“Perhaps we lacked a little bit of freshness.” Mikel Arteta rolling out the excuses

Arsenal missed the chance to close the gap on the top six and qualify for the Europa League through the Premier League after their 1-0 loss to Aston Villa.

The Gunners struggled in the game against an opponent that is fighting for their lives in the Premier League.

While Mikel Arteta’s team had the bulk of the possession, they struggled to create any meaningful chances and the Gunners ended the game with no shots on target.

It was a terrible performance and one that most fans didn’t expect after their back-to-back wins over Liverpool and Manchester City.

After the game, Arteta praised Villa for their win before claiming that his players probably lacked “freshness” following a week that they played two tough games.

He added that they had their chances in the game. Unfortunately, they couldn’t make them count.

Arteta, speaking to Sky Sports via BBC said: “Villa gave absolutely everything and perhaps we lacked a little bit of freshness.

“Congratulations to Villa because they were put under a lot of pressure and they managed to win the game. We were in some really good positions but we didn’t manage to deliver the ball.

“Emotionally and physically it’s been a very demanding week but I saw a team who wanted to fight until the end. I’m not disappointed about the attitude – I know where we are in certain areas and where we need to improve more. We will get that.”

Arteta needs to avoid looking for excuses, half the team was fresh and simply did not show up, Villa is in the relegation zone for a reason, they are poor, they have also been playing regularly and every single one of their games is intense because they are fighting to avoid relegation.

Tags Aston Villa v Arsenal Mikel Arteta


  1. Arteta, “I know where we are in certain areas and where we need to improve more. We will get that.”

    Erm, can we have that before the final, please! 🙂

  2. Freshness?! Oh, come on, boyo! BACK ASN’L. ARTETA AND KROENKE OUT! What a disgrace.

  3. It was a poor performance and Villa did not have to play well to beat us,we were poor in every department,no excuses Mikel.
    I still think we have a good manager in the making and will not get too downbeat about this result but it was bad.

    1. I am sure Arteta is right coach from us, he is making to many mistakes.
      1. Team selection was very poor last night, picking 3 strikers. Who will supply them with chances, not surprise our goal attempts was almost zero
      2. Playing Auba on the wing is not very clever, one of the best strikers in the world out of position, while the ones playing 9, is just average, is like you putting your lamp under the table instead of on top on the table. Auba is not a winger he can’t do what wingers do like Sterling, Mane in that position. We have 2 wingers that can play there Saka & Pepe
      3. Most of the time he’s sub’s doesn’t make sense.
      4. Believing in Xhaka, while he game is so limited, the player can’t run to save is our grandmother
      5. His dealing with Mattoe is also poor. Poor player management. I agree he is somethings very simple, in discipline, but the player is still young and the FA didn’t even charge him
      6. Not trusting our best defend Holding
      7. Signing other slow defender Mari Plao
      8. I can go on and on

      1. 1. We beat Liverpool and City with 3 strikers and the same formation. Where were you then?

        2. Auba is 3rd top scorer in the league from the left wing. Wingers have almost twice as many attempts on goal as CF.

        3. Vague criticism. His subs saved the game in at least two games. They have also been ineffective at times.

        4. I guess you didn’t watch the Villa game. Xhaka moves the ball about better than almost everyone else in the team and his defensive work has been superb since the restart. Could we do better? Definitely. Is there a better option in the first team? No.

        5. None of us know the conversation that occurred and therefore the issue in question. Your criticism is spurious.

        6. Holding played yesterday. He was poor. Mustafi has been better even with his occasional madness. That says it all about our defence this season. You act like you haven’t watched a single game with Holding. He’s really not that good.

        7. Too early to judge Mari but that won’t stop people like you from trying to point the finger.

        8. Please do. This is easy.

        1. Mr Sean M

          1. We didn’t play 3 strikers against Liverpool (1 striker) and City (2 strikers), are you watching these games

          2. Auba is no winger, you can change a player position at the age of 31, he is to tall, doesn’t have the skill to play in the middle, most of the time when he receive the ball, when he is in the middle, he lose it. He can’t run at player with ball like most successfully wingers. He run well without the ball like a striker, because he is striker. If you watch our games you will see him runs into the striker position a lot of times, that there is nobody in his position. The goals his score, most of the times he is in a stickers position.
          He is doing a lot of running In the winger position and that he still tries to get into a strikers position, which affect his sticking abilities, you can see that in fact that he miss a lot of goals lately.

          3. We didn’t win our last 2 wins with sub’s, we were already up with the first sub was made, are watching these games.

          4. Xhaka definitely doesn’t make Arsenal better. He can’t run, he is not a great defense midfielder, and will never be one.

          5. This would have never happen, if Klopp was his manager.

          6. Holding only played 4 games, but had 2 player of the watch performance. I have nothing to say about Mustafi or Luiz

          7. I understand, you need more time like Arteta. Great ones know when they see it.

          8. I need a whole, but I have work to do.
          It will be easy if you can ready a game

        2. Hi Sean M.

          I will give you 1 more on point 8,

          It to Arteta 3 months to realize that Dani Ceballos is key to our midfield. Emery was on track at the beginning of the season until Dani got injured.

        3. Hi Mr Sean

          Let me answer you better on point 4.

          4.1 He runs faster than Xhaka
          4.2 His pass accuracy is better that Xhaka
          4.3 He has more interceptions that Xhaka
          4.4 He has less fouls that Xhaka
          4.5 Far less mistake that lead to goals against us
          4. 6 He helps us better to play from the back, because he moves better.
          4.7 His games is mills away from his full potentials, Xhaka is already at his celling.
          4.8 He will achieve must more in soccer that Xhaka ( Great ones will know before it happen, the others will first wait from it to happen)
          4.9. His money value is for more than that of Xhaka

  4. It was a lethargic display but I am not ready to call for Arteta’s head like Robert.

    I half looked at his post match interview. I have seen his face after losing before – apoplectic springs to mind. Not last night though. I am sure he knew that the cup was the only route to European football next season and is now going to concentrate on that.

    1. Yeah, Arteta needs time. Please don’t start with Artetaout# for Christs’ sake!!

      Arteta has more class than to blaming players publicly for bad performances. Although, “lack of freshness” was nod a good description to base the reasons on. As for a win in the final being the only route to Europe next season, it’s not good for the club when we are in positions like this. I just hope the club address the issues over the summer and aim to avoid the problems we have had. The stats for this season are amongst the worst in Arsenal history. Change is needed on a grander scale. I just hope the Kronke family are on-board with full support!?

      1. His team selection is very poor every times.
        1. Best striker not in his position every game
        2. Best wingers not in position most of the games, (Saka & Pepe)
        3. Best defender only on the pitch where he is the last resource.
        4. The slower player in the league always in the team.
        5. Sub’s that never make sens.
        6. And there is more

      2. You are right GunneRay the position we are in now is not good enough and Kroenke’s backing is important

      3. GunneRay, You are clearly an intelligent man and make much sense with your post, but to my mind you are afraid to really speak your mind.
        I believe you know only too well that while KROENKE remains as owner, proper team investment is NOT going to happen. Instead of issuing a “I just hope … etc” statement which means nothing, why not join those of us who know 100% that we are never going to challenge for titles while Kroenke stays and join in calling for his head.
        Arteta is a great talent BUT is held back by Kroenke. You know that perfectly well, so please don’t sit on the fence but join in that fight to remove Kroenke, instead of kidding yourself with “hope” comments which are doomed, as you well know!

        1. You can’t use team investment as an reason. We have one of the best strikers in the world in the team, last seasons golden boot winner and just off winning it this season. He’s playing on the wing! £72 million spent on Pepe, Lacazette.
          Leicester, Wolves, Sheffield Utd and Burnley sit above us in the league. Leicester and Wolves will be in Europe next season yet all of them have spent a fraction of what we have.
          I’m in no way condoning or sticking up for Kroenke. I want him out to. He’s a business man who is using Arsenal as an investment. We need an owner who understands the values of Arsenal and actually likes football.
          It’s not all about spending huge amounts on players, it’s about spending wisely, buying the right players for the positions their needed in and playing to their strengths.

  5. Thus far, Arteta has realized one thing and rectified it by playing an extra defender in 3-4-3 formation. That, I congratulate him.

    However, his only problem yesterday was playing 3 center forwards.

  6. In my view the loss yesterday falls on Atreta’s shoulders.
    Very poor team selection, players playing out of position, continuing with a system that was obviously after 10 minutes not working and using fitness as an excuse.
    We were outplayed both in football and tactics.
    You could see Luis getting annoyed and trying to telling team mates to get into better positions.
    It was all to slow and no motivation from Arteta.
    I’m not saying I want Arteta out. I’m willing to give him time but he needs to take a large portion of the blame for our losses to Villa and Brighton.
    Teams can see now they just need to sit deep, defend and then catch us on the counter or a set piece. If he does the same against Chelsea they will demolish us in the cup final, Just like they did in the Europa final and Brighton, Spurs and Villa did. Sit deep, close all the channels, deny our forwards any space and catch us on the counter.

    1. I noticed that with Luiz too. It was mainly directed at Torreira and Cedric, both of whom looked lost coming into tactics that they clearly weren’t familiar enough with. Ceballos was also getting annoyed with the lack of movement.

      There were some very poor individual performances but there was a real lack of familiarity in yesterday’s first team. Arteta has to take some of the blame but with games happening every 3 days, how much times does he really have to make such preparations?

      1. you can add xhaka to ceballos and luiz also, saw him literally pointing to the others to make a freaking run and not stand like a bloody statue. Cedric is good when we set up to defend and counter as he has good defensive instinct and yesterday we badly needed bellerin and AMN to make runs, opening space and committing defenders.

      2. Very true he hasn’t had that long to work with the squad and needs more time.
        As for the preparation all teams are in the same boat at the moment. Some coaches have got it right and some haven’t. Man U for instance are playing better now than they have all season.

  7. We can stop the search and remove the missing persons reports, the whiners and moaners are back

    hahaha real pathetic bunch you guys are probably had the comments all saved up praying for a bad result.

  8. MA rolling out excuses?until now he has never used excuses unlike many other managers! secondly he is right,the 2 consecutive games against Liverpool and Man City took a lot out of the team spending the majority of the time defending also the players voluntary or not took their feet off the pedal and might got a bit carried away,may be a good thing and another lesson learned we will see a different team against Watford trust me!wi5h young teams like Chelsea, arsenal.. inconsistency is the problem!

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