Mikel Arteta says Arsenal players “took the handbrake off” in Saturday’s win against West Brom and the performance was close to what he wants from his side.
Arsenal won their third successive Premier League game with a 4-0 victory at The Hawthorns, also keeping a second clean sheet in a row. It mirrors the form of Alexandre Lacazette too, as the Frenchman netted twice to bring up five goals in his last four games in all competitions.
The Gunners finished the game, which was played in snowy conditions, having registered 20 shots, the most they have recorded in the Premier League this season, and produced arguably their best attacking performance of the season. Understandably, Arteta was delighted.
He said in his post-match press conference:
“It’s always tough to win away from home and the way we’ve done it, in a really convincing way in this difficult weather. But I’m really pleased, it’s three in a row in the last week, we talked about the importance of this week for us and to be able to win the three of them is really important.
“There were moments when I thought we were really good, both defensively and offensively. In the attacking phase, there were moments that were exactly what I want, exactly what we try to train. In other moments, we became a little bit sloppy when we thought that the game was won and it’s something we have to improve in general. But it’s close to what we want.
“The energy and the convincing momentum that you get from everybody that is involved is much more positive. I wasn’t that concerned with performances [during Arsenal’s recent winless run], we lost games that we were really unlucky and some was our own fault because we made some errors and we lacked some discipline at some moments.
“But you need to win football matches and this brings a different moment, energy and, as well, the players took the handbrake off and you can see they are more free to play.
“I’m so pleased because I thought in the final third, we looked so lively, there is a lot of movement, there is good energy, there is purpose, everyone is playing forward. It’s like we are freer to play and the understanding is being able to generate a lot of things there.”