Arteta: The small details cost us


Mikel Arteta says Arsenal paid the price for “small details” as Sp*rs came from behind to take the points in the north London derby.

Alex Lacazette’s stunning long-range strike gave the Gunners the lead on 16 minutes but familiar defensive failings proved costly. Heung-Min Son took advantage of a terrible pass by Sead Kolasinac to level things up inside three minutes and poor marking late in the game allowed Toby Alderweireld space at a corner to head home a late winner.

The boss was clearly disappointed with the result given his side had dominated for large periods of the game. Here’s what he had to say when he faced the Sky Sports cameras…

On the result…

We are really, really sad. We wanted to give our fans the moment of glory and happiness, we tried our best, I’m really, really proud of the players. To play the way they played in this ground, I have never seen the opponent dominated before and nullified as much as I’ve seen today. But, we give them a goal again and we conceded at a set piece. At that level, you cannot do it.

On being even more disappointed given the second half dominance…

Absolutely, the game was ours. After the first goal the game was ours, we had total control. They didn’t generate anything, every time we pressed the ball they could not come out, we regained ball after ball. it’s difficult to attack a low block like this all the time, but we generated enough chances. Again, it’s the small details that cost us. That’s one of the biggest parts we have to improve as a team.

On the return of defensive errors…

They can make them. We’ll keep trying and trying to improve and will coach them and get that out of their heads as much as possible but it happened today and when it happens in big games, normally the margins is not that big to win games.

On the way the game played out…

It was the way we set up the game, the way we wanted to play. The way we want to become, to come to any ground and put the performance that we want to put in, dominate the opponent the way we did. We’ll move forward and continue that way.

On how damaging defeat is…

Massive. The players are gutted. You see the effort that they put in again today and we had the hope to come here and win, that was the game plan that we had. Obviously, when you lose it, it will take a few days to swallow that one. As well for our fans, you know how much it means, we wanted to give them that.

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Hopefully not committing crucial mistakes that lead to blowing games will be part of the non-negotiables as well.
I still can’t get over the fact that we gave Luiz an extra year and that Kolasinac plays instead of Holding. I know Arteta prefers a left footed CB, but he should be more flexible if our only available option is as bad as Kolasinac is.


We need Tierney back at LCB and Saka LWB

The Arsenal

Im just hoping this chastening end to the season sees a real ruthless policy implemented at the club. What they do with Mustafi and Kola will indicate what the club is really about. Both should be gone the moment the season ends.


The little details?

Mikel — we have dropped 15 points from winning positions since you became the manager.

That clearly highlights that you’re struggling to manage the game from the sidelines.

How we didn’t change it when we were absolutely dominating the ball and clearly on top genuinely amazed me.

That lack of action gifted Mourinho another shit-housed win for the Arsenal.

Absolutely dire.


‘over the Arsenal


Why are people downvoting this and other comments critical of Arteta ? Is Arteta the new Wenger ? No one’s saying Mikel should be sacked.I genuinely hope Arteta can learn quickly from his mistakes and get better, but he has undoubtedly made several questionable decisions since his appointment which have cost us games.Are people really denying that ? But we took that risk when we appointed a rookie manager, and Arteta has shown soon good qualities. I just hope he can iron out the creases quickly,or things will get very ugly next season. People who are irrationally defending him now… Read more »

Heavenly Chapecoense

 People who are irrationally defending him now will be the first ones to call for head”. You said it all. I fear these people. They worship the manager until they lose confidence in him. Exact same happened with Emery. Poor Arteta now has no options other than being top four ten games into next season.


As a 1st time manager, Arteta will make tactical and personnel errors from time to time. In this case, especially at the back, there are not many additional options…he is playing the cards he has been given. There are somethings thar he cannot control…like players making a 5-10 yd pass back accurately. That is one the player. While I do like Holding, I don’t see him as a player you can just throw into a match against forwards like Kane and Son without games under his belt. Koli should be sold and would be good business he came to us… Read more »


As one of the irrational defenders of Arteta I will point to the wins against Pool and City as prove that he is a good manager. And that he can set up a good defense even if the players are error prone. And for those who think he hasn’t improved us check the points tally from game 19 to 36.1,66 id just below Wengers first whole season and the league is much more competetive now


Auba taps in that Bellerin cutback 9/10 but this was that 1/10. He should finish that one that hit the bar but this is the derby and folk will get over the top with anger and those who have been patiently waiting for Mustafi, Luiz and Xhaka to mess up will go to town. Arteta has done well so have these guys. Yes we are not winning every game but we were 12ths or thereabouts but had a shot at 5th or better last week. I have every reason to trust Arteta to come through but woe on everyone playing… Read more »


Patiently waiting for them to mess up? Well that’s kind of the problem, as they consistently willing to deliver because they’re not good enough. We’re stupid enough to keep giving them chances. At the end of the season they all have to be moved on. And as for Arteta — the jury is still hugely out on his competency for me. To put that stat in context, think of some of the worst managers in the league at the moment, Moyes, Howe, Potter.. I could go on, but none of them have managed to drop that many points from winning… Read more »


How would you have changed it when we were dominating the ball and clearly on top??? Genuine question


Yeah — I would have put the third man in midfield and gone to a back four. If we had that extra man between the lines I honestly think we would have gone on to win that. Should’ve been brave and gone for it. There was no need for the back, the extra man in midfield would have given us that last little platform to get our front three more involved consistently.


I also thought we started to look quite tired. I would have looked to introduce Saka earlier than he did.


Where is the exact problem,David,Kolisnac,Sokratis or Mustaffi?


Interesting …. but I think that may well have made us too narrow, we would have lost Tierney’s and Bellerin’s impetus going forward which was causing them problems. Hindsight is 50/50 but as you said we were dominating with that system and if Auba was an inch lower we would have gone into the lead with that system…. as Arteta said, fine details and it’s also fine margins


I kinda think that’s a mooted point, because we created that goal out of fortune, was it not Bellerin’s deflected shot that found its way out to Pierre? And I dont for one second blame him for not scoring. That guy has been out performing all season for us, so he was always going to have a big moment that didn’t go for him, and sadly that day was yesterday. But I partly put that down to their being just a lack of a platform to get him involved more regularly. Danny needed that forward pass in front of him,… Read more »

Gooner Sam

I gave Emery the benefit of the doubt with the shot show of last season and he didnt show anything like what I have seen from Arteta. I personally believe in him and see more under him than I have seen for a long time. It will take time but I genuinely see a positive future. Patience people please

Tomaury Bischfeld

I don’t mind people viewing the game in a different way to me or pointing fingers at people I don’t think deserve blame. That’s your right. I find it particularly cringeworthy though when people who are Arsenal fans start accusing other fans of being irrational, or questioning how anyone could possibly disagree with them. Like in any field of life, if you’re going to argue, give good arguments and accept and listen to dissent because you learn from it. What ever happened to respectful disagreement and aren’t we supposed to be supporting the same club? And think about it, by… Read more »


If you’ve got an argument, please present it.Whether it’s rational or not will be determined by it’s logical consistency and how well it’s supported by facts, not someone’s opinion of it.

Tomaury Bischfeld

I don’t really want to get into it now but.. You stated that Arteta “undoubtedly” had made decisions which cost us games. Actually there’s a good deal of doubt considering you can’t prove that things would have gone any differently if he hadn’t done what he did. You’re just jumping to a conclusion that a loss was his fault. Unless you’ve spent several hours, weeks, months studying an individual game whatever you think is rational is likely to be underpinned by a massive amount of erroneous logic and bias. Even then you can’t prove you’re right because that would require… Read more »


A classic case of nuance-trolling.
Unless we’re absolutely sure of every variable,every argument we make is subjective.
We‘ve dropped 15 points from winning positions under Arteta. If you really think in-game management has nothing to do with it, I’ve got a bridge to sell to you.

Tomaury Bischfeld

What’s nuance trolling? You asked me for an argument and I gave you one. I wouldn’t have said anything otherwise. Yeh but you see, I don’t really care about what you said about Arteta. You can say whatever you like and I might disagree. It just stinks a bit to call other people “irrational’ or suggest they’re hypocrites because they disagree with you.

Tomaury Bischfeld

Also, why did you assume I thought in game management had nothing to do with it? Maybe you’re right and it does. But it’s also perfectly plausible and not irrational that people defend Arteta and point to other factors whether you agree or not.


-43, just wait until our next two games. 7 goals against coming up, then its better time to have objective criticsm on real numbers. Arteta fanclub does not work on those just yet. Mourinho has outdone Arteta by just letting him do his manager thing. Game needed massive change, the fact he didn’t see it again is worrying. Saka for Kola, 2v1 agaisnt our wings would be 2v2, link from mid to attack very obvious problem and we change the game on our terms. Arteta let Mourinho football continue (they were dominating on big chances then, Arteta didn’t see it,… Read more »


Iamagooner for next Arsenal coach. Clearly the most knowledgeable of football fans, his experience of watching every game is worth far more than a top tier playing career and traineeship under one of the greatest coached of the modern age.


A Managers’s performance should be assessed on results, not his credentials.
The ‘you can’t judge him unless you’ve had the job’ argument is stupid and stale.
That’s not how performance evaluation works.


More than a few days for fans mate!

The games v BHA, Leicester and today have summed up the persistent little things that go wrong. We may have possession but need to have it in opponents box and have more shots.

Having said that, we have come nearer to St Totteringham’s day than expected earlier in the season.


For anyone who maintains hope in the constant failings of at least half of our first team, then just be content with this decline. Defence and midfield has been below the required standard for years now. I was perplexed by Wenger telling us 4th place was a trophy, but now that seems like a distant memory. Arteta talks big, but he has a knack for losing games from winning positions. Liverpool next then Man City. Joy.

John C

Exactly, too many of our players aren’t good enough, but this is the legacy of aiming for the 4th place trophy. We spent a decade buying 4th place quality not Championship quality, eventually you’re going to be overtaken.

Glen Helders left foot

Trying to play like pep without the best players in the world simply won’t work, when Barcelona or city are 5% off they get destroyed by good teams(that’s why he only won the champions league twice with possibly the best team ever) I really fear for Arteta trying to emulate pep and going into another cycle of weak skillful players with horrible defending


If every one of those defenders makes a big mistake one in ten games, and you play three of them, the numbers are obvious.

Put an extra man in midfield, give us more chances of creating and finishing chances. Ultimately, Kolasinac starts this game instead of Saka. And it costs us.

I believe in Arteta fully and hope he learns from this. But if Wolves was on Arteta, so is this.


Well said, totally agree here.

Dr. kNOw

How many games in a row will the boy play, despite looking very clearly jaded in recent games? Saka’s omission is not a stick to beat Arteta with. Neither is the lack of changes. In this game. HOWEVER!!… The lack of consistent cohesion in attack is a real worry. The same five players are used: one is a new and inconsistent recruit; one is young academy grad who’s often jaded after 5 consecutive games; one is the current POTY – despite a couple of recent goals – having a poor season that sees him gleefully ripe for a swap with… Read more »


Their first goal was a microcosm of our problems. Kolasinic has the ball, Tierney is in plenty of space and on the move, but for no reason whatsoever he decides to play backwards. He screws up that pass, which puts Luiz in a one-on-one, where he is woeful, and he doesn’t have the pace to beat Son to the ball. Negative football combined with sloppy play and poor personnel.


We’re going nowhere but down fellas with the Kroenke family running things. Arteta could be the real deal but not without the backing The Arsenal deserve.
Sad fact. ?

Welsh Gooner

We need to stop bashing Mikel here. I can guarantee that he never told Kolasinac to pass that poorly in training. The defeat sucks, especially to Sp*rs, we were the better team but let Mourinho get a shithouse win. We all knew this wasn’t going to be an easy job for Mikel when he took the job over. But he knows the club and does know what he is doing. We can hope that from the performances we have witnessed since restart who should be moved on, and maybe that can be possible in the summer. For large parts of… Read more »

Glen Helders left foot

He picked kola over holding


Kolasinac has been playing like a scared cat ever since being moved to centre back. He has neither the technique nor the footballing sense to be playing there. A mistake was bound to happen sooner than later. And who was supposed to bail him out ? Luiz, another reliable and solid centre back.

The Mighty Bun

Ach, that was a fucker. If you watch the first goal, Arteta is pointing back when Kola has the ball. He wants it moved to the opposite flank quickly. Just so happens Kola has a bollocks right foot. Luiz is dreaming of getting one over Mourinho and is slow to react to where the ball is going. This first goal is on Luiz.

The Mighty Bun

And fuck all this negative shite directed at Arteta. He’s our man.


And who continues to play Luiz and Kolasinac as centre backs ?
Answers on a postcard

The Mighty Bun

Who else do we have? Has any other combination sent us on a mini run?


Are you saying we don’t have better center backs than Sead f**king Kolasinac ?
If you are, you’re even more dense than I initially gave you credit for


Really disappointing result. But somehow I saw the loss coming. I really wanted to see a midfield 3 of Torreira, Xhaka and Ceballos. Don’t know if Arteta fancies that idea. But I think it gives us extra security and control in midfield.


I normally have a very positive attitude towards Mikel, but this quote here, I do not understand: “… I’m really, really proud of the players. To play the way they played in this ground, I have never seen the opponent dominated before and nullified as much as I’ve seen today.” Of course I haven’t verified this, because I normally do not tend to watch Tottenham games, but the commentator on my language feed said the following during the game: “A shot on goal by Tottenham after roughly 20 seconds, this is already more than in their last game when they… Read more »

Benjy Runnings

Arsenal will keep losing key games as long as they keep recruiting mediocre players and players based on reputations rather performance. All Germans players at Arsenal were recruited after Germany won World Cup however many players have been below par for many seasons now and l can’t understand how the club is paying Ozil 350,000 per week and he’s hasn’t play football in ages, to me this showed lack of good management and foresight. Even renewing Luiz contract is a mistake l will rather use the academy players than play Kolasnic etc. Arteta will need to wake and change his… Read more »


Use of Academy players depends on who. Saka and Willock show good aptitude but frankly some of the other options are even worse than players we have on hand. BUT ultimately the responsibility must lie with the gaffer to motivate and push the players. I did not see enough fight and hunger from our players today. Arteta is caught between two things now. He needs to keep a suitable core but the trouble is the players vulnerable to leave are more likely to be the better assets. If he tries to rebuild too much, it may end up working against… Read more »


It is hard to accept that 9th is about our level, but the table rarely lies.

Threre is a brutal clear out needed to move forward.


There’s not even been a new manager bounce with Arteta. We are in the results business. As encouraging as some prefer to think Artteta’s performances are, we are being left behind by teams like Sheffield and Wolves never mind Leicester. …let that sink in. he had January to freshen things up, we signed an injured Cedric and Mari. frankly, we need quality players who can dribble and make things happen independently. I said it some seasons past we should have got Mahrez for Wenger. Last summer we had opportunity to buy either or both of Ziyech and Fekir, instead we… Read more »


Left behind by Sheffield (who we beat), Wolves (who we beat) and Leicester (who we did everything but beat)? We have made significant strides under Arteta – but we all knew this wasn’t going to be a quick and easy fix. I retain full faith in Arteta and the work that he’s doing. Top 4 next season.


He should have been able to motivate the team. They look so nervous and unfocus coming in. Defense misplaced a number of passes but going forward, we were rather super over cautious… and our wide players in Auba/Pepe conspired to lose so many balls plus did not show enough competition. Often times, both wingbacks were isolated by 3 or 4 white shirts. Frankly, although Arteta has had good ideas tactically, he has still had a hard time instilling discipline with this team. And the re-signing of Luiz sends a daft message. I don’t think he simply has the clout to… Read more »


…I mean FFS Unai Emery would have told you the same…something about details.


I have seen a few games back and to my conclusion, David Luiz has to go. His time is over. I don’t understand why arteta put him there again. He is not fit and fast anymore. He barely run and because of him the rest backline look nervous. Get a good centre back for the club sake.