Mikel Arteta spoke to Sky Sports after today’s 1-0 defeat to Man City, this is what he had to say.

Is a narrow defeat any consolation?

No, I am upset, because I think we deserved more from the game. I am extremely happy about the performance we put in today, against a top, top team. To come here and play with the attitude, and to have the courage to play the way we played today, to make it as difficult as we made it, I have to say I cannot demand much more from the players.

Apart from to say that when you have three big chances, in this game you have to score.

Which was the best chance?

I think the three of them were really good, and obviously the situation we have with the corner and Kyle Walker … in that situation.

Have you seen it back?

Yes.

What are your thoughts on it now?

Well, that has to be checked [by VAR]. They said that they checked, and I asked ‘How the hell have you checked if you took two seconds to check that action?!’

Obviously there is something there.

Sky understands VAR chose not to review it. 

Yes, I think that’s what happened.

Do you think you could have done better for the goal you conceded?

Yes. I have to review that, but obviously every goal the opponents score, there is something .. early or after, but we cannot change that. We know that everything has to be perfect in both boxes against them, but again I have to say we’ve come a long way.

I am extremely happy, I was in the dressing room [at City] for four years, and I know what it takes for a team to have done what we did tonight here.

How far have you come – can it be measured versus the last time?

They are completely different games, we had two injuries in the first 15 minutes, we played 45 minutes with 10 men … it’s just different. I talk about today, tonight, what we’ve done … if we have to lose football games, let’s do it like this.

Willian in the centre – what was the thinking?

It was part of the game plan, situations we wanted to use, overloads we wanted to create, and I thought it was a good match for him.

How much impact did Holding’s late injury have?

We are always aware, we always ask our players to be ready because this can happen in the warm up, after two minutes in the game, and David was ready to play, and I think he had a great performance.

Viewing defeat in perspective.

I look in perspective, against the team that we play, against the things they tried to do … how they adapted, how they read the situations and tried to correct them. And the energy that I felt in the game, I felt that we got better and better, and they are extremely disappointed they didn’t get anything from the game.

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PeteyB

Maybe we could have had a penalty, but equally Gabriel was maybe lucky not to give one away for a pretty blatant of the ball block in the box

Balls

Nope

Charlie

Shoulder to shoulder is permitted.

David C

Silva completely ran into him then dove. Don’t be tricked by the commentators. That was dark arts stuff from Silva.

Miike

Impeding the opponent is an indirect free kick. As is the dangerous play (the high foot)

Neither of these incidents would even be a penalty if called.

I think Gabriel was close enough to playing the ball, if that were in any other part of the field no one would blink twice about it.

The high foot though would be called if it weren’t in the box I think.

PeteyB

A new personal record for most unpopular comment. Fair enough though. I had my heart in my mouth in the moment and no doubt Lee Dixon’s patter cemented that view. If you see replay Gabriel is pretty far from the ball, and (aside from a glance to Leno) looking only at the man. Arm slightly raised.
In my mind it gave the VAR gods opportunity to smite us if they chose to.

miike

i looked it up and im wrong about it, impedement is only indirect free kick if there’s no contact. Bernardo Silva flopped into gabriel to initiate contact to get a penalty, but luckily the refs saw this blatant grift and didn’t reward it.

I understand your point, felt the same way about that emi martinez grab right on the line of the 18 yard box. Ballsy but also why take that risk.

the non-call against city for the high foot would’ve still been an indirect though since no one got hit.

karl

If nothing happens for the Mane challenge on Tierney, you can hardly expect Gabriel to suffer.

Saleth

First time I disagree with arteta’s words. Willian had a good match? :O

Jack

He can’t really say ‘yeh Willian stank the place out’ though

Vino

He could always not say it

loose_cannon

More than that, if Arteta criticised Willian, people would rightly point out that it was his decision to play him there instead of his 3 actual CFs.

Alex

He is not annoyed to say Özil is no more able to kick a ball when obviously he is way better than £220 000 per week Borges.

GUN

You will get a lot of down votes, but the fact is that Ozil was one of the best players under Arteta before lockdown. As long as he is an Arsenal player, he should be played imo.

Usmanov

“…I thought it was a good match for him.

Don’t know. But I read that as.. “I thought it was good match to play him because of what we planned to do.”

As it turns out, we didn’t win the game and plan seemed not to work.

karl

He seems to have the energy levels, which I was worried about at 32, but he is just so ineffective.

Bergkamp2Wright

3 more years of Willian. Money well spent?

T.A.

I thought our left side, especially Tierney and Saka was great and our defensive shape was very good. The two main weaknesses I saw (aside from minor ones) was Pepe and Ceballos, or, more generally, our attacking right side and our creative central midfield. Pepe I still think can do better. But the midfield is screaming for one more big signing. I thought Partey did well

Still love Wenger

You thought Partey played well, he was only on for 10minutes and Ceballos was a problem, what did I miss?
i thought Ceballos had a good game, blocks and tackles,always busy.

Jean Ralphio

This is why hopefully we’ll have more balance with a 3 man midfield with partey (right footed) hopefully using the right more.

Johnny 4 Hats

I can’t remember us ever really creating too much from the centre of the park in the last season or two. And there seems to be such a gulf between Ceballos and Xhaka and our front three. I wonder if that makes us pretty easy to play against for teams as well drilled as City as we always go wide.

Here’s to hoping Partey allows Ceballos to move forward and have more of a creative role for the team. Or Saka plays at the top of the midfield. We definitely need something more there.

No foot Norbert

We play the ball amongst the back to entice teams to press high, creating opportunities to get players in good posissions and in space. When teams don’t fall for the trap we don’t have s midfielder that’s able to drive or ping fast balls from deep.

Johnny 4 Hats

Yeah, I’ve spotted us trying long balls over the opposition fullbacks quite a bit this season. Unfortunately apart from Luiz and occasionally Tierney, no one has got that ball in their locker. Plus, as you say, it’s pretty predictable once you spot what’s going on.

I really hope Arteta has a few more tricks up his sleeve…

loose_cannon

Or both? Saka and Ceballos either side of Partey in the middle could be very exciting. Alternatively have Willian at 10 with Partey and Ceballos behind, Saka wide left.

Pharmaz

We have one of the best creative playmakers in the game rotting on the bench for god knows what reason, how long will people be ok with playing a winger centrally?

Alex

Where he is does not matter, Özil is this playmaker.

Warm

Hes a troublemaker for the club right now so stop this Ozil fanboy stuff. It only creates bad atmosphere around the squad. Do not back any player who decide to go all out against the club, that never ever ends well.

SarcasmB0t

He literally isn’t.

The only thing he makes now is a lot of money for not working hard enough.

Snagger

I was ok with Henry moving to the centre from the wing, that seemed to work out ok. If we want to resurrect an Arsenal play maker why not sign Wilshire? Maybe he can recreate the buzz of his first years or just be resigned to the fact that both are now history as ex Arsenal players. This is not hating it’s disappointment that if he had the application that others less talented had, his statue would outside the emirates.

Chuffy

Penalty appeal was not difference at all. We didnt deserve anything. You could argue that the Gabriel block was a penalty as well. We played negatively again and its becoming a feature this season. The back 3 has to go because its doesn’t matter which Premier League team the formation doesnt allow us to control the midfield for long enough. We are more often than not relying on moments of quality, but they are in short supply at the moment. Our results haven’t been altogether too bad, but I dont we’ve played very good football at all.

Man Manny

Gabriel’s block was not a penalty in a million years. The referee had a good view.
Bernardo merely tried to con him over what was a clear shoulder to shoulder contact.

In Arsenal’s case, Walker’s boot was high….and in any other part of the pitch, that’s a foul.
I think VAR buckled under the pressure from the Liverpool-Everton game.

A Different George

In any part of the pitch, including the penalty area, that’s an indirect free kick, so not a penalty. So no VAR review since no possibility of a penalty (once it’s clear the boot doesn’t make contact with an opponent–that would be a direct free kick and, in the penalty area, a penalty).

Yuri

That’s the most lucid comment in a very long time. It’s clear to everyone that Arteta’s team is a work in progress, but we can never hide the truth that speaks volumes in our faces. We must do better technically, tactically and, for what we’ve seen today, in terms of grit.

Charma

Arsenal has not started playing football today to be work in progress. It’s Arteta who is work in progress

Aleksander Włodarz

ManCity kept breaking the play making countless cynical fauls.. The Bald One is on a par with Mr Teeth in this respect

Matthinc

[email protected] bald one &Mr teeth thanks for that

Cranky Colin

Mr Teeth doesn’t do a lot of cynical fouling. As much as The Bald One? Don’t think so

Aleksander Włodarz

sorry, I meant they both had implanted it in the players dna so to speak

Naked Cygan

We played one of the top 5 teams in the world with unlimited money and lost 1-0. Very impressed by Saka, he was the man of the match. We should move on and concentrate now on winning next game and getting Partey into the team.

Man Manny

This is scant consolation: Leicester played them 3 weeks ago (with KDB on the pitch), and literally blew them to smithereens.

While I certainly agree that there is no consolation. Leicester beat City with three penalties awarded to them which is extremely rare.

If we can’t even get VAR to check for a foul, how are we going to get awarded 3 penalties?

GraeB

Not literally, please! The explosion would have left a terrible mess and probably overturned the result on VAR?

Man Manny

Hahaha

Assshavin

The back four city played against Leicester, was nowhere near as good defensively as the one we meet. Walker-Garcia(19 year old)-Ake-Mendy(terrible defender) versus back 5 with cbs Walker-Dias-Ake. Theres a world of difference between those two defences. Im sure Leicister would have lost if they met same Man City side that we did. Also, Bernardo Silva is not a terrible player to put in if kdb’s not available.

Matthinc

Yes!! ^^ This. Well said.

Cranky Colin

Good man Cygan

And really bad eggs

I’m really starting to think Arteta is more Wenger than Guardiola, especially with the press. This is that frustrating thing Wenger did back then when after a bad game when he insists the players played well even if we can all see they didn’t. Willian was good today? Come on!!

JBF

He’s neither, he’s Arteta.

And really bad eggs...

Oh! You don’t say!

Luther

Let’s hope Arteta IS more Wenger than Guardiola. Wenger was a genius – and still is – who fought against the odds to bring us success, while Guardiola only does easy jobs. When Guardiola has run out of privileged clubs to manage, he’ll be found out like Mourinho has been, and people will stop sucking his cock like they’ve stopped sucking Mourinho’s.

Vaibhav Pandey

Problem was that we didn’t offer anything from right. Overloads were from left and Pep realized that and even Cancelo played there along with Walker with Ake holding the right hand side. We need to be more balanced in our approach and distribute the ball well and keep it too. Since last 3-4 seasons I have seen we are not good at keeping the ball against top sides.

Teryima Adi

We should be taking those big chances.

Man Manny

Enough of this undue respect!
Man City was there for the taking…like Leicester did some weeks ago.
I’m just pissed!

loose_cannon

I’m tired of arguing about VAR, it’s shite and will always be shite!

SB Still

There is nothing wrong with VAR. Name and shame the humans behind the decisions and implementation – PGMOL.

Magneto

Completely agree. The PGMOL now know, apparently, how to use VAR to screw Arsenal (amongst other teams) over.

Yep we forget most of the VAR officials are from the Wenger era. They are not the modern technical analysts needed to make the system work.

It’s like me giving my dad a VR headset to use when he only just became comfortable using a new generation smartphone.

Tony

Oi son I know how to use your VR headset lol

Santori

Please. there was no hand ball. And it wasn’t a close match as the scoreline would have you. We were dominated for most parts let them have too much of the ball. They did not have to go into 2nd gear and thankfully they have been lacking a bit of confidence as well therefore erred on caution. BUT we look so wasteful with the ball, poor touches (Auba), poor retention (Pepe) poor passes (Laca when he came on), missing from the game (willian) Defense generally did OK but for a few scares, midfield were more or less working but we… Read more »

bob

It wasn’t for hand ball, it was for a high boot. The leaping player with his foot flying in the air near Gabriel’s head.

Outside the box that’s a foul any day of the week. Doesn’t seem unreasonable to suggest that it should at least be looked at by the system that was brought into the game to do exactly that.

A Different George

Outside the box (and inside) it’s an indirect free kick, never a penalty. Which doesn’t explain why referee didn’t give it, but does explain why VAR doesn’t look at it.

Usmanov

There is something about Auba’s game that’s disappeared lately. He seems not be running as hard as he was a few weeks back. I believe he will return to top form soon and start banging in them goals. Saka, on the hand, went of the boil a bit after his contract sign, but is certainly back to his best now. Great football brain to go with good technique. I’d fancy Willian in the middle a bit more. He is not just doing it from wide right. He’s been more of a threat when he moves to 10. I think that… Read more »

Goonerink

I think it’s a result of unnoticed improvements elsewhere, auba’s link up play has been great this season.
He is playing deeper and getting more attention from defences.

I think Arteta tried to use that to free up Pepe on the right but it didn’t quite work.

PTAFC

He may question the penalty but I question the lack of passion in our game and never seen a team pass backwards so much

Alex

Arteta fanboys do not approve!

johnnycash

Its so boring to watch. I get trying to beat the press but how about actually attacking the other team and building some pressure for once. even in the 90th minute we were passing it backwards around our defence.

Marco

The manager was correct in saying you have to take your chances against the top sides.We had them against Liverpool and then again today.I believe we are progressing tactically and defensively but the front 3 need to sharpen up.

sAMa

Arteta dwelling on the penalty incident is just being petty. He needs to work on the mentality of our midfielders. Our midfielders should move the ball forwards more, they should learn how to make angle passes if they can’t pass forward at least instead of passing backwards. They should also learn to trust their team mates with the ball even if an opponent is a few yards behind, by the side or in the middle. They just lack confidence to do that that’s why they would rather play it simple to the back.

johnnycash

Xhaka is a big problem because he recieves the ball from the defenders and the keeper alot and 50% of the time he just passes it straight back to the man who passed it to him.

Gary

When are the refs going to start calling persistent fouling to stop counterattacks? It’s really getting ridiculous, Mourinho and Guardiola do it constantly and get away with it for 90 minutes. Ruins the game a say the least.

ifan

one thing about Arteta which i dont like he tries silly attacking against a big team…why he put a short Willian as a striker ?? if he loves him better he put Partey as a striker ?…Arteta is still lack of experience

Cranky Colin

Kinda minor stuff Mikel…… when u look at Pickford on Van Dyke.

Oh BTW……BT sports have introduced a new rule.
“ if a player is possibly marginally offside, the opposition can assault him and break his leg”.
To make it worse VAR agrees !

Only one Dennis Bergkamp

We’re still shorn of creativity in the centre of the park and we’re still very slow in transitioning into attack. Hope Partey can come in and liberate Ceballos and Xhaka to be a little more adventurous in their passing; that is the only real hope we have for now (because the answer lies neither in Willian nor Ozil – for different reasons) A couple more transfer windows before we can give Arteta the team that can genuinely challenge for honours.

Ibrahim Yahaya Adamu

It was a good performance as he said, but nevertheless we want Ozil back from this team.his the one that some time he can create a deep chance to open it up for a striker to score.so definitely we need him, what so ever, I think they should forgive him!

Snagger

If we had the 2015 Ozil then yes but the post contract one no thanks.

johnnycash

He should at least be on the bench for games like this. Our subs were made way too late. arteta seemed happy to lose 1-0, At some point you need to go for it if your losing the game

A Different George

So, I hate to be hyper-technical but: VAR is supposed to review only situations that could result in a penalty. There is no claim, as far as I know, that Walker’s high boot made contact with an opponent (Gabriel, but that’s not relevant). Therefore, Walker is guilty of dangerous play, and this should result in an indirect free kick, NOT a penalty. The referee was wrong not to award an indirect free kick–but that decision is not reviewable by VAR. I am honestly more upset by Aguero’s actions toward Massey-Ellis. I completely agree with Blogs about that. I thought that… Read more »