Arteta says it should have been “a very, very different scoreline” – So what went wrong?

So, the curse of Unai Emery continued and his Aston Villa side completed the double over us, and could have cost us the League title.

We couldn’t use the excuse that we played Bayern Munich on Tuesday because Aston Villa played on Thursday, so they should have been even more tired than us. We can’t blame our (very small) injury list as Villa were missing most of their first team!

So, why did we lose at home to Aston Villa? It would appear that a very disappointed Mikel Arteta thinks that we should have already won the game before half time. The boss said: “We’re really disappointed and frustrated because of the way we played the first half and the amount of chances and situations we created, how dominant we were and it should have obviously been a very, very different scoreline.

“We didn’t capitalise on that and in the second half we struggled much more to get momentum. It was a much more even game, and we dropped the level. They increased it and we conceded very poor goals that cost us the game.

“We didn’t score any goals and on top of that, we conceded two goals that are nowhere near the level that we’ve been at. That’s the reason why we lost the game and you have to congratulate the opponent as well when you lose the game.”

Declan Rice feels the same, that we simply failed to take our chances. He said: “When you create that many chances and have that many one-on-ones with the keeper or you get to the byline and you don’t quite get the cross, or don’t quite get the finish it’s very disappointing,”

“We’ve got to be taking one of those chances because in games like this, teams like Villa have got quality and can come back to haunt you and they did today.

Well, it must have been very hard for him to understand why we didn’t turn up or worse, we did turn up but missed all our chances. But the question that I would like to ask Mikel tonight is; “Do you still think we need a clinical striker this summer?”


So here are some simple rules which I must insist commenters follow….

You agree not to give any personal abuse to other Arsenal fans. Everyone is allowed to hold their own opinions even if you disagree with them. It COSTS NOTHING TO BE POLITE TO OTHER ARSENAL FANS.

Tags Arsenal v Aston Villa Arteta


        1. So you KNOW he IS up to something but you are not sure WHAT it is.
          That is what you wrote yourself.

          You would not like to try again I suppose , would you?!!

  1. Why don’t we go for Ollie Watkins? 19 goals and 10 assists so far. What a player!

    Worth breaking the transfer fee for and making him the highest earner. A worthy one, unlike the mistake we made in the summer.

    1. You are just getting annoying now. Trossard and Jesus were miles worse than Havertz and Saka wasn’t better than him either so why not pick on one of them three. Martinelli also did literally zero after coming on as well.

      1. I have never been convinced of Jesus either. I was critical of his signing and wages and people told me I was harsh in my judgement, to give him time. The same tale with Havertz.

        Yet he has gotten worse over time.

        The others you have mentioned have already proven to be reliable players. An occasional bad performance is justly excused.

      2. Harvetz has always been the worst player surrounded by quality players.Its annoying when a bad player is fielded ahead of good players.

  2. Time for Arteta to go. His touchline antics are unacceptable. And in his heels go Zinchenko (caused the first goal) & Havertz. Few others can also pack their bags!!

  3. Some times I wonder why Arteta should be experimenting at any critical stage the season. I had expected him to know his players and where their strength lies and when to utilize them. By now, he should have realized that Trossard is a super sub who makes much from bench than starting. He should by now know that Jesus is wasteful whenever he leads the attack especially, after his injury. He should also know by now that whenever Harvertz plays in the midfield, the team struggles. And finally, he should know that Zinchenko is a big burden and liability as a defender. What I don’t get is this obsession for inverted win back which most clubs has found it’s antidote. Why is it that Arteta refuse to play Zinny in his rightful position which is midfield? We played draw with
    Bayern because of our wastefulness in front of the goal. We lost today because of same wasteful opportunities. When exactly can our players be serious 90 minutes? This pattern of play as if nothing was at stake is becoming our trade mark and should be jettison forthwith. I just want to believe that this is not a repeat of last season’s horror. Why would the team be toying with our emotions towards the end of every season? Any team that wants to win titles must be ruthless in front of goals. Arsenal has not shown that ruthlessness. Arteta should stop being under pressure and emotional in his team selections. That is, if he wants to win any major trophy.

    1. Agreed 100%. Imagine me and you read the game as far as we are but the manager has never learnt from his proximity. This bad manners of trying to favour some players over others is a curse in itself.

  4. Last year we gifted the league to City and this season we might as well. We need to stop buying cast offs like Jesus, Zinchenko, Havertz, & Jorginho from top rivals. These players are good but won’t take us the the EPL title.

    Today’s loss is squarely on Arteta. Surely Partey can’t sit on the bench the whole game whilst the team was failing to compete on the midfield. How does he justify sitting both Partey and Jorginho whilst using Havertz in midfield. Havertz has been playing well upfront for a long time then the coach decides to shift him in a key game. If we don’t win the league or CL Arteta needs to go.

    We need Tierney back to play ahead of Kiwior and Zinchenko. Arteta has discarded good players he inherited in favor of average players. Players like Martinez should have never been sold. His biggest challenge is favoring players he has brought in even though it’s clear that there are better in the team.

    We need a proper striker and another midfielder. Players like Jesus, Zinchenko, Nketiah, Jorginho, Elneny, Vieira, Soares, must go and create space for better players.

    1. 1. What you’re pointing out may be a pointer to disrespect of Villa as was with the case Bayern. Signs are there that this coming Wednesday it’ll be more of the same.

      2. As to which players go or which ones remain must be up to MA. He knows which players work with him better to achieve what he wants to achieve. If he’s to be held accountable for the team’s results and performance, let him use whoever he wants to use and prove us wrong!!

      3. Havertz has been good of late, but certainly not to the level of his price and wages. Whether there’s blame or credit to Havertz’s performance, the buck stops with Arteta who also loves tinkering with his team in ways that may be will make sense in time!!

  5. Every time Zinchencko plays for Arsenal, the entire defense is weakened. He’s just not good enough, too slow, weak defensively and goes asleep much like Mustafi with an error in him. Zinchencko gives away possession too frequently and easily in dangerous areas of the pitch causing chaos, panic and tiredness to the rest of the players that have to try and cover for him. Arsenal were lucky not to be down by 2 goals earlier in the game, before Villa actually scored. Jesus is a big problem too.He doesn’t score goals. Arsenal must sell these players in the summer. They are not good enough.

  6. This match highlights that we still need a 20 goals per season striker.

    I would be pissed if a striker is not bought in the summer.

    1. 100%, as simple as that. I look back at all of those chances we had in first half. It would be a very different scoreline indeed if we have clinical finisher.

  7. Ollie Watkins, Emi Martinez John McGinn and Matty Cash in addition to long term injuries Ramsey, Buendia, Mings were missing for Villa vs City (almost a whole team as you describe above) while today they were missing Luiz in addition to those long term injuries while were only missing Timber). City were missing Ake, Walker and rested Haarland and De Bruyne (probably after realizing how weakened Villa were but noone can argue City also have by far the best quality depth in the league).

    Still not saying Arsenal should not have done the business but as Villa showed today the team they put out today can hurt you and Arsenal were simply not good enough.

  8. Todays game highlighted, what wrong buys, Jesus, Zinchenko and Haverz were. Haverz has performed ok but he isn’t a top midfielder and he isnt a striker. Haverz has done ok but not dazzled. We seeded a striker with the money. Zinchenko is proving a real liability at LB. But it is not something that hasn’t been obvious for a while. Jesus was bought as a striker and that was a massive mistake, he is never a striker. Our second half performance today was jittery, disjointed and had no direction. The system we play is not robust and breaks down under pressure. Two seasons now we have persevered playing this way and as soon as the heat is on we wilt. How can you lead the prem in April two years on the trot and just crumble. Our cup form is dire and we haven’t comped in any cups for 4 years. There are fundamental problems that are not being addressed. If Arteta thinks we should have got anything out of today’s game he is delusional.

  9. I’ve now watched the game and was expecting our performance to be far worse than I thought it was having read everyone’s comments

    The first half was very much ours but with chances – some better than others – that were missed and defensively Aston Villa were strong and held firm

    After 50 minutes the dynamic shifted but I still thought that we were ok. Villa had improved and were giving it a go and we still had opportunities- just fewer

    The first goal was horrid and the second was well taken by Watkins.

    I’d say the European match against a good BM team on the night took the wind out of our sails.

    Aston Villa are not a poor team and it should never have been taken as a home win. I expected us to, but I now really hope the yips are not getting into our system

    1. I thought we lost control of the game in the second half – defended well enough, but villa were able to keep the ball better, and were stopping us from keeping it
      i was waiting for us to pull it together and regain control, but it never happened, and eventually villa found a goal.
      Basically it appeared to me that emery changed something at half time, and we weren’t about to react to it. I thought we were beaten tactically, but I don’t have the insight to say exactly what the changes were.

      1. UE fed them steroids at halftime? Just can’t believe they played on Thursday and could still boss us in the 2nd half. They should have dropped off

      2. It’s usual for fans to overreact and suggest we played terribly because we lost.
        Stats would suggest that we should not have lost that game. We had more attempts, better field tilt and higher xG.
        Overall, we were not beaten tactically. However, there were certain weaknesses in key moments some of which were down to focus and concentration.
        We also struggled with their setup which was designed to frustrate Arsenal and control the play. This worked quite well for Villa in the second half. Villa were reasonably effective in beating the press, played percentage football pretty well and took their chances when they came.
        We could not keep up the energy, speed and stamina for the press in the second half and Villa had quick players on the wings which were effective outlets.

        1. Something was different in the second half and I never felt we were in control after about minute 50 – it could have been that they just had more of a spring in their step and we faded, as you say, rather than a tactical change.

  10. You’re right about being unable to regain the momentum. Maybe I was watching it through the eyes of someone who already knew the score but I just didn’t think we were out of the game until the first goal on 80 minutes. I know the pundits saw the swing towards Villa happening but I just felt that underestimating them was expecting too much of us even though they had a day less to recover. But I do absolutely agree that Emery did a great job.

  11. Yeh,Yeh Mikel, we know. We were much the better team in the first half and should have put those two chances away. Trossard’s was the easier but Harvetz being a 65 million player should occasionally come up with something special. Even in the first half though Villa had come much closer to scoring and we were starting to look toothless. Odegaard was calling all our shots but most of his passing was directed towards Saka, while nothing much was happening between Trossard, Jesus and Harvetz which Villa couldn’t easily contain. In the second half, only one team showed up with our players playing defensive pinball and consistently giving the ball back to our opponents. It was a frustrating watch from an Arsenal fans’ point of view and the end result was ominous. A depleted Villa side were better tactically and wanted it more. So here we are today.

  12. What we saw was Arsenal pre mid-season break – dominate the opponent, create tons of chances, and not being clinical. The game should have been over at halftime!

    Must credit Emery though, because he sorted his team out at halftime, and Villa completely dominated the second half and deserved the win.

  13. Ask the players to sit in the dressing room and see the celebration of Bayer Leverkusen. On the pitch. It is the fans who worship the players because they play the game for their club. If you cannot play and give it all out for 7-8 more games, for them to have a day to remember, you should stop playing.

  14. Arteta’s problem for 2024 is that Havertz must play to justify his spending.
    Today’s line up is the same that has seen us struggle in the past because Havertz is inefficient as 8.
    If we had played with a midfield of Patey, Odegaard and Rice, the result might have been different.
    Secondly, Zinchenko is a midfielder. He has proven beyond doubt that he isn’t a full back.
    Can Arteta for once just play Partey and Rice as 6 and 8 in Germany respectively please and play Tomiyasu as left back? Play either jesus or Havertz as 9.

    Arteta is really stubborn.

  15. The reason we haven’t won our last 2 games could be downright disrespect of our opponents. We seemed to celebrate Bayern Munich’s bad season and may be some injuries they had ahead of our clash with them. And we didn’t know what hit us!! And the same with Villa and result hasn’t been different!!

    And watch our current thinking about the upcoming Bayern return match this coming Wednesday!! Do you think I’ll be surprised if we’ll get a different result from these last 2 games?

    We are planning for and playing games like we’ve already won the league and this is the results that come with it. Our thinking as fans also is not far off from the way our team seems to be managed ….. we are sometimes a little too simplistic!! The problem is with Manager,the players and us the fans ……. we aren’t ready to be Champions mentally!!

    1. The “downright disrespect of our opponents” was more down to the fans, especially those who are a bit cult like in their support. It somewhat similar to those “MAGA” republicans across the pond who overwhelmingly support their preferred administration and absolutely frown upon any criticism of their great leader.

      I highly doubt MA and the players have any disrespect for our opponents. They are professionals and are usually not easily affected by unfounded euphoria, unlike the fans. I believe they are focused and disciplined enough to know what it takes to do the job, but can’t help the occasional slip up

      1. Though I’m working in Seattle now, I don’t know enough about American politics to pass judgement on either side. I talked about “MAGA” supporters because they remind me of fans who have an overly positive and somewhat unrealistic belief in the club, so much so that any criticism of the leadership would incense them

      2. Agreed to some extent and especially with the fans.

        But if the manager’s decisions and the way the game pans out throughout the 90 minutes somewhat mirrors sentiments repeatedly and religiously expressed by fans, what would you make of it?

        We are Champion material and we conduct ourseleves accordingly. Why must we be publicly excited with misfortunes of our opponents ahead of encounter with them? Must we be champions for having beaten smaller weaker teams?

        If we are to be Champions ….. the way we do business on the field must be distinguished and ought to be a mark of champions and without preferring weaker opponents!! We want to be proud to be stepping on the podium rather be somewhat in doubt if at all we deserved it.

        1. Coincidence maybe? Lol

          I agree that it’s unwise to find joy in the misfortune of opponents, but I guess that’s part of human nature. The most rational way to go about our business is to always do our best, regardless of what happens with our opponents. No fear but no contempt either.

          Nonetheless, I’m so desperate for the League title that I don’t care if we win it because both Pep and Klopp got embroiled in sex scandals and resign tomorrow. Just kidding but it expresses how desperate I am

    2. I disagree.
      You are conflating the views of a selection of fans with the that of the players and the coaching team.

  16. I’m glad people are finally seeing Havertz for the waste of funds he is. He created nothing and was very wasteful. He is neither a midfielder nor a striker. So what is he? For 65M and 330k weekly, we have a jack of all trades and specialist of none?? As was said at the beginning of the season, he might cost Arteta the title and if Arteta and Edu are humble and wise, they should learn from that very expensive mistake and stop overthinking when buying players. Josh need to task Arteta and Edu to account for players bought. Their returns must match the costs.

    1. Havertz is obviously a specialist false 9. Chelsea fans may not agree, but I call it based on his time with us. Ok perhaps specialist may be a tad over, but he’s certainly a decent false 9. He didn’t perform well in other positions, so how is he a jack of all trades?

      1. A decent false 9 for 65M and 330k p/w? That’s my problem. We could have gotten a specialist false 9 who burries chances for less than that!

  17. There is no need to blame anyone for the poor performance as the usual underachieving players did not perform well again. Uni Emery was aware of how we would play in the second half and took advantage of it. It doesn’t make him an exceptional coach sometimes it is simply down to fate.

  18. Arsenal bottled it again. It has been a consistent re occurrence! I doubt it if Arsenal will ever win the EPL / CL in this era! Is it a curse? When I was about to change my opinion and perspective about Arteta being the Man that will lead Arsenal to the promised land! It is obvious that there’s a problem either identified or not with Arsenal mentality. If this problem is not solved, Arsenal will not win anything. I’m having a rethink about whether Arteta can lead us to glory!

    1. Arsenal do not “bottle it”. Do you even know what that means? And a “consistent re occurrence”? WTF is that? Be satisfied that Arsenal have challenged for the PL twice in succession, and will continue to.
      See you here same time next year.

  19. Let’s all bash Havertz even though him and Odegard were the only ones creating anything in the first half. Trossard starts and misses hits a shot straight at Martinez when it’s easier to score. The problem is and will be trying to accommodate Jesus. I usually don’t agree with Neville but even he was regularly pointing it out as well. Jesus is just sketchy when it comes to everything and makes us to erratic at cf. we need a left 8 and a left winger in the summer

    1. I think you are misunderstanding. People aren’t bashing Havertz, there were worse players out there yesterday.

      They are bashing the decision to play Havertz in the midfield 3 where we have seen time and time again that it ruins our whole shape and system (as you saw last night)

      As you say, trying to accommodate Jesus and Havertz in the same team just doesn’t gel at all

      1. It’s just getting rather tedious how Havertz is first to be thrown to the wolves when the result doesn’t go our way. Him and Odegard were the only ones who can hold their head up in the first half. I feel our biggest let downs this season have been Zinchenko, Jesus and Martinelli however the latter two always seem to get glossed over.

        1. I agree about Jesus. I think Martinelli is a difficult 1 because of our left back issues, he’s often very isolated and then doubled up on.

  20. What went wrong? Arteta is what went wrong.
    Why change a winning formula? Why bench kiwior for zinchenko? Why start trossard when u know he is at his best went he comes in the second half? Why also bench jorginho and not use partey?
    Whatever happen yesterday was wholely arteta doing and he should be held accountable for it.
    He should have learnt from last season but no he keeps making awful decisions that comes back to bite him.
    When I saw the line up, I told a couple of people where I watch the match that we might draw or lost this match and that his selection will self destruct and it happen as I predicted.

    1. Perfect analysis.
      If I was the manager with these players honestly I will win unbeaten.

      The manager’s choice and experimental tactics is costing arsenal.

      How come people commenting can easily see the problem and the manager can’t? Arteta is the problem!

  21. The whole thing stems from the manager forcing Havertz in. Simply play either him or Jesus and play Partey or Jorghino in midfield. Stop playing Zinchenko as a full back. He’s a midfielder.

    Learn from Guardiola; how he rotates players.

    Harvetz and Zinchenko were the 2 weak links in the team in their respective positions.

    If Arteta wanted these 2 as a must, then play Zichenko as 8 and Havertz as false 9. Leave Jesus on the bench.

    Please manager, it’s not a crime to play havertz from the bench. Every time he plays Havertz as 8, the team struggles. Why can’t he see this?

  22. Everybody is understandably upset about the game and are blaming Arteta for the formation he played but if we had taken our chances in the 1st half, Jesus and Trossard especially, and won 2-0 everybody would be happy with the formation and performance. These chances we are missing are so important.

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