Arsenal not beating Bournemouth would be a 'disaster' says Nacho Monreal
By Richard Morgan
Last Updated: 08/09/17 5:20pm
Failure to beat Bournemouth at the Emirates on Saturday would "be a disaster" for Arsenal, according to defender Nacho Monreal.
The Gunners head into the Premier League clash sitting in an unfamiliar position of 16th in the table, albeit after only three games of the new season.
However, Arsene Wenger's side have lost their last two league matches without scoring, including a 4-0 hiding against Liverpool at Anfield in their last contest before the recent international break.
All of which makes this weekend's encounter with the Cherries - who have also endured a tough start to the campaign after losing their first three Premier League encounters - a must-win fixture, says Monreal.
"We did not expect to lose as we did," he said. "You can play against Liverpool away and lose this game as they are a really strong team with good players, but we can't play as we played.
"We need to improve a lot - our target is to win the Premier League and obviously we can't win it if we play like we did against Liverpool.
"Now we have to improve and on Saturday we have a new opportunity and we need to get the three points. So I hope the team is OK and we can win, get confidence and keep winning.
"It is too soon to speak if we can, or can't win the Premier League. We have only played three games, we only have three points, we have six points less than Man United, but now we are only thinking about Bournemouth.
"Win this game, get the three points and keep looking forward. Obviously, if we do not win, it will be a disaster for us.
"But I am completely confident that we are going to win this game because the players in the team are completely focussed and obviously I hope we get the three points."
We can't keep conceding three or four goals every game because it is impossible to get a result
To get back to winning ways, Monreal says, Arsenal need to tighten up at the back after the north London club shipped eight goals in just their first three Premier League games.
However, despite their early-season wobbles in defence, the Spain international thinks Wenger should stick with playing three at the back after the success they enjoyed with that system towards the end of the previous campaign.
"In the last three games, we have conceded eight goals, which is a lot of goals," he said. "Obviously it is not only the fault of the defenders, every single player has to defend, but conceding eight goals in three games is a lot and we have to improve a lot.
"And we can't keep conceding three or four goals every game because it is impossible to get a result.
"In this moment, everything is a bit difficult because we lost the last two games, but last season playing this system, we won seven of our last eight games and this season's Community Shield.
"But the problem is we lost the last two games, people get nervous, but in the future, starting on Saturday, if we play a good game and get the three points, we will have more confidence in our self and we will improve a lot."
One major boost for Monreal and Co ahead of Bournemouth's visit to the capital this weekend was Arsenal's retention of star man Alexis Sanchez on Transfer Deadline Day.
Alexis had been the subject of a late approach from Man City, only for Arsenal to reject their rivals' £50m bid for the Chile forward.
And keeping hold of a player of his ability can only be a positive for the club, says Monreal.
"It is good news for us, the fans, the club in general now that Alexis has decided to stay," he said. "He is our most important player and all we can offer to the fans is that in the next game, from the first minute, we start with intensity, play a good game, get the three points and everything will come back as before.
"Alexis is very focused now and he is going to be a very important player for us for the rest of the season."