Mikel Arteta gives verdict on Arsenal challenging Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea for title

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta insists his side are still well off where they want to be amid some suggestions they could compete for the Premier League title.

Mikel Arteta has shut down suggestions Arsenal are in the Premier League title mix after winning both of their first two matches this season. The Gunners ground out victory against West Ham on Saturday despite an unconvincing performance.

Arsenal were second best for large swathes of the match against the Hammers at the Emirates but substitute Eddie Nketiah delivered victory for the hosts late on after coming off the bench.

That win, following up from the opening-weekend triumph at Fulham, means Arsenal have claimed all six available points so far this term.

The north Londoners, who won the FA Cup last season, have made great strides since Arteta’s appointment last December and appear a far bigger threat for the top four this term.

But Arteta does not believe his Champions League-chasing side are now suddenly up there with Liverpool and Manchester City – and possibly Chelsea after their £200million summer spend – in title contention.

“No, I think we are still very far away from where we want to be,” the Spanish coach admitted.

“I think if you ask any manager in the Premier League if they are happy with everything [that] is going [on] with their team, it [the answer] probably is no.

“We had a super-mini pre-season and we’re still adapting some things.

“Some players are still not 100 per cent fit but it’s great to start winning, you have six points already and find ways to win.”

He added of Arsenal’s win over West Ham: “I think we were a little bit lucky in certain moments for sure.

“But as well, we find a way to win it and it’s the mentality I want that the team always believes that we can do it up until the last moment.

“Even if we have difficult games when we suffer, we make it difficult for ourselves in certain periods, but in the end it’s three points.

“This is why we are here. As well, take some big notes because there are a lot of things to improve.”

Arteta was not particularly impressed with his side’s performance on the ball, with Arsenal sloppy and struggling to create goalscoring opportunities despire the lion’s share of possession.

“Yes, certainly in the first 15 minute and it’s very strange,” he added. “We were talking with the staff.

“They [the players] had the best week in terms of decision making, quality and execution with the ball by far since I joined the club.

“But then the first 15 minutes, they give the ball to the wrong colour [shirt] too often. We need to improve on that.

“We still have a lot of work to do here but at least they kept trying and nobody hid.

“They can make mistakes but they are not allowed to hide and none of them did that and at the end you get rewarded.

“I had sensed that between 55 and 65 minutes that we were dropping, I could see the team dropping off, it was difficult and they were suffering.