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Mikel Arteta on Arsenal's struggles in front of goal: 'It's become psychological'

Arsenal were knocked out of the FA Cup by Liverpool; Mikel Arteta's side have scored just five goals in their last seven games in all competitions; Arteta: "We created so many chances but we didn't capitalise."

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Mikel Arteta called on Arsenal supporters to get behind the team rather than shout that the club should buy a striker at him

Mikel Arteta thinks Arsenal's problems in front of goal have become "psychological" after they drew another blank against Liverpool.

Arsenal were punished for a host of missed chances as Jakub Kiwior's own goal and Luis Diaz's late strike sent Liverpool into the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 2-0 win.

The Gunners have one win in their last seven matches in all competitions as the pressure builds on Arteta to find a solution to his side's struggles in front of goal.

In those last seven games, Arsenal have scored five goals with a worrying trend of underperforming their expected goals numbers creeping into their play. Across their last three games, Arsenal have had 61 shots to a backdrop of 6.47 worth of expected goals but have found the net just once.

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Sky Sports' Gary Cotterill and Ben Grounds analyse Arsenal's worrying form under Mikel Arteta as they crashed out of the FA Cup in the third round to Liverpool after a 2-0 defeat

When asked if there is a risk that missed chances are becoming a psychological issue, Arteta replied: "Probably it has. Especially after today, more than it was against Fulham or West Ham before that. That's why I think we need to reset. This break is good. It comes in a good time. We're going to as well feel how we feel and how I feel about them in difficult moments. Hopefully I can see that from other people too. When things are going well they jump on the train. Now things are difficult, let's see where they stand."

He added: "It was a really disappointing result with a big performance against probably the team that is the most in-form in Europe. We were better than them, we generated much more than them, we created so many chances but we didn't capitalise.

"Against these teams, you have to capitalise if you want to win. If you don't score in that box, and then you concede an own goal and the second one like we did, it is difficult to win.

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"It's football, and you have to realise the situation and know we're going to have to generate more and shoot better and arrive in better positions, but today we had plenty. Today we were better than them, and we should have won the game, there's no question about that."

'Striker signing unrealistic'

There have been calls for Arsenal to dip into the transfer market to arrest their issues in front of goal by signing a striker in January. However, a quiet window is expected at the club with Arteta pouring cold water on their chances of dipping into the market.

"At the moment it doesn't look realistic," Arteta said.

"My job is to improve our players and get better results with the players we have."

'We need to change the momentum'

On the trip to Dubai next week in the winter break, Arteta said: "The players need it because we cannot question their effort, what they've done today, and the attitude they have played with, the courage, aggression - everything is there but the ball is not going in the right direction at the moment in the opponents' half, and then you concede an own goal which is incredible.

"We have to change momentum, that's for sure, and we need our players and we need our people as well. In the difficult moments, we stick together and get behind those players that, in my opinion, deserve so much.

"They appreciate that and we stick together and do what we have done in the past. There is nothing new, results will come and enjoyment will come."

Martin Odegaard
Image: Martin Odegaard shows his frustration in the 2-0 defeat to Liverpool

Analysis: Same old story for Arsenal as Arteta needs to find answers

Sky Sports' Oliver Yew at Emirates Stadium:

It was a case of same old story for Arsenal as they wasted a host of excellent chances in defeat to Liverpool.

Kai Havertz, Bukayo Saka, Reiss Nelson and Martin Odegaard were all guilty as the Gunners racked up an xG of 1.89 but came out on the end of a 2-0 defeat after Kiwior's own goal and Diaz's late strike.

There were similar problems against West Ham and Fulham. Arsenal have scored one goal from and xG of 6.47 over the last three games and you could sense the frustration amongst the home supporters. So much so that one fan stood alone and bellowed towards the Arsenal bench: "Sign a striker."

Brentford's Ivan Toney and Bournemouth's Dominic Solanke have been names linked with Arsenal, but speaking to the media after exiting the FA Cup Mikel Arteta described that possibility as not looking "realistic" while suggesting he has to work with and stick by the players he's got.

However, Gabriel Jesus is injured, Havertz did not prove to be the answer against Liverpool, Nketiah was not trusted and Saka and Martinelli are struggling for form. Problems that all need to be solved.

It's now three straight defeats in all competitions for the Gunners. They have just one win in their last seven matches in all competitions. The Spaniard described it as a difficult moment, but Arsenal's winter break starts now and comes at a good moment for Arteta.

He needs to find answers to his side's goal struggles and quickly.

What's next for Arsenal?

After a disappointing run of results, the Gunners start their winter break and head off to Dubai next week for some warm-weather training.

Their next game is on Saturday January 20 when they host Crystal Palace in the Premier League; kick-off 12.30pm. The Gunners then travel to Nottingham Forest on Tuesday January 30; kick-off 7.30pm.

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