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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 26, 2012

Arteta rues missed chances

Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta rued his side's inability to convert chances after they registered a goalless draw against Stoke - their second consecutive Premier League stalemate.

• Blog: Positives but goalless

The Gunners dominated possession but, just like last week's match against Sunderland, could not make the most of it.

"It (two points from the first two games) is not good enough. We wanted the three points, but it is a hard place to come and try to get the points,'' Arteta told Sky Sports 1. "We had some really good chances but at the moment we are not taking them, the same thing happened last week.

"We are making them and conceding few chances to the opposition but we lost two points again today.''

Defensively, however, Arsenal looked solid and dealt with the physical threat of the hosts. Arteta was keen to praise the backline and talk up the ability of the new signings Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski.

"You know if you concede fouls and throw-ins they can put you in trouble because they get the ball in the box and are really organised at set pieces,'' he said.

"We didn't concede many chances and were well organised. We need three, four, five games together and then we will see (how good they are). They have the quality.''

Arsene Wenger accepted his new-look Arsenal strike force need to forge a better understanding.

"Offensively we still have some work to do because we missed a bit of accuracy in the final third in our movement and in our passing,'' Wenger said. "We are used to finding each other in the final third and there's something missing but I still think we should have won the game 1-0.

"[It is] an understanding because you have Cazorla and Podolski who one month ago, they didn't know each other, so that will come. We have some work to do on the training ground but I believe we have the potential but you can see as well that something is missing.

"They're not spontaneous enough in some situations. I'm very positive about my team. People will say: 'You did not score in two games' and I cannot deny that. We played against two teams who as a unit defend very well, Sunderland and Stoke, and overall I believe we can be a good surprise in this Championship.''

Last season, Arsenal saw their bid for the title take an early dent as defeats against Liverpool and Manchester United followed an opening day 0-0 draw at Newcastle. However, Wenger conceded winning a point against Stoke is not a given and is another positive to take back to the Emirates.

"You have to give credit to Stoke,'' Wenger said. "They defended well and have experience at the back and are a very strong team defensively. As long as we didn't score an opener they were happy with the point and you could see that.

"Is it a point gained or two dropped? I would say it is two dropped on the day but I would say it is a good point as it is difficult for everybody to take a point at Stoke.''

Potters boss Tony Pulis was satisfied with the result after both sides struggled to find the target in what was still an entertaining game.

Pulis said: "I'm pleased with the point, really pleased with the point. I thought we were disappointing going forward. I thought we could do better than that. We looked unbalanced without Matty [Etherington] on the left hand side but the attitude of the players and the commitment of the players was absolutely first class.

"As a football club we must never ever become blasi about taking a point off one of the top teams in Europe.''

Pulis was also impressed with American summer signing Geoff Cameron, and revealed he is likely to be joined by countryman Maurice Edu next week.

"We watched Geoff quite a few times and he's a good player,'' Pulis said. "He's been away in America for 10 days and only trained one day with us. We couldn't get him back as he had to get some clearance and we have to wait 10 days to get him back.

"I was out in America and he played three games there and I was very impressed with the standard. We've also taken Maurice Edu. Hopefully that will be completed by Monday. He's another player who's playing for the national team and there's a market out therei I think.''

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