Arteta “We haven’t played at our best over the two legs”

Arsenal only had to win by one goal at the Emirates last night to get through to the Final of the Europa League, but for the umpteenth time this season our strikers have failed to put the ball in the back of the net.

Yes we came close twice through Aubameyang, but simply not close enough, and considering how both teams played over the 180 minutes, one would have to say that Villarreal were the better team by a good margin, especially in the first leg where we were very lucky to only end up with a one-goal deficit.

Before the game, Arteta refused to think it was possible for us not to reach the final, so it is a massive setback for the Spaniard. “We are all devastated,” he told “We wanted to deliver something for this football club and get to the final and reach the Champions League next season and give something to our fans.

“Unfortunately, today we came up short. There were moments in the second half, we hit the post twice, then we had an empty goal to put the ball in the net.

“Small margins define these ties and today we came up short.

“When you lose a semi-final or a final you’ll always have things you wanted to do differently. We haven’t played at our best over the two legs.

“Certainly in the first half an hour in Villarreal and the first half here. Even still, we were in the tie after all that, and we could have been easily through to the final.

“We haven’t arrived individually in the best possible way in the defining moments when the big players have to step up.

“Today we have to swallow a huge disappointment for everybody but we had a terrific run in the competition with the very difficult teams that we’ve had.

“Now we have a game on Sunday and our responsibility is to go and win the remaining games and give us a chance to see where we finish.”

So, we can only wonder how Arteta is feeling this morning, having ended the season as the coach that has failed to bring European football to the Emirates for the first time in 25 years.

That is a bitter pill to swallow…

Tags Arteta devastated Villarreal


  1. Arteta is deluded. Pathologically deluded. He thought we were unlucky….we watched the game, we were rubbish. We were missing everything we needed. Arteta is a fraud and some sad supporters are kidding themselves about him STILL. He can harm us more. It is football SELF HARM. He is picking teams to underperform. He is harming himself and is hurting Arsenal bit by bit. The players do not like him and he is a bad coach.

  2. Hard to comment as I did not watch the game. The highlights showed a very bland first half, a slightly attacking second half but nothing to suggest that we could have won. I guess it was another case of matchday injury hampering our gameplan, but MA has to take responsibility for not devising a carefully thought out plan to break Villareal and not motivating the players enough. Finally, were the players playing with passion we might have advanced to the final but I guess too many were just going through the motions. Really tough times to be an Arsenal fan and support Mikel.

  3. Pathetic, gutless, clueless, I would even describe the performance as “insipid”!

  4. Forget about the two legs with Villarreal, what about the other poor performances this season. We have been so bad at home. Arteta needs to pull his head out of his ass if he thinks they were unlucky. Tactically, Arteta’s team selections have been found wanting by so many teams. He plays the same hand every time. Even lower clubs know they can get to us. The players look so disjointed and lethargic even with a good rest. To me it shows they just don’t have the fight or the passion for it. They don’t believe in the cause. That comes from the manager and the club owners. They are the blame. Not the players.

    I’m not surprised the Kroenkes wanted the Super League so much. Easy money for nothing. How this Arsenal could ever compete against the likes of Man City, Real Madrid and Co beggars belief. Or, maybe they were never going to anyway. Just the wiping boys with a manager with his head in the sand whilst his owners got richer!

    This club has officially slumped to the bottom of the spiraling journey that started over a decade ago. Playing some of the worst football I have seen Arsenal play in over 40 years. Out of Europe after 25 years and still firmly placed as a mid table team at best!

    If Arteta has a job by the end of the season I just hope it’s not at Arsenal. It’s not about whether he should be sacked. The club need to show responsibility and accountability for making a mistake. He has to go or they prove they are a laughing stock!


  5. No matter the calibre players arsenal would buy as long as Arteta is coaching them, arsenal will not go anywhere near the top six. Arteta is purely focusing on defensive play than attacking and that will hamper arsenal from winning games. He has totally changed the way arsenal used to play. Why is it that no matter how good a player is in another team but when that player is bought and brought to arsenal definatly he will never be the same again. Arsenal is loosing its values bit by bit and if care is not taken next season will be the worst.

    1. I’ve been a great supporter of Arteta, but what I’ve seen him do lately, I’m sorry the club may not move forward with him in place.

    2. Abdul, you are damn right he ruins good players I’ve been banging on about partey for years he comes to arsenal and look at him same with aubameyang, I really don’t know what his tactics are sometimes we press and another time we don’t, last night we had so many creative players on the pitch and nothing, the only effort on goal was we hit the post.

  6. Well said Sid.The injury to Xhaka and the fact that Tierney was not match fit, clearly impacted in our performance, but ,in reality, the result is the culmination of virtually a decade of mismanagement ,both on and off the pitch ,under our absentee owner who is ultimately responsible for our mid table status.I read a quote from an earlier article which said, and I quote, “this rookie moron has destroyed our Club”.Well our Club is not destroyed, and our history will tell you we have been through more difficult times.All our fans are frustrated today, myself included, but at the end of the day,the Owner will decide where we go from here in terms of further investment and any changes in Management.In any event, at my age I am happy to enjoy the sunshine, and to walk the beautiful beaches near my home and to smell the roses.Keep calm everyone.

    1. Grandad you are a better man than I am! I am beyond frustrated and angry. We have owners who don’t know how to run a football club. Yes they have American sports franchises but the downward trajectory of the club since they have become involved I think backs up that statement. I don’t think they will sell because we are easy money, the club in the Premiere League is lucrative even without European football.

      1. I am perhaps older than you, but not necessarily better Gg.Like you I doubt if Kroenke will sell Arsenal unless his business empire in the USA is coming under severe pressure.I don’t know enough about his ventures in the States to make any sensible comments on the subject but I would love Arsenal to be owned by someone who has a genuine feeling for our Club and who can relate directly to our fan base.

    2. Grandad
      C’mon be honest, Arteta is not doing it. You have to admit that Arteta cannot motivate this group. You supported him, but now it’s clear he’s not up to it. You are very coherent and sensible except around Arteta. But now regarding Arteta you seem to be clinging to hope rather than facts.

      1. Sean I would like to think you will agree with the impact caused by the injuries to Tierney and Xhaka but I accept your criticism of Arteta is justified particularly with regard to the team selection for the first leg in Spain.Saka ought to have been used at LB or LWB with Xhaka moving to his midfield role.Arteta has flattered to deceive but my reluctance to jump on the band wagon demanding his sacking is tempered by the fact that my first choice to replace Wenger,Emery and Arteta is currently “not available”Brendan Rodgers seems to be entirely happy and comfortable at Leicester and he is the guy I advocated for Manager when Wenger was removed.I am not in favour of appointing cheque book Managers such as Benitez, Ancellotti or Allegri but would rather give an opportunity to up and coming Managers who in my opinion have done very well with limited resources.Graham Potter at Brighton is someone I admire for many reasons and I would not be averse to him being approached by Arsenal in the event of Rogers being reluctant to move.Who do you fancy to be Manager of Arteta is shown the door?

        1. And that is the kind of manager we are going to be able to get right now Grandad – someone like Potter. We can’t get the big guns. Rogers would be nice, but he isn’t leaving Leicester, right now it is a step down and they are in Europe. We need somebody (and being realistic about who it could be) who knows how to work on a budget, can really nurture younger players and is capable of adjusting tactics due to injury.

          To sort of take from Arteta – “once I knew that Granit was hurt, I knew that we were going to lose”. He can’t adjust.

          Enough venting, sun is rising and it is a golf day! Cheer up Gunners, especially folks on this site, it will get better (can’t promise exactly when though).

  7. Arteta has created history. Some poor decisions but the energy in the first half was awful and that is down to Arteta. He needed mentally strong players and unfortunately he didn’t have many. The job has come too soon for him and his decisions both in this and first leg led us to this. Normally when big players pull out so close to playing is a bad sign. Can’t believe he motivates team to a first half like that.
    Leno is a time waster and a waste of time. Bellerin tries to score and assist but not to defend. Odegaard was a passenger and Xhaka was a big loss in midfield. Where was Elneny?

  8. Sorry but I think it’s about time for Arteta to go. We are not getting any better. We seem to be getting worse.

    I have been hoping and hoping for him to succeed here but I have seen enough now to conclude that the job is too much for him. He should go out and gain more experience at a lesser club. The Arsenal job is clearly turning into a nightmare for him and for us as a club.

    I have given him as much leeway as I can but he just keep disappointing. I can’t keep deluding myself.

    Was nice giving you a real chance but that’s it for me.

    Wish you all the best but not at Arsenal right now.

    Thank you very much.

  9. How can Arteta say ‘we tried our best”? was that lethargic, slow lifeless performance the best we can offer according to our manager? there was no fight whatsoever and this man say that was Arsenal team giving their best? wow!, we are in for more pain. You see how Chelsea Players played with passion and commitment against Real Madrid? that looked like a team leaving it all on the pitch. there’s no one that saw that game and would say Arsenal player gave even up to 50% except our delusional manager.

  10. I have been an Arteta fan. I really wanted him to be successful and stay with the team for a long, long time. But, I’m really at a loss. IMO, the #1 job of the manager is to select the team most capable of winning each week. #2 is to make substitutes that change the game on a timely basis. MA has failed at both of these for most of the season. I’m trying to convince myself that the shock of a failed season will cause a major upheaval in the squad and management. Remove the old, slow, ineffective and/or error-prone: DL, W, X, HB, BL, DC. Sell Laca and Auba not bc they aren’t capable but bc they aren’t the future. We need to field a team of “under 25s” who compete with each other week in, week out. A team built on speed. A team that swarms forward intending to score with each possession. A team built on the forward pass and forward dribble. As for the coaching, we MUST CHANGE: stop waiting until last minutes of a game to yank players, stop fielding a team that fails to play with width on the right, start fielding attackers who are an aerial threat, stop fielding players who aren’t capable of shooting on target (emphasizing both missing elements this season of the willingness to shoot and accuracy).

  11. Flip side is we can concentrate on league form next season and that new players will have to be brought in. First targets have to be gotten, no looking for best value options because that is loser mentality.

    Arteta, he messed up by not dropping certain players underperforming. Look at Luiz situation. He’s not getting a new contract, yet he’s Arteta’s main defender this season, a guy we don’t even want to keep is a main defender. Saliba got no chance, some bs about him not getting enough games in France because they had a plan in mind. Other teams play players they buy even if that player missed half a season. Nonsense on top of nonsense. And catchy one liners after games like it means anything after a season like ours, sounds like a pr guy giving him an odd line, has MA got a pr guy.

  12. I have been supporting Arteta up to now but you have to question his motivational skills because that 1st half when we needed to come out and play with energy and stamp our authority on the game was dire. It has to come also from the players as well surely, we needed someone , the captain but we all know that Auba isn’t up to the job, to have given a Churchill like speech in the dressing room beforehand and really get the players up for it. We don’t seem to have an Adams, Keane, Souness type player that can do this.Where we go from here I have no idea but the whole demeanour from the owners, management and players has to change to enable us to move on upwards.

  13. The answer the the title of the article is “because you play sh*t football and get what you deserve”

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