Improved results over the next 10 games are vital if the manager is to get a chance at seeing through his long-term plan

The balance Arsenal must strike from this weekend is not lost on Mikel Arteta. “We are trying to build a medium-to-long-term project, which needs immediate results,” he said before Norwich’s visit on Saturday. “We cannot change that and we don’t want to change that, because we want results right now.”

Even though the season is only three league games old, they must not leave it any longer. Defeat against Daniel Farke’s side, who sit above bottom-placed Arsenal by virtue of having managed to score a goal, is unthinkable and would ramp up the pressure Arteta faces. He and his technical director, Edu, feel they have finally amassed a squad that can reverse a decade’s agonising decline; the problem they face is that, among supporters at least, credit is in danger of wearing to breaking point. Just under £150m of new talent must hit the ground running if those in charge are not to run out of road.

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