Arteta at a complete loss to explain why Arsenal were totally useless

Last week we saw Arteta’s Arsenal team in perfect harmony as we bossed Man United at Old Trafford, and we were all hailing the massive improvement of beating one of the Big Six teams away at last, but what a difference a week makes!

Arsenal were toothless, lacking in confidence and rhythm. We couldn’t defend to save our lives and our front men couldn’t hit a barn door with a sledgehammer.

Aston Villa were totally dominant and vibrant to watch, while the exact same Arsenal XI that played United last week looked like scared rabbits caught in the headlights. So it’s no surprise that Mikel was not a happy bunny after the game, and he seemed at a loss to explain the incredible change from last week’s dominance at Old Trafford.

He told Arsenal.com: “I don’t feel like we were the team we’re supposed to be, we performed below our standards, our ability and I didn’t see the spirit for the first time that I have seen every day in training and every day when we compete. This is totally my fault, it is why I am here, I am responsible for that, to make sure the team performs and competes at the highest level every three days. Today I haven’t done that, so obviously it is my fault.

“It is very tough to find the reasons. I cannot say I have seen a change or this week that we have trained a different way. I would be lying if I said that. But obviously there was something there today that [Villa] wanted much more than us, and they showed it. At the end of the day, if you are late in every decision you make, if you don’t win enough duels, if every second ball isn’t for us, you don’t show the quality with the ball, you cannot defend your box, and when you get chances you don’t even hit the target, it is a really complicated way to win football matches.

“That is something we have to improve on, to create as well. We need to be more ruthless, but again I wouldn’t like to [point at] anybody – today wasn’t about that, it was about how we went about the job and who we were as a team and what we were transmitting as a team. I didn’t like it from the first whistle, we conceded on a mistake and got away with the goal on VAR and afterwards it was just not good enough.

“Sometimes when you see the way that the boys played seven days ago, not 70 days ago, seven days ago, and you see the way they played today, it’s the beauty of this sport. Unfortunately, you can’t take anything for granted and things change really quickly. I am a very positive person, when things happen like this you take a lot of things from it. You learn and you get to know the players and where we are in a much deeper way. I want to see the reaction from myself first because it’s the first time I’ve had to see with my own eyes my team perform at that level since I arrived here. Obviously, it hurts big time, but at the same time it’s my job to make sure that these boys [perform] on the pitch all the time, and today, for sure, I haven’t managed to do that.”

I am sure that Arteta is not the only one that is completely baffled from last week’s performance, but it is this inconsistency that has plagued Arsenal for the last couple of years, no matter who is on the pitch or in the dugout.

So 4 wins and 4 defeats from 8 games. That has every hallmark of a mid-table team, wouldn’t you say? Arteta has got some serious thinking to do over the international break…

Tags Arteta Aston Villa Man United

48 Comments

  1. SueP says:

    Well at least Arteta saw the same game that I did.

    He was as critical of his players as he dared to be but at the same time taking full responsibility for the gutless performance they put in.

    Stinkers do happen from time to time but that was double stinky

    1. Grandad says:

      The fact that Arteta has accepted full responsibility for a shockingly poor performance yesterday is commendable, but are the players prepared to recognise how much they have let down fans,the Club, and themselves.The fact is some of our defending yesterday was schoolboy quality.If you analyse the first goal , we had a 3 on 3 situation where all our players were sucked towards the ball carrier , leaving two of the Villa players free.To compound the situation, instead of trying to recover quickly, Holding actually jogs back towards our goal.I don’t like criticising individual players but our entire right flank was diabolical, and needs to be replaced to combat a very fit and athletical Leeds side.Before the match I indicated to my Son that Arteta would play AMN to man mark Grealish who provided most of the Villa creativity.I was wrong, but so it proved was After a on this occasion.

      1. SueP says:

        Grandad, I hope the players do recognise it was a thoroughly abject display

        1. Dan kit says:

          Left flank wasn’t much better ,apart from a few good balls into the box Tierney didn’t play well and hasn’t for the last 4 games ,Saka was awful aswell yesterday 2 of the goals they didn’t see the run of the players and arrived too late .
          Obviously Partey going off didnt help but the whole team was dreadful

      2. Oloko-Obi oluwadamilare says:

        Bench auba 4 at list 2 to 3 matches den i bliv e will cm bck 2 is seance…… Ever since he sign a new contract….. He av been playing lik nursery students….. No more seriousness in is game…..

  2. Sue says:

    It’s now been six hours and 26 minutes since Arsenal last scored a goal from open play in the Premier League… 😱😱

    1. Kstix says:

      That is so so so terrible Sue. It’s not that we’re not creating, maybe not enough but our forwards are firing blanks atm. Something as to give and soon by the looks of it.

      1. Sue says:

        With our players who would’ve thought it, Kstix?!! Shocking….

        1. Kstix says:

          Really shocking Sue. I’m tempted to just leave football for now for my sanity maybe till Arsenal wins 5 games in a row but who am I kidding? I’m a sucker for Arsenal football club, wish the players felt the same way

          1. Sue says:

            We have a fortnight to pick ourselves (🤣) up and go again, Kstix!!
            I always say “I’m done, can’t do it anymore” after a bad defeat… then a few days before the next match, I’m pining for it and planning my day around it haha!! We’re hooked!!!!

          2. Kstix says:

            😂😂 Wish the club would reward our addiction Sue

  3. Mobella says:

    This takes too long to arrive Pat, I bet that performance and result took creativity out of your pen. Some say it a bad day at the office but the truth is Arteta and his boys had been at the office 8 times this very season and had experienced 4 worst days and 2 ok days. How many more bad bays can he himself take to realize his method, tactics or whatever is not working. He is now making me realize he wasted that 3 years under Pep.

  4. Kstix says:

    My conspiracy theorist mind goes.. I have to conclusively say Willian was sent by Chelsea to sabotage Arsenal almost like double Agent cech in the Europa league final. And as always, Arsenal always falls prey to this. They replaced Willian with ziyech for Christ’s sake, wasn’t that a red flag enough for us not to go for him? We aim to compete with the likes of Chelsea and we go for their second team player? The performances shouldn’t surprise us then. And as poor as Laca was yesterday, he was the best of the 3… Just to show you how terrible they all were. And it was almost as if kolasinac was reincarnated in Tierney yesterday. Oh my word. Holding proved to us yesterday that he’s not ready for the top level, they kept attacking from his side as they saw him and bellerin as weak links who just stood and let villa play. The back left Gabriel exposed that even he was made to look so bad having to do all their jobs. There was a moment he had to scream at Tierney to move forward for him to lay a pass. Tierney was just sitting back and passing back (y’all remember when I said Arteta was gonna kill tierney’s career playing him in a back 3?) well that’s what you get playing a fullback who came in charging forward with superb crosses and you tell him to sit back as a cb. You get a scared player who will choose to play it safe rather than be adventurous.

    We got everything wrong from the starting whistle and the disallowed goal should have been red flag enough for the team but they were too dull. Partey going off at half time made everything go from bad to worse. We were bullied by Aston villa in our home. That sentence alone is so hard to swallow. Not Liverpool, not City, Heck not spuds. Aston f*ING villa. Nobody will tell me that on paper they have a better squad, Heck no, they were just more motivated. And for us not to score at home. What a disgrace.

    AND before someone says we were not creating chances. We actually did create, Willian blew two to the moon, laca’s head only nods anything up, up and away, Auba is now scared to shoot from inside the box, he would rather pass to Tierney than shoot when he had space. That’s at least 5 goals we should have scored. That defeats the excuse of chances not being created.

    AND we have Leeds next, with absolutely zero time to prepare, oh great.

    1. Sue says:

      Brilliant, Kstix!! Agent Cech – yes I remember that all too well!!
      €40m for Ziyech – money well spent.. I was purring over him on Saturday!!
      Kolasinac reincarnated in Tierney (Quality, Kstix 😂😂👌) He was awful, didn’t expect that from him, he’s usually one of the reliables…
      As soon as that went in after 46 seconds (Seconds, not minutes 😱) you just knew it was going to be a very long 90 minutes!!!
      Where do we go from here – apart from Elland Road 😬 – I honestly haven’t a scooby! Imo, that was our best line up and if they aren’t motivated enough to get a win, then who is??!! What a predicament…..

      1. Kstix says:

        😂😂Sue I have no answer to that, feels like one step forward, 5 steps back. I have no clue what we actually need. Because on paper, I still believe we have a quality squad capable of making the top 4 but I just don’t see the consistent effort from these overpaid players.

        1. Sue says:

          👍 On paper we really should be doing so much better than what we are!!
          MA and the players have a lot to ponder over… and come Leeds, we’d better see a reaction!

    2. SueP says:

      My conspiracy theory is that the players knew I’d stumped up £15 to watch that drivel. I’ll listen on the radio next time and the goals will go in

      1. Dhoni says:

        haha Sue P need to watch after match highligts rather so they know u ain’t interested in dashing out your money lolzz.

        1. SueP says:

          Believe me Dhoni, I wish I had 🤣

      2. Kstix says:

        😂😂😂Good one SueP, things we do for the love of Arsenal. When you listen on Radio, you’d hear we beat leeds 5-0 or something and then when your hopes are raised again, it’s back to Shitland.

    3. Wilbroad says:

      It was my greatest disappointment for the arsenal team this season so far. But Arteta has to truly change the tactics. Arsenal isn’t known as a defending team but more of an attacking.

  5. ThirdManJW says:

    For once…thank God for the international break!

    1. Sue says:

      😂😂 Exactly!!!

  6. kev says:

    In the Utd match we were more defensive so our flaws in attack wasn’t exposed that much. In matches where the onus is on us to be more attacking we are exposed. Our creativity is being affected by tactics and personnel. Arteta should stop with the three back and rather play with three mids. That will be better for us long term and suits this team if you look at our players.

    1. Enda says:

      You are spot on Kev when we are sitting back and trying to catch teams on the break we are comfortable, but when we should be the aggressor we are an absolute shambles.

  7. McLovin says:

    Its time to look into the future (January) and map out where we need strengthening.

    Creativity and finishing. We have scored 1 goal in the last 4 matches. 1 goal!!

    Lacazette needs to be dropped, he is missing all our glorious chances. He’s missed 1 clear cut chance in every single match he’s played in.

    Bench and preferrably sell him, and bring in:

    Daka from Salzburg or Edouard from Celtic. Both are profilic goal scorers and available for transfer.

    Szoboszlai to sort out creativity issues.

    Shouldn’t cost us more than £50m and we can try shipping out Laca, Sokratis, Mustafi, Kolasinac to recoup some funds.

    1. McLovin says:

      Oh and blood in Folarin Balogun. He’s lethal, and deserves his chance. He can’t be any worse than Lacazette.

    2. gooner4life says:

      You mention Lacca missing sitters and i agree, but mention missing has anyone seen Abua recently everyone said him signing a new contract was the best signing during the window is he going to do another Ozil disappearing trick get a big new contract then become invisible. How many touches of the ball did he manage yesterday or what did he contribute to the team?

  8. A J says:

    With the amount of social distancing going on in our defence last night, we might as well have had Boris Johnson at centre half !

    Throughout the coverage I was watching, you could clearly hear Dean Smith constantly instructing Villa players to “Hit the line” when their right to left diagonal was on. Grealish had pulled onto our right … and destroyed us all night !

    Arsenal since the ’60’s, but not old enough to be thoroughly ashamed of that last nights “performance”.

  9. Sue says:

    Ollie Watkins – being a gooner – said last season: “That’s the dream to play for Arsenal one day. But you know, it’s a long shot”
    A brace against his team and a hat trick against Liverpool. Not a bad start to life in the PL….

    1. A J says:

      Sue.

      This window alone –

      Ziyech (Gooner )

      Watkins (Gooner)

      Two more to add to the “It’s a dream to play for Arsenal” brigade.

      I know players can overnight become ” fans from when I was a kid” to sweeten a move, but if anywhere near true I am massive believer of a player actually WANTING to be at a club (money aside for a minute, naïve this day and age I know).

      Tony Adams basically “knocked on the door” for a trial !

      Trouble is we go to say Brentford and take a couple, elements of our fan base would sniff as though they had a bad smell under their nose.

      Aristotle said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” (getting deep now), and I personally believe the pieces of the jigsaw may sometimes be closer to home than we think.

      Speaking of Brentford, I wonder whether we’ll return for Auora in January (notoriously poor window) or pop across London for Siad Benrahma and make the guy our Grealish !

      For absolutely ages now, I have been telling anyone who will listen we need to make ourselves strong (feared) domestically once again, then build to European success – of which we are light years away right now.

      1. Sue says:

        👍 Best we start looking, AJ!!!
        Unfortunately, it seems to be one step forward followed by a few back!! I stupidly thought after OT, we’d be in for a treat, especially playing at home and how stupid of me to think Willian would score his first goal 🤣🤣
        I’m fearful nearly everytime I watch – does that count?!! Hahaha!!

        1. A J says:

          Hi Sue.

          I just hope not another “false dawn” for us long suffering Gooners”😟

          1. Sue says:

            We’ve had more false dawns than I care to remember 🤣 No more, hey, AJ!!

        2. Kstix says:

          Sue I’m worse. I said Auba was not going to score a pen against Martinez that he was gonna get a brace or an hattrick. How foolish of me in retrospect😂 I would gladly take that pen now…

          1. Sue says:

            😆😆 Me too!! And as we speak, Willian’s ball has just come back down into the stadium hahaha!!!

          2. Kstix says:

            😂😂😂👍

    2. Ed says:

      I noticed Ollie Watkins said after the match that they knew how Arsenal were going to play. We are more disciplined but does that have to be more predictable? We loaded our defence: Villa got through it. We pushed up field: Villa hit us on the break.
      Maybe Ozil or Willock or Balogun should be playing, maybe PEA is wasted out wide, maybe we should sign XYZ… The reason we were second best yesterday seemed more fundamental than that
      Hard to find the positives but gotta keep the faith.

      1. Sue says:

        We even lost our only positive – our goal difference 🤣

  10. Ed says:

    Damn!
    The Villans are better than us!
    The Saints are better than us!!
    The Spuds are better than us!!!

    Come on Arsenal let’s turn this around. It was a strong Arsenal line-up. Our defence and midfield seem stronger, we’ve extended the contact of our star striker… but Villa outplayed us.

    If someone’s got the answer I’m ready to get behind you!

  11. siamois says:

    So what is the excuse for the loss this time? Before it was”we lost but it was Liverpool “OK fair enough, we lost but it was City again fair enough, then Leicester again the same excuse(I wasn’t too sure but OK), now Villa yes but they beat Liverpool, next Leeds, what if we lose?, will it be yes but they drew against the city/scored 3 goals against City.. Some people say we used to get hammered by the big 6 before( now we lose by one 1/2 goals or draw with a win now and again), they are blaming players rightly so but I don’t remember it being the case under AW and UE, instead their teams selections, tactics, substitutions were the reasons, what’s the point of improving our results against big teams in if we now lose against smaller teams? Not only that but when before we expected to lose against the big 5 excluding Arsenal we now have added Leicester, Wolves… Which is basically saying it is now OK if we lose against any top 10 teams,is it our new level of expectations now? our past managers used to get slaughtered for finishing one point or so outside the CL places while reaching an European final, winning FA cups but somehow we cannot critise MA without being called plastic fans, I can accept losing but performances like last night should be criticised, out of our 4 wins in the league 2 had nothing to shout about, anyway my point is while supporting MA he shouldn’t be immune to criticism like our past managers, OK my rant is over!

  12. Khadii says:

    These bunch of over paid idiots played as if they played 2days ago or in the Europa league.. meanwhile they were fresh for one whole week.
    Spurs and Leicester played their normal 11 players in two matches in the space of 3days and yet got a win.
    These players have to take responsibility.
    I dislike Lacazette with passion. I’ve never been a fan. Never been consistent in all the years he’s been here.

    Arteta had one simple move to make.. Take the fool Lacazette off at half time, bring on Pepe, move willian to the left and Auba to the middle. Nketiah isn’t anyone’s competition at all. Seeing Nketiah ready to come on, i wondered how that was going to scare Mings and Konsa. Too bad.

    Play a simple 4-3-3 for christ sake.
    Just remove Lacazette and put Ceballos or Willock as part of a 3man midfield.
    This stupid 3-4-3 without the ball and 4-3-3 with the ball is totally nonsense. Just keeps confusing the players.
    Saka and Auba are lost on the pitch.

    Leno
    Niles Saliba Gabriel Tierney
    Partey Elneny
    Ceballos
    Nelson Auba Saka

    This setup should be efficient enough.
    Pepe, Willian and Lacazette just don’t cut it

  13. Mobella says:

    Football is a simple game but our coach is complicating it. Let the defenders defend and attacking players to attack. Our players doesn’t know how to do basic tackling anymore especially our defenders. I watched Holding yesterday invited Grealish into our box yesterday instead of forcing to back off by closing him down for the disallowed goal and my thought was maybe he was having an off day or sh**t. Then I was him, Bellerin and William in the same situation again focusing on a Villa player without closing in down again giving the player all the space and time to play a cross they scored from and Bellerin ran several yards back to only escort Grealish to pass to Watkins for their third goal. They can tackle to save their lives. You don’t jog back and escort and attacking player into your box, you make a foul, hack him down or hold his shirt to save your team and if you get a card in the process, fine as long as it is not a red. I saw a 17 year old Pedri did yesterday for Barca. Arteta should let the players do what they are know for. Don’t ask a fullbacks to be an attacker, defender and a creator and our attackers to come too deep to defend . I feel for Tierney the boy is out of gas with the way he runs up and down his flank to make something happen. No wonder he couldn’t influence the game yesterday.

  14. Dhoni says:

    You are both absolutely right about everything @Kistix & Sue.

    1. Kstix says:

      Spot on Dhoni

  15. Top Gunner says:

    Arteta couldn’t explain the real problem. His understanding of the game is minimal. We need someone with strong Arsenal genes. Vieira or Bergkamp

  16. Mogunna says:

    Exactly, with all due respect he has none for Arsenal; Arteta is not a coach yet but in his first year, assistant before that..

    He blames it on players indirectly and wonders why same team beating Man U did not beat Villa!

    Tells it all, he has no clue, but aware that it is his fault, doesn’t know why nor get that Villa is not Man U, tac tic and different players.

    How can he states such non senses?.

    His fault, but players were same, must come from them then….

    No; we missed a midfield player as he played Saka there..

    He corrected by adding Ceballos but made it wrong by taking our top DM and not Saka!

    Like playing Auba as LW, wondering why he is not scoring!.

    Saka is EPL best LW, Auba best striker, so he need both on pitch but playa them outa position which doesn’t add but takes atrengh off.

    Looks like he wants to get support in locker room, Luiz and now Willian he keeps playing; RW even CF.

    Pepe is not better winger and threat?

    Why not play our best player where they are best at?

    Must make choices, Auba is more of a threat and used to RW than LW he seems so isolate and over ran by Tierny and Saka..

    Anyway, Arteta does not care beside himself or he would not take the job.

    Lampard experimented in lower league as Gerrard is doing now, which we can’t compare to Arteta who came at end of career, but they both respect club and wise enough to go learn elsewhere, then back!

    Viera is doing fine in Nice, did not accept position given to Arteta as he felt key to build up himself to level where he can be our coach!

  17. Top Gunner says:

    Arsenal fans thought that he’ll bring along the knowledge that he acquired from Pep. Maybe Pep is not the best because he’s been coaching teams (Barcelona and Bayern Munich) that have financial muscle to buy any player that they desire. Give him Fulham, and lets see if he’s got what it takes to be a top Manager

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