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Mikel Arteta insists Arsenal are "still very far" away from where he wants his side to be.
The Spaniard is closing in on one year in charge of the Gunners in what is his first managerial role.
Already he has delivered silverware in the form of the FA Cup and Community Shield, but they remain someway off in the league.
Thus far Arsenal have won four and lost four in the Premier League as they battle inconsistency.
But Arteta believes he is trying to improve his Arsenal team while taking on extremely challenging opposition.
“Still very far," he said when asked how far his team were from being where he wanted.
Arsenal have endured a mixed start to the season
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"The ambition, how I want to see the team at their best, and where we are at the moment, we are still at the very early stages of the process.”
“The challenge is the opposition we are facing. Probably the best opposition and teams that the Premier League has ever had, which is incredibly nice to be involved in.”
Arsenal's last outing saw them put to the sword by Aston Villa who ran out 3-0 winners at the Emirates.
That came after the Gunners had secured a first win at Old Trafford in more than a decade courtesy of a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang penalty.
Mikel Arteta has seen his side put in some impressive performances
(Image: POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
And it is the difference between winning and losing that has struck Arteta as he forges a path for himself in the dugout.
“I think the margins now are much smaller," he claimed on BeIN Sports.
"I think the difference between teams has decreased and if you are not at your best, if we are not at our best, and we do not do the non- negotiables, or play one hundred percent we can lose, or win against any opponents.”
Arsenal currently sit four points outside the top four following recent losses against Villa, Leicester and Manchester City.
Where will Arsenal finish in the Premier League this season? Have your say here.
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