Mikel Arteta not a happy man with the Arsenal defence following Olympiacos defeat

Mikel Arteta blasts the Arsenal defence in loss to Olympiacos.

Mikel Arteta blames the Arsenal defence after the Gunners were eliminated from the Europa League by Olympiacos.

After taking a 1-0 lead into the first leg, Arsenal was expected to see off their Greek visitors, but they struggled at the back on the night and conceded two sloppy goals.

This season’s Europa League was one of the ways Arsenal were hoping to get back into the Champions League next season and they gave themselves a good chance of progressing by winning the first leg.

However, they have now been knocked out and Arteta admitted that it did hurt to leave the competition in that manner, but blamed his team’s defending for selling them out.

Arteta said as quoted in the Sun: “This hurts, big time. We had a lot of hope in this competition because it was a great way for us to be able to go into Europe.

“We created enough chances to win and even at the end we had an incredible opportunity but if you concede two set-pieces like this then you put yourself in big trouble.

“Obviously Bernd Leno could have done better at the end when he kicked it out for a corner but there was still another situation to defend and we didn’t do that.

“We conceded because of the second phase of that action when their player just steps in and taps the ball in from the six-yard box.

“That’s unacceptable and something that we have to improve on.

Arsenal now has to focus on making inroads into the Premier League’s top five before this season ends. They can also secure a return to the Europa League next season if they can win the English FA Cup.

5 Comments

  1. S says:

    Welcome to carrot v stick dilemma of modern management, do you risk alienating your highly paid highly pampered individuals even without naming them, or will they actually appreciate the honesty and start performing in the future?

  2. ken1945 says:

    Why oh why didn’t MA make positive and attacking substitutions as early as half time?

    Last night proved to me that Lacs is not the man we should rely on as our CF, he has had so many chances to prove he is the man and Nketiah should be given that role for the remainder of the season OR Auba moves there and we give Martinelli the opportunity to show his worth.

    If there was one single piece of optimism from last night’s woeful performance, it was the way Auba reacted after the game.
    If this was the way a player, who it is reported wants to leave the club. responds then he is an exceptional actor – he looked as devastated as every supporter and I only hope he just might feel that he should stay at a club where he is so appreciated by the supporters.

    Apart from that, we’re out after a terrible performance from everyone, bar Mustafi, so it’s on to Portsmouth and let’s hope Mustafi’s injury isn’t to serious – would love to see him and Mari together.

    As for the ridiculous reaction calling for MA’s head, it beggars belief that we have such short term memory fans – one loss and the toxicity starts all over again – let’s see how he reacts to this result and see what team he puts out on Monday and what performance he gets from them before we start to crucify him.

    1. jon fox says:

      Ken many sound comments and I too was pleasantly surprised at how woeful Auba was. But I don’t quite go all the way with you on that meaning he wishes to stay. He just wants to win silverware and that is all it was about IMO. All player should alwqays be befeft when losingin any comp etition, I’d think.

      1. ken1945 says:

        Yes Jon they should.
        However, this was a player who, reportedly, wants a large salary increase and CL football, said to be refusing to sign a new contract that’s been on the table for months and is our best player, currently, by miles.
        If it was just losing out on silverware, I would have expected a shrug of the shoulders and not much else, but he was devastated, as later interviews bore out.

        I believe if MA gets us a fa cup win this season, or even a fifth spot and CL qualification, there might just be justification in my thoughts!!

        I fully expect the team on Monday to be filled with our younger players after last nights performance (along with Mari) and one other thing to put forward…Mustafi’s performances since MA took over have been quite exceptional and I think he will stay and luiz and Soks will be shown the door!!

  3. Eno_1 gunner says:

    How on earth do u end up with two awful center backs, I mean shouldn’t they compliment each other. Usually one reads the game well and the other is the destroyer I.e Ferdinand and Vitic, Nesta and Maldini, vandik and… anyone really but the only compliment these two have besides the hair is Luiz is awful and Mustafi despite his spells of looking like a average defender is just a white djourou who was god awful.

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