Arsenal must improve 'everything' for top-four Premier League finish - Unai Emery
LONDON -- Arsenal coach Unai Emery said his team need to improve in every aspect in order to overtake their main rivals and secure a top-four spot this season.
The Gunners have slipped to fifth in the Premier League table after a run of three straight draws, putting them three points behind fourth-place Tottenham ahead of Sunday's trip to Bournemouth.
And while the 1-1 draw with Liverpool seemed to indicate that Emery's team have closed to the gap to the top title contenders, they also dropped points against Crystal Palace and Wolves following an 11-game winning streak in all competitions.
That means a win against Bournemouth is badly needed in order to not lose touch with the Champions League places, with the club desperate to get back into the lucrative competitions after two seasons in the Europa League.
Asked if his squad are playing as well as the teams in front of them, Emery said: "Sometimes yes, sometimes no. But we need more. And I think if we want to be in the top four we need to improve things.
"But we are improving things, I think the performances at the moment are not bad in the last matches. But Sunday is another test, and a big test against a team that are behind us. We need to win also to be closer to the top four."
Emery told Spanish newspaper Marca in an interview this week that one of his main tasks was to rebuild Arsenal's defensive structure without losing the focus on attacking football that Arsene Wenger brought to the club.
He is making some strides toward solidifying the team, but Arsenal have still only kept two clean sheets in the Premier League and conceded 15 goals in 12 matches -- compared to just five goals for leaders Manchester City and Liverpool.
And when asked what exactly needs to improve specifically, Emery said: "Everything. Individually, collectively, tactically."
Emery also singled out Alex Iwobi as one player who can still become more of a scoring threat for the club.
"I like also for my team to score a lot. And to have the capacity to score with different players," Emery said. "I want for example Iwobi to do more, to have more chances and then he can score. But he can stay in the box a lot of moments during the 90 minutes.
"But we need also to arrive with the ball in the opposition box with the right balance for recovery for when we lose the ball. This morning we had a meeting to speak about that."