Mikel Arteta was brutally honest in admitting that his Arsenal side were really poor against Brighton today, before claiming he didn’t understand the performance as he was sure his side was ready.
The Gunners were downed 2-1 by the Seagulls at the Emirates earlier on today, a painful defeat which gives up our advantage in the race for the top-four, and the reality worsened when Tottenham ran out 4-0 winners away at Aston Villa shortly afterwards.
The manager now has a stiff task to get his side back on track for the CL places, and may well have to win all our remaining fixtures to achieve a top-four finish, including beating the likes of Chelsea, Man United and Spurs, no easy task for even the best of sides.
Arteta admits that his side were disappointing against Brighton however, adding that prior to kick-off he believed his side were ready to play.
“We were really poor,” Arteta told Arsenal.com. “Everything that we talked about and the way we prepared all week and the clarity that we had to start the game in a different way, in the end we didn’t produce it on the pitch and we have to be really honest with that. We didn’t give anything to our crowd to hang onto, we didn’t show enough purpose, speed, momentum, we didn’t generate anything that we wanted to do.
“We were imprecise, we had big distances after losing the ball and we didn’t create any momentum, which is very strange because if you had asked me before the game, it’s that they are ready to go, but in the end, we got frustrated.
“You can concede one goal and still be in the game, we had the big decision on the corner on Gabi Martinelli’s disallowed goal that probably was the crucial moment to change a little bit. In the second half we did change, the only shot they had, they scored one, and we scored the first goal too late to give us a chance to get back in the game.”
There were very few moments in the match that we actually felt any reason to be confident, with Brighton always looking the more dangerous when in possession and the more composed off the ball also.
I think it’s more worrying that he believed his side were ready for the encounter, as if his input in midweek meant little-to-nothing when stepping out onto the field, and that certainly gives me zero confidence for the remaining fixtures.