Arteta: We weren’t a team


Mikel Arteta said he takes responsibility for Arsenal’s 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa on a night when his players produced a miserable performance all over the pitch.

Here’s what he had to say when he faced the Sky Sports cameras…

On a frustrating performance…

First of all congratulations to Aston Villa for the way they played and the victory. After that, we performed below our standards and I have to say that since I’m the Arsenal manager it’s the first time I’ve seen us play and we weren’t a team.

On Villa dominating from the off…

I take full responsibility. We didn’t start well enough, we got away with VAR for an offside situation but we lost all the races, the duels and we were sloppy on the ball. When we created chances to score we didn’t even hit the target. It’s a really bad combination. As the game went on and we started to be more open, we left spaces. Obviously, it’s a team that can do that to you and on the counter we looked really vulnerable.

On whether he’s informed his players of his disappointment…

I take full responsibility. I am responsible to make the team perform on the pitch and today we haven’t showed it. Today, we were not a team and it is my job. It is why I am standing here.

On having to dwell over this during the international break…

It is a frustration. It takes a lot to build momentum, to build a way of being, living and performing and when something like that comes up it’s a hard one to take but as well, I always believe that in a bad moment you learn more than in positive moments and now I want to see the reaction of all the staff, players. Will we start to blame each other? Or will we get ourselves a mirror, look at ourselves and when we come back, start to perform more consistently.

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Embarrassing. No good beating Utd away, then losing to Leicester and Villa at home. Totally outplayed. No fight or desire. Willian and Lacazette poor again. Auba not much better. Villa played like we used to!


i miss playing fluid football

Johnny 4 Hats

Doesn’t matter who manages us. We always have a certain weak spot against teams that do one specific thing…

Try harder than us.


Unfortunately that’s every team.


Just saw a tweet. Emi has more clean sheets in the league the Emirates this season than Leno.


at the Emirates


Maybe we should have tested Emi a little bit


Yes. Willian shoots from the penalty spot and misses hitting the goal by 5 yards. Laca has a dead on header and puts it over by three yards. Elneny is dead in the middle of the goal and doesn’t even get close. Last Villa game I saw, Bamford hit a hat trick and Martinez didn’t move an inch on each shot.

Still love wenger

So we lost because of Leno and not a bad team performance?
Kasper schmeichel also has more clean sheets at the Emirates,so what it’s a pointless fact, seasons just started.

Paul Roberts

Covid has changed everything the players across the board look demotivated.


I’m totally with you. No home crowd, no advantage, but only frustration. Just look at the scenery, so frustrating.


Can the same be said for Villa? Everton? Leicester? Southampton? Even the fucking Spuds?

Weak argument, mate. Covid is something we’ve all got to deal with; Arsenal’s problems on the pitch are not down to this pandemic.


# bring back ozil

SB Still

Actually, I want him out of our club ASAP to use the ££ for another creative player, who Arteta and co will be happy to integrate into the squad.

However, right now i almost wish we had him in the team. Sigh!

Tanned arse

I wouldn’t put much confidence in arteta utilising a creative player. Honestly, if grealish was in our squad today, there’s a decent chance he’d be on the bench so that auba can play on the left. And watkins would’ve been loaned out for his ‘transitional’ season

santi's thigh grab

Like Blogs said, Arteta is going to have to try something different because if he doesn’t, eventually he will own these poor performances instead of the players. You can’t keep playing Laca centrally or Willan on the wing with these results. I’d rather play the players that have a hunger to play and let the chips fall where they may. Getting Ozil of the books is no longer a source of money for us to spend because Willian and Cedric have now taken his spot as contractual dead weight. Would have been smarter to throw youth at the coverage problem… Read more »


Even if we save on Ozil’s purported salary, I have no confidence we will buy a good player. And even if we do, I have no confidence that Arteta will use him optimally, unless the player is his favourite.

Rohit Arora

lol.. we are paying Willian 250K.. What makes you think Ozil’s replacement will be some good creative player?

There are only a handful of creative players who also do the type of work that Arteta requires. We are not getting any of them because they will go to the Liverpools, the Man Cities and the Bayern Munichs of the world.

We will get whoever is left.


It’s too late mate – that horse has well and truly bolted.

matty t.

Oh, do fuck off! That underperforming waste of space is a massive part of the problem, undermining Arteta’s authority and probably causing rifts in what should be an inclusive, all for one, one for all squad spirit. Can’t wait for next summer when his poisonous presence will finally be gone. along with his ridiculous wages (cheers Gazidis/Fahmy, you useless twats).

Tony 2

Oh Matty really? He (M O ) hasn’t been seen in an Arsenal team let alone the squad since jesus wore shorts. How can he be a disruptive influence prey tell? Oh and btw if you had a chance to watch afc’s training session yesterday b4 our match you’d have seen both mezut n papa busting thier balls as well as communicating and interacting will all the players in a proper team set up


Looking at recent performances, I cannot believe that Ozil and Papa are putting in less effort than those in the squad. It is on Arteta, perhaps Edu too.


“Probably causing rifts”

That’s the biggest load of fucking bollocks I’ve ever read on here.

You name me one player who has ever stated that Ozil is anything less than s popular guy in any of the squads he has ever played. Just one.


He even gets along well with dictators. So even the scum of the earth likes him.


Oh, do fuck off yourself!

apangu iddi Amin

Even if they beat us 12 goals to zero we no longer need him let him just enjoy his money as he wanted and eventually leave us alone.


I think it is a mistake to play against the “smaller” teams with 3 defenders. If we are playing against a team like Man City and we are sitting deep then Auba Pepe and our the quick wing-backs can counter efficienty. But against a team that are used to playing in fromt of their own posts we will lack 2 key strenghts. We will use 1 less creative player compared to our possibilities (in a 4-2-3-1 formation we would be able to play with Partey, Xhaka/Elneny PLUS Ceballos in the team at the same time) And… as the opponent is… Read more »

The Arsenal

Not having 3 centre mids and instead relying on a fat, shit out of form laca to drop in is negligence.

The Arsenal

Villas first goal is what we used to do to teams.

Cultured Determination

Yup. I miss playing like villa.


If one has trouble falling asleep then it is highly recommended that they watch only five minutes of any Arsenal game. Boring boring Arsenal




I like Arteta. It was a loss but I recognize that Villa has a great team (I hope they are 2nd at the end of the season, right behind us) and this loss didn’t hurt so much for me after hearing that from the boss. We move!

Still love wenger

What a generous comment,very positive.


Suppose you thought that against Leicester as well?
There are no easy games in this league. Arteta needs to wake up and put players in their right positions first and foremost. It’s as basic as it gets.

santi's thigh grab

Starting to feel that sometimes Arteta is too smart by half and can over complicate things when just putting players in positions that allows them to express their strengths is half the battle. Wenger used to do something similar and would have esoteric reasons for not doing the obvious, like somehow he operated on a different plane of reality. Put Auba central and build your team from there. Managers job is to get the best out of a team of individual players as a collective. Playing your best player out of his natural position and making him run up and… Read more »

Baichung Bhutia

Didn’t they ask about the team selection or where Auba is playing?
I would play the below:

Bellerin Holding/Luiz Gabriel Tierney
Elneny. Partey
Pepe Auba Saka

Also give them a run of 10 games or so – stop chopping and changing.

Laca New Signing

I’d have Özil over Willock, but politics runs everything nowadays

Runcorn Gooner

Must be time for a new name like “Laca new signing for someone else..PLEASE”

Tanned arse

I wouldn’t put ozil in our team as I’ve simply had enough of the situation but the irony to me is that the pedestrian way we play is exactly the type of football ozil played over the last 3 years


Willian could even play in the middle. He doesn’t have the legs for wing now, but he does have close control and a pass or two.
We scored 2 goals against sheffield in 5 minutes the last time with 3 in midfield, but yet he’s gone back to this? It’s madness.


We are lucky it was only 3-0, could have easily been more! Woeful.


If this shambolic performance was under emry the goobers world will be on fire


We would be some angry goobers alright! 😅

Dat guy the Goon

Arteta should just rip whatever play book they have and start over again. I knew it would take time but I didn’t know it might be this bad…..and sad


What’s worse is he’s handicapping himself. We can all see, and you bet other managers can see, what needs to be done. It’s as clear as day for me.
4 at the back, 3 in midfield and Aubameyang up front.
How fucking hard is that?

Hank Scorpio

I think it’s clear to everyone except Mike Basset Jnr

Tony 2

But didn’t we play 4 at the back ? It’s all down to the manager. Too scared to win so plays not to lose at HOME v Villa?) An utter crock. And as some have pointed out playing players in wrong positions rather than where they should be so they become unsettled and uncomfortable. Sadly MA is a very good 2nd. Not a numero uno and def not a manager either yet. At the moment he appears to be Peps redunandant cone organiser and nothing more

Cranky Colin



Shambles Mikel.

Alarm bells are ringing.

Will Thomas

Says all the right things. Some part of him must be happy to be out of the limelight with the international break. The sad plight of arsenal fandom is that it’s just enough time for us to forget how truly feckless we were today. Zero penetration, one dimensional football. Never had a chance.


Really poor but Arteta is seeing some of the players for what they are and make the necessary changes. We are no where near the finished product and he needs time to add and subtract from our squad.

One thing is for sure…our midfield was a right mess of swiss cheese once Partey was off.

Tanned arse

Are you sure he’s ‘seeing’? If he is, I’d suggest he’s ignoring it. More likely he’s stubbornly going to stick with what he’s asking of players


At least he admits he got it all wrong. Willian and Lacazette need dropping for a long time. Give Saka left wing, Pepe right rotated with Nelson. Auba up top. Stick Ceballos in left midfield with Partey middle and rotate Elneny and Willock in right centre mid.

Greg in Seattle

Ceballos should be the rotational player. Nothing about his game, athleticism, or demeanor speaks to an auto-spot. I’d rather see Xhaka these days.


Xhaka is mediocre. Part of the reason, along with Mustafi in 2016 which started the rot of Arsenal. Fast forward to today, we’re actually worse. Xhaka is part of the problem.


Ceballos isn’t any better, there’s a reason Real don’t want him.


If there is anyone in this team who moves the ball quick with purpose is Ceballos.



santi's thigh grab

Gotta disagree with this take. He moves the ball but he’s not opening anything up. Just another cog in an inadequate midfield. He’s better on the left and more advanced than deep lying. Partey the only one I’d keep, the trick is how do you get it to function with current personnel. Chuffy has the right approach IMO.


Sorry mate. It’s time to put the ‘Xhaka made us bad narrative’ to bed. Today was proof enough. He wasn’t there, and we sucked even worse. It’s not the first time it happens either.

Baichung Bhutia

I saw the interview and he said multiple times it was all his fault. I hope he doesn’t say that to the players and calls them out.


As a player, when you hear the coach take the blame, you know in reality that you’ve massively screwed up and coach is rightly fed up with certain players. I suspect some changes coming.

Moondy Vas

coaches say that stuff all the time. The difference is that good coaches will respond. Arteta has not all season with is rigidity


It’s going to be a long 2 weeks.


That is your job Arteta, basically everyone was shite today but I believe our system/idea of how to play football
Is far from a good fit for this kind of players… Arteta have to do better than this.


What a shit performance, created one clear chance all game–piss poor–wow we look more solid but we will still ship in three goals against last seasons nearly relegated team-

if we dont finish top 6 arteta should pack his bags as hes got his players, ostracised his most creative player and brought in his boring no thrills shit style of football and if thus we dont at least get into europe than bye bye

Guns Up

I guess I can’t directly call you an idiot, but that’s definitely an idiotic comment. Regardless of everything else you said, Lacazette put a free header over from six yards out, Holding missed the target from six yards out (he gets a pass from me, being a CB), and there were multiple other decent chances. Miserable result, poor performance, and another frustrating setback when it felt like progress was being made, but nothing more. Arteta is by no means flawless, but he’s done great work overall.


Sorry, but “his players” are currently the only ones who are performing right now. Aside from Willian, but I can’t imagine he was an Arteta inspired acquisition. More so Arteta was satisfied to get a player of his quality and experience for 0 transfer fee.

Parlour’s Pay Packet

Extremely frustrating evening but I think we’ve got to remember how far we’ve fallen and just what a task is in front of Arteta to get us back to where we belong.

Some of the decisions are maddening. Willian and Laca starting is not justified upon anything I’m seeing!


We are the only team that you can tell from the first second are in for a complete meltdown.

santi's thigh grab

Can spot it in Man U as well which is a worrying sign for us.


I have seen my share of bad games in my time.. but this.. Utter shite.. Impotent. I’d rather see a less defensively organized Arsenal, that can create and play positive football. This super-defensive shit is a disgrace.

On the right path?

Villa didn’t even play deep in this one. They came to play. We didn’t.


The current approach reminds me of when Arsene tried to be Barcelona without the quality players. Now Mikel is attempting to be Man City without the necessary talent.

I’m not even sure it is the best use of players and we have never seen if Guardiola can do it without the best players in the world.

We might have seen a couple of goals made by passing around the back, but it is tedious stuff even then.

Artetas Assistant

It’s not the best use. The best use is what Jurgen does, he fucks with a players mentally, Then sends them out to play in systems


Ha ha haaaa you set them up like that Mikel stop making excuses and start playing offensive football ffs

Paddy K

Don’t see him making any excuses?
Basically said we were absolutely shite & they’re taking the responsibility, rightly so.
Let’s hope they learn from this. We move.


It’s all well and good taking responsibility after the fact, but this performance is just the low point in a run of sub-par performances. We look flat, staid, lacking any incision or vision and yet the manger perseveres with the same struggling players and the same faltering system week in week out. How the hell did both Willian and Laca start this game given how absolutely rancid their performances have been so far this season? Pepe can be quite sloppy but looked immediately more effective than the geriatric Willian (£200,000 per week for 3 years! Great business). And Willock’s not… Read more »

Moondy Vas

its his rigidity and pandering to his vets… he does not want to lose the dressing room is my guess. They suck and he persists.
The young fellas must be thinking, when will I ever get a chance

santi's thigh grab

I think this is the obvious answer which is often the likely answer. How many veterans can he put on the bench and not lose the team? If he benches Laca, how does that impact team chemistry and the Captain? At some point Arteta has to choose between team performance and team chemistry. Keeping Laca and Willian in the starting lineup and playing this Man City style without Man City players, has stopped us shipping goals in big games but this is insipid football that is unwatchable. He needs to choose.


If Willian is this good in his first season can’t imagine what he’ll bring in his third! Sky’s the limit for the 32 yr old!!


I refuse to watch any match where Lacazette starts from now on. I don’t care if he hits 30 goals or whatever from now. He can fuck off from Arsenal for all I care.
This is just not from this match. This is from the past several months he has stunk up the place

David Hilliers Arm Cast

If you keep doing the same thing over and over and over with poor results, but keep doing it anyway expecting a different outcome, you are insane.

Losing faith in MA quickly and it makes me sad.


I feel sorry for Arteta. He took the job that no top manager would want. The owners are the reason any manager would struggle at this club. We needed a creative player in midfield and instead we got an average player on a free (Willian). We need to put pressure on Stan. Get the fuck out of our club.

canon fodder

Most top managers will cut off their dominant arm to manage Arsenal. I believe that you may be referring to another team. KSE have provided funds for players; it is the manager who buys them: Partey, Gabriel, Willian, Ceballos. Mari, Cedric (loan), Luiz (loan).


We had Özil. Arteta decided not to even register him. Pepe could have played instead of Willian and Willock could have played in a 4-3-3. These are Arteta’s decisions and be lives and dies by them


I said omitting Ozil would come back to bite him. It has and it will continue to do so for the remainder of the season. The best we can hope for is mid table and damage litigation. The best Arteta can hope for is the same – and a chance of a reprieve next summer by taking out another loan from Stan and signing a creative midfielder of Ozil’s pedigree – whose talents should have been utilised for the rest of this season. It pains me to be right on this issue. I take no absolutely pleasure whatsoever in seeing… Read more »

Runcorn Gooner

The only person who cannot see that Willian and Lacazette need to be dropped as a reality check seems to be Arteta.

Surely any other players could not do any worse than the pair of them who are both living on past glories.

Aleksander Włodarz

that was a six bullet gun the Villa brought to the Emirates today, luckily they only hit three


Arteta is a fraud learning on the job. Fa cup win just masked this last season


pathetic comment. last week everyone was going mad about arteta, now we lurch wildly to calling him a fraud. how about we cool off a little bit and have a more measured outlook?

Still love wenger

Like you said, he’s learning on the job, we never complained last season when we won the FA cup.
There will be ups and downs,let’s give it until January before we start sharpening the pitchforks,I personally think he will adapt…if we can see it, so can he.


i wasnt convinced by him last season and he might be out of his depth soon


Arteta=poundshop Pep Guardiola


Nothing but a team of cowards playing the style of football that reflects their backwards slide in the table.
It’s painful watching them play.

James Lee

this feels like when we lost to wrexham


Arteta wanted another chelsea reject Willian. if only we went in for Ziyech!

cereal killer

Arteta will soon know coaching is never for first time apprentices

The spoon

Maybe, just maybe, as an idea, mix it up a bit. Maybe play our best striker up front, so that when we do muster a chance we have a chance to score. Maybe drop the donkey lacazette, and the I’m here to retire Willian. Maybe give Willock a go so our midfield has some drive. We seem to be heading back to the wenger days of players playing despite being shit. A season that started with some promise and opturmism petering out after a handfull of games. We bought big in the summer, decent centre half and a decent midfielder,… Read more »

Guns Up

Curious what your standard is for excellence? Gabriel and Partey have been fantastic, not “decent.” But I think we all agree Lacazette and Willian need dropping.


“Arteta: We weren’t a team”

Yes we were. A shit one.

Colonel Bergkamp

Stopping the need to explain an inexcusable performance from start to finish surely comes from match prep and player/squad management before the event. It’s not like this was an unlucky one-off or fluke setback or a one player disaster on the night. It was an Emery-esque collective shambles. What happened tonight has been coming for a long time under Arteta. On paper, how many of the Villa squad would get into our “best” team? 4 maybe (which is 3 too many in any event given that we gave Villa a free pass to stay in the premiership) – on performance… Read more »

Le Bob

Today was crap but it was never going to be a straightforward process with MA. Keep the faith, he’s barely had a year on the job. I reckon this season is going to be bonkers anyway, there’ll be a few more results like this for lots of teams.


I am starting to believe that the only reason Laca keeps his place in the team is his close friendship with Auba. Arteta, being a young manager, doesn’t want to upset his star player so he keeps playing his mate even though it’s more than obvious that 1. Laca contributes very little 2. Auba is played out of position. I think Mikel needs to grow some balls and do what’s best for the team.That means Laca out and Auba at center-forward.


Lacazette hasn’t gone to play for France since wenger left so to me if you can’t make your national team you shouldn’t play for the Arsenal


My 3 problems with that match- if Arteta insists on keeping this formation: 1) I don’t mind playing the ball out from the back. But surely if we actually want to beat a press and attack we need to start playing quicker 1-2 touch football- especially when the ball gets into the midfield. 2) When defending- what has happened to us pressing from the front. I know he’s not going to come back and be a saviour- but all I remember is martinelli constantly chasing down defenders and putting them under pressure. Why do the rest of the team struggle… Read more »

santi's thigh grab

#3 is critical for Arteta, if he doesn’t play the players who are performing the best, he will lose the dressing room of younger players who will see he threw the non-negotiables out the window. Fine margins right now, all eyes will be on the lineup after the break. He has time time to re-jigger the side. Let’s see how he manages this situation, should be interesting. Managers have to manage or lose the players or supporters, and then there is generally no way back. He’s a first time manager so this is all new to him and to us,… Read more »


You have to give it to Arteta – even in a situation like this, he says the right things. He’s a top communicator and this is why he’s right in this position and why he will bringt it across his players.


Actions speak louder than words, no matter who you are.


I only watched the last 25. It was like watching a team of fully grown professionals vs u-17s. Outrun and outmuscled everywhere on the pitch.

Arteta famously lambasted the player’s fitness levels when he arrived, as if pointing the finger to Emery and his coaching team. Now he’s in the same position.

What’s going on? Should we admit half our squad aren’t PL level? Is it a training ground problem, again? Or is it a mentality issue?

Either way all fingers pointed to a single person and he’s gotta deal with that rather soon.

Laca New Signing

I feel you boss Mikel. If only you had an experienced creative midfielder in the team to create chances for the strikers.

The Arsenal

We were a team….A very shit team.


If only Arteta was pragmatic to all the players as he was with Sokratis, Ozil, Guendouzi. So, even if Willian offered himself to play for free we shouldn’t have taken him. He is a disgrace and makes a fool of himself. But, okay, the biggest fault is on our side, we signed him. Also, Lacazette is nowhere near for this structure. The best for him, on the bench. Aubameyang upfront, Saka and Pepe on the wings. Willock to come more and fuck this shit with 3 at the back. Sick and tired of this. In context… Today we weren’t a… Read more »

Arsenal's Slow Buildup

I was one of the first people on this blog to say, Emery won’t work at Arsenal. I think it was early in his first year. I just didn’t see fundamentals of a successful team.

I’m sorry to say, I don’t see the fundamentals of a successful team with Arteta’s program either. It is not going to work with Arteta at Arsenal. He may end up being a successful manager but it’s not going to be at Arsenal.


Mikel is to be blamed for lack of creativity in tha team he left Ozil meaning he had his replacement but up to now we haven’t seen any


What would be the point of leaving ozil out, and replace him with someone similar? I am not against anyone missing ozil, personally I don’t, how a world class player can prefer to stay on the bench to earn astronomic money when he could play elsewhere still earning galactic has made me loose my respect for him. If you have true desire, Passion for the game, pride and hunger for more it would not be an option.

Hank Scorpio

You don’t know what you’re doing


Lets not over analyze what was an extremely poor performance, on the day. I have hope for this team and manager. What worries me a bit is that we seem to suffer from expectation pressure, you could see that when Villa attacked they did so with freedom, opportunism, like there is no tomorrow. Our players didn’t only look tired, but also drained of the same optimism, no smiles, only pressure. If there is one trend that worries me it is this, the looks of stress to perform outweighing the Belief and confidence in expressing themselves on the pitch. Gabriel looked… Read more »


League does not lie.

We have a strong of shit performances.

Arteta revolution is not. We are where we are because we have been shite for a good bunch of games.


This game is the only true shit game, and 2nd half against Leicester. We have played pool, city and manu away. I do agree there is a growing feeling our attack is not working, but defensively we have been good in close to all games. What worries me more is the ghost faces on the pitch, the 1st min disallowed goal should have got us on our toes, instead we looked like we where 5-0 down, no enthusiasm, no sharpness, total disorder.


On the Bernd vs emi, would you prefer having both of them, and no Partey? I am pretty sure we would not have got Tomas without raising funds. I really like Emi, but I am totally ok with Bernd, and Tomas will mean more than 2 top goal keepers for our 1st eleven


How we could do with the real Tomas right now 🙁

The little Mozart would add so much to this stale team.