Mikel Arteta has voiced his concern and frustration after Arsenal’s tepid performance at Carrow Road on Saturday evening saw them rolled over 1-0 by Norwich.
The Gunners, who barely created any chances of merit despite controlling possession for much of the game, conceded first for the fifth time this season but couldn’t find the necessary resolve to grind down their determined opponents.
Speaking after the match, the Spanish midfielder lamented to Arsenal.com:
“We’re really down because we expected to win the game. They raised their game, they made it very difficult for us.
“I think we controlled the game, mostly, for 90 minutes. But you go a goal down, you start getting anxious, the goal doesn’t come, it makes it really hard.
“For the amount of ball we had in the game, we should have done more and created more goal situations. We need more patience sometimes.”
“It’s not the first time we have conceded the first goal,” Arteta added. “It’s very difficult.
“If you go ahead, it gives you a lift, the other team has to take risks, and you can cause mistakes. You can’t get back in the game every time you fall behind. It’s a tough ask and we haven’t done it today.
“We have time to come back. But we are down because we know how good we are and how good we can be.”
Arsene Wenger, recognising that his side’s title credentials are already hanging by a thread, has also raised alarm at the ten-point gap which has opened between his ninth placed side and leaders Chelsea.
“The gap is very unpleasant,” Wenger told the Evening Standard. “We had an opportunity that Tottenham could win and we could win, and we both lost. That of course makes the gap a lot bigger.
“You cannot say you do not worry about that, but what is more disappointing is that we could not score. After we went 1-0 down we had the ball for 70 minutes and could not score a goal.”
Disappointment all round then; hardly surprising given Saturday’s performance was as enjoyable as drinking bin juice.
Thankfully there’s no time to wallow in self-pity (or bin juice), a much improved performance is a necessity when Schalke visit the Emirates on Wednesday.