a natural ability that he has. Probably as well the really good education that he has had with the coaches in our academy, to find the right positions,” he said.
“He has the intuition and then obviously he is able to put the ball in the net with his quality and execution level that he has.
“He is aggressive. I am delighted. We know he is a threat. He is someone in the box who is a real danger and we have to use him.
“Every time I have given him the opportunity he has performed really well.”
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