Down in the dumps, but Arteta not panicking yet

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LONDON • Arsenal have lost four straight league games at home for the first time in 61 years.

The Gunners have gone 12 hours and 32 minutes without finding the net from open play. And with four wins and a draw after 12 games, this is their worst start to a top-flight season since 1974-75.

Their tally of 10 goals after 12 Premier League games is also their lowest at this stage of a top-flight season since 1981-82.

But after going down 1-0 at home to Burnley, a defeat that saw the 2,000 fans in the Emirates boo the team off, Arsenal manager Mikel claimed he is not pressing the panic button just yet.

The pressure is building on the Spaniard, whose honeymoon period that culminated in their 13th FA Cup win last season is over, with his side languishing in 15th, just five points above the relegation zone.

While Arteta believes he can turn the club’s fortunes around, he admitted the team was their own worst enemy after Granit Xhaka was shown the third red card of his Gunners career for grabbing Ashley Westwood by the throat.

The hosts lost their shape after going down to 10 men and to compound matters, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has yet to score from open play in the league since September, netted at the wrong end to give the Clarets their first win at Arsenal.

“I wouldn’t say there’s panic. I can see in training the way they try and the energy they put in,” Arteta said. “A team that is struggling normally you don’t see them play the way we were playing, and the way they played against Tottenham.

“But we lost the game, we gave the opponents a chance and they scored. At this level it is all about winning football matches.”

Since Arteta’s appointment last year, Arsenal have received six red cards in the league, double that of any other side in the same period.

On his players’ inability to control themselves – Nicolas Pepe served the final game of a three-match ban for a headbutt at Leeds – he said: “We know that these things are unacceptable and the moment that we are in now, it’s even more so.”

Despite his positive outlook amid the gloom, defender Kieran Tierney said the team “deserved” to be heckled off the pitch.

“We are not showing the manager what we can do and how much we believe in him,” he added. “Every game, there are signs we are doing a bit better but it is still not good enough.

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