Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Arteta: Defeat is a lesson

Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal struggled with Southampton’s high press in the first half and paid the price for conceding a sloppy goal as his side were dumped out of the FA Cup following a 1-0 defeat at Saint Mary’s.

An own goal by the returning Gabriel on 24 minutes was enough to separate the sides on an afternoon when the Gunners looked disjointed until a series of second half substitutions.

Ultimately, even the presence of a few in-form players wasn’t enough to find a way past stubborn opponents.

After the game, Mikel Arteta faced the BT Sport cameras. Here’s what he had to say…

On going out of the FA Cup…

Yeah, I’m really sad to be out of the competition, congratulations to Southampton to get through to the next round. I’m disappointed to be out and disappointed in the way we lost the game. It [the goal] was done in an area where we cannot give the ball away.

On his players not getting going…

We had some issues in the first half controlling certain aspects. A lot of unforced errors as well, not dealing with the high press that they do, when we break that pressure. We had in the first half two or three important moments but we didn’t hit the target. In the second half, we produced another two or three chances but not enough to win the game.

On the goal…

The way we conceded the goal is completely our own fault. We cannot do that. We have to compete in these games or you know you’re out. We have to do that better. It’s a lesson.

On a lack of rhythm…

No, it was a very even game. The first half there were moments where they won a lot of second balls and they are good when they have transition moments, they are dangerous, they hold the ball up really, really well. In the second half, we had some more quality and you can see that, we became much more dominant, we played more in the opponent’s half and we created some chances, but it wasn’t enough.

On whether he got the performance he wanted from those he selected…

They all tried so hard. You see it was a really intense game again. Southampton really demands the best from you because they are really aggressive with the way they play. The boys tried their best.

On preparation for Tuesday…

I hope we can use this to be more prepared and come here and win the game which is what we have to do.

On strengthening in January…

We are looking in the market to see what we can do. We moved some players, we are short in one or two positions, let’s see what we can do.

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Billy bob

A lesson in what? Stupidity!! Never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever play will-i-aint again


He deliberately threw that game away. Arteta out


That’s stupid. The team he picked didn’t work, but to suggest he threw the game on purpose is nonsense.


I can’t imagine he wanted to lose but the FA Cup is obviously not a priority.

Southampton are a good team, I expected us to lose.

Man Manny

What are we really aiming for in the league?


Champions League i imagine


The Holy grail


Aiming for Top 7 probably (and a deep run in Europa). Clear out the shit in the summer and we go again. COYG
I’m okay with today if we win Tuesday.


I don’t know if it’s nonesense. It is clear he didn’t value the competition. Arteta might be looking at Europa and PL as priorities, so exiting the FA cup might be a relief. Even if he won the FA Cup again, it wouldn’t be seen as a big deal.


It is more like we seem incapable of producing anything of substance without Tierney, Smith Rowe and Saka.


Yep and you need all three

Alexis Cazorla

I know people are hell-bent to prove that one player can not make a big difference to a team, but unfortunately, time and again, some players have proven that they can. More, the setup of some teams makes certain roles more important than others. One creative midfielder can make a difference. One defensive midfielder can make a difference. And one striker the ilk of Henry or Persie or Auba can make a difference. This team simply stops functioning without Smith Rowe (creative midfielder). As much as everyone would like to hammer that the modern game doesn’t need a creative midfielder;… Read more »


It’s a blank PR-trained interview! He’s not giving away any emotions again especially after the recent interview debacles regarding “the leak” and Pepe. He is, I’m sure, SHOCKED by how poor Willian has been. You think he’s not aware how Edu and him have put their eggs in the Willian basket, and that had he been rightly sacked were it not for ESR equally shocking excellence, Willian letting him down would have been top of his list?? One of Willian or Pepe HAVE to work, because that’s the bed Arteta and Edu have made. He has to try with Willian,… Read more »


Pepe was signed before Arteta or Edu were at the club… Even Emery didn’t want him.


Its only a lesson if you learn, and I’m not seeing much of a learning curve.

Bleeding gums murphy

He is clearly a stubborn, limited, out of his depth manager. I don’t think he’s learnt Jack shit, just got lucky with injuries and illness and had to play smith Rowe

Maybe but at this stage I’d give him until the end of the season and re-evaluate in the summer.


Smith Rowe and Saka were practically a last resort forced upon him – and he got lucky. Very lucky; the guy was three bad results away from the axe, make no mistake. I don’t mind an expert manager giving it the big stubborn bit – and let’s face it, much as I love him, Wenger could be a stubborn old goat at times. But this guy hasn’t managed a full season, yet throws his weight around like Jan Molby in a pie shop. He has got a lot to learn – and so far this season, he’s learning the hard… Read more »


What are you talking about? Saka has been playing regularly for basically two seasons now. ESR has been crocked. They’re now the first team and Willian is a squad player. He’s literally doing the thing you want him to.


Don’t play all of your out of form players together in the same team. Seems straightforward enough.


A lesson not play Willian which you will never learn anyway.

Don Danbury

Does anyone know our W-D-L stats with Willian in the starting 11 / making an appearance?


Lesson: You put a shite team out, it plays shite


There is a need for fans being real and a need for pragmatism. Do you you guys want to play 19 and 20 year olds into the ground? ESR needed a break and so did Tierney. There is a reason why we have a squad and it has to be used.Willian didn’t score the own goal let’s remember that.

Kendall Jefferson

Finally someone who actually sees the truth. If Arteta had gone full strength today and lost on Tuesday, it the same fans who would asked for his head on a platter. Same fans nearly crucified him for playing Tierney against Newcastle in a FA Cup match (even though we won) when we had Palace in the league less than three days after. Tierney didn’t play, we draw against Palace and were tepid on the night; the fans came out in droves to bash Arteta for not being sensible enough. Now he’s being sensible, they’re still complaining? My God!!! A lot… Read more »


So true, well said.


The drop off from our starters to our 2nd team is immense – largely bc no one is effectively playing the ESR role and we desperately miss Tierney. However we can’t play them every single game. While winning the FA cup has been great it also hasn’t translated into meaningful success for us in the bigger competitions (PL or EL which crucially has a path to the CL). We’ve become a domestic cup team the past few years when we really need to be making a serious run at getting back into the CL – especially in a year where… Read more »


we are miles away from getting top 4 this team has no chance of top 4 some of you are delusional. the cups were our best chance of europe. nevermind europe anyway they are our only chance of winning anything for the next 5 years minimum. some of you would have tore wenger a new one if he had put that team out and lost. but arteta can do no wrong.
This should have been high on the list of proritys


We’re 7 points out of 4th in a year where literally no one looks good. We are very much in the mix.


Delusional who in the top 6 are we going to finish above let alone the top 4. This team isnt capable of going on a run of 7 or 8 wins on the spin. Look at the fixtures coming up. we will be lucky to finish 8th


My aren’t we a hopeful fan. We’ve had a fairly decent record against the top 6 under Arteta. Where we’ve struggled is against smaller teams who just pack the box – the emergence of ESR has really been helping with that. Let’s just go through some of the teams above us: Man United- rely on crazy number of refereeing decisions (penalties) & are constantly having to win games late. Seems unlikely to continue. Man City – likely Champions Leicester – playing well but cannot afford any injuries or loss of form to anyone in first 11 Liverpool – can’t score… Read more »


fucking hell some of you are beyond help.
No im not hopeful about this team finishing in the top 4 because i live in the real world not cloud fucking cuckoo land like some of you

Kendall Jefferson



no dude i like totally dont think i will dude


That’s the fourth time you’ve told a fellow poster on this site to shut up and fuck off. May I remind you, for the fourth time, that this is a diplomatic forum for discussing football, not a facist propaganda rally. As much as I disagree with the Ozil Haters, they are still entitled to voice their opinion, as much as anyone else on here. Telling people to fuck off just because you don’t share their opinion, isn’t really becoming of an Arsenal fan or any true football fan. And mate, if you want any shred of credibility left in order… Read more »


Read the rules Kendall Jefferson – that’s not allowed here.


You are worst.


I said in August that top four was beyond us – without Ozil – and that mid table was the best we could hope for.

So it’s proved.


Now do one for arsenal.
It’s fine pointing out the weaknesses of teams above us by a good few points
The fact Is our team is far more disfunctional than those above us.
I think you’d struggle to find many who would put money on arsenal making the top 4.


I had the exact same feeling reading that list, what would Arsenal’s description be? We shouldn’t discount Southampton or West Ham above us, both having great seasons by their standards, nor Villa who are a point and a place below us but have 3 games in hand.

Of course yes, we do still have a chance of making top 4 or 6, but it’s not going to be easy. And certainly not easier than winning the 4 games or so needed to clinch the FA Cup!


We’re a team with an inexperienced manager who appears to have stumbled onto a player (ESR) that makes the system work. We have strong enough players in our first 11 to make a run at top 4 & the EL but simply can’t afford an injury to Tierney/Leno/ESR/Saka or Partey.


7 points behind liverpool despite such a shit start to the season. top 4 is there if we can put a run together.


Agree that our best players can’t play every game, and I don’t have many problems with the line up in principle, but this was an important competition for us. The only reason we’re in Europe this season is because we won the FA cup last season, and it was arguably our best shot at getting into Europe next season. Will be very difficult to get into the top 6 this year, let alone top 4, and we’ll have to show the kind of consistency we have never really shown under Arteta before.


Yes thank you for talking sense


Are you also one of the fans that complains when we get injuries from overplaying players too?

Yeah we weren’t full strength, but some players really needed the rest and, for now, we don’t have quality in depth. Though I hope we will be able to improve on that over the next couple of transfer windows!

Corona X

You do make a point – but if Willian, Nketiah and Pepe is our “depth” then Arteta should’ve realised 15 games ago that they’d be more useful as a door stop than “backup”. Why oh why play those three together when they keep stinking the place out?
Could Nelson and Balogun possibly do any worse? We won’t know, cause Arteta preferred having 2 GK’s on the bench rather than giving those lads a chance.


The second gk is because of Auba having to pull out at the last minute. You always have extra keepers cause they are useful in training. And if one gets injured in warm up , you have a back up


what gives you confidence that we will improve on our quality in depth we are constantly adding mediocre players and holding on to ones who have proven season after season that they are not good enough.
Arteta has already added luiz ceballos cedric runarson and willian to an already bloated squad this season.


Willian, Elneny, Pepe, lightweight Nketiah, all flops. To play them all together was never going to be anything other than disastrous, add two Gabis just back from injury and if Southampton were any good they would have given us a hiding. This is what’s so annoying, we’ve gone out of the cup to a poor team because of bad team selection and crap players. I’d rather watch AMN, Reiss and Joe make mistakes than that, and Balogun can’t be any worse than Nketiah. The first team players needed to be rested but these players have come in and done fuck… Read more »


Pepe fits in much better as a counter attacking player but his goal and assist production since joining Arsenal has been pretty reasonable – especially considering how few goals we score. The big issue is simply the price tag. I would like to see how he performs in a functioning team, which we really only have when Tierney & ESR play.

I genuinely don’t know what we’re going to do with Willian. We literally just got rid of Ozil and appear to have made the exact same mistake.


Except Willian has been worse than Ozil.


I think this is what has bugged me most – don’t put ALL your shit eggs in one basket. If you’re going to play weak attackers, play a dynamic midfield with AMN and Partey. Or split up Willian and Pepe. Just dumping all your incompatible/out of form/second string players together doesn’t seem like a great choice.


it was a shite team but this is our squad right now. there are still 7 or 8 passengers we need to rotate out after the recent departures. it is going to take time. we are only 7 points off top 4 halfway through the season. the league is higher priority.

We move on. Premier League and Europa League are the priority.

Ordnance Dave

Priority? We are midtable. We pass up an FA Cup to finish top half? Great.


What’s the solution here? Fuck the league and focus on the FA cup?
Seems the only way Arsenal play and win is if Tierney, Saka, ESR are all on the pitch. I would rather we keep our A team for the league and Europa. Fuck the FA Cup why cares its a stupid year for it anyway with pandemic match congestion.


the league season is fucked already in case you hadnt noticed

Kendall Jefferson

Did you fuck it up?


A trophy is great but this season will be really tough with fixture congestion and the FA Cup is not a way into the Europa League last in seasons past. I really would love to still be in it but we might be grateful that we aren’t as we head into the end of the season.


Arteta clearly has bigger fish to fry.

Those mid table edge of the seat clashes with Leeds, Wolves, Palace, Burnley and Newcastle. Whoopee, I can’t wait.


My mistake…FA Cup winner still gets EL. League Cup winner gets into Europa Conference League.


Yep. Absolutely NO question about that.


We won’t finish in top 6 nor will we win Europa. The end. Average mid table team with a lot of history that don’t matter.


A bit over the top negativity. Our league form is fine and if we play our first eleven we’ll be able to crack top 6.


How joyous… you may as well find the nearest bridge…


and what makes you think we can’t win the Europa League with our first team? I think we’ve got a good first 11. If they stay healthy we’re definitely in with a shout.


We have a shot. If we somehow manage to win it, the prize is so much greater than an FA Cup… our FA Cup history and illustrious and important but our lack of success in even the lower tier of European football is galling. Given the choice, surely most fans would take winning the Europa League over the FA Cup this season…


That’s very likely, but that’s where we are. We can moan, and hope for the better, or a change up top.

The Andre Santos Sandwich Club

The lesson is surely that the individual players who have consistently let the team down, when given opportunities, don’t get given these opportunities again.

But is the lesson learned?


If we had played ESR, Tierney (Partey, Saka and Laca from start) we may have won, but then we would have certainly lost in a couple of days time, and risked injuries to the above. We played part of the second team and they are not good enough.


What was most worrying thing for me, was how we just showed absolutely nothing after going 1 nil down. Even after Arteta made the changes, which in my opinion, he was very slow to make. A lot of those starters deserved to come off at halftime. That’s how bad we were. I dont see how he thought they were going to be any better in the second half.

But to pretty much create zero efforts at goal after conceding is really limp wristed stuff, especially when you consider we are defending the trophy.


William had to come off


it’s time to acknowledge that willian is shit


I could have told you that in August.

In fact, I did. And the amount of thumbs down went through the roof. Yet here we all are…..

Timorous Me

The contract was always iffy at best, but Willian had been playing well for Chelsea until, what, July? So a month later you knew he was shit because…you’re psychic?


The good thing with predictions is that you can reference only the times you were correct.

Once a gunner

Arteta made us to loose the game by playing Willian throughout the game he was useless no creativity from him we can’t win any games when he plays through the middle. I’m very sure if ESR plays it will be different story. Thank God he knew is a lesson I hope he can learn from it


Yeah! The lesson here is that Arteta has to play ESR every single game from now until the end of the season because ESR just like de Bruyne can play every game with zero repercussions.

Kendall Jefferson

Except, De Bruyne is starting to get injured every ten games. Maybe that’s another lesson there.


Lesson is to play our first team, not the second.


First team in every game? No rest ever for Tierney, ESR, Partey etc we just play them until they break?


We can’t always play our first team but the lesson should be to trust young players instead of players like Willian who don’t give a fuck. It’s the cup, and I’d rather give players like Azeez and Balogun minutes than the same old rejects stinking the place out.

Paul Roberts

I’m beginning to have doubts about Arteta but if we brought in a new manager they would probably give more chances to Willain and Pepe believing they could get a tune out of them! Tricky…


As they would say on Sesame Street:



A lesson?? You don’t learn your lessons Mikel, you never do. I have learned my lesson tonight, as seduced as I was by a brilliant little run of form against mid tables teams, after you had completely lucked into having to play ESR because Willian was injured. I am not going to be seduced again. You are terrible, you make terrible decisions and you are not good enough for Arsenal. It’s not the result, or the cup, I can deal with that, it’s just football. It’s bringing on Lacca for Bellerin, it’s bringing on Saka for Gabi. All while you… Read more »


Lesson Certainly for the owners and board as well not to hire a rookie manager with zero experience. Not every player turns out to be Pep, Enrique or Zidane when managing a club.


Here here…👍


indeed and every good assistant manager doesnt turn out to be a good manager.
brian kid is a prime example


there are still plenty of delusional Arteta fan boys who think he will come good! trust the process innit

Public Elneny

Let’s hope the lesson he takes away is that, in particluar, Elneny, Pepe, Willian and Nketiah aren’t good enough to play for us, and should be moved on as soon as possible

Bleeding gums murphy

I can guarantee you he will play them again.

Public Elneny

Almost certainly. But I’m hoping Odegaard’s loan will at least halve playing time for Willian and Pepe, and maybe Balogun’s hattrick last night + Nketiah’s poor game today marks a change in priorities between those 2

Hail Gus!

I hope you’re right but it seems that only suspensions and injuries ensure that Arteta makes changes like that. I can’t quite work out if he is the most stubborn man in the world or the most stupid man in the world. Probably a dangerous mix of the two.


I hope that, but not sure


Sometimes its just ok to say that some players underperformed and we were sluggish on the attack. No need for that “they tried so hard”. Commenrator said willian earns 192 000 pounds a week? God bless us with that. Jobrachiam helding ransom over moving to anywere. New Özil then. Great.


The lesson should be “Not allowing Willian to ever pull on an Arsenal jersey ever again”. Somehow, I doubt Arteta has the humility to learn that. He needs to put his hands up and admit he made a catastrophic mistake in signing him.


If it’s a lesson in Nketiah being way too limited a striker for Arsenals first eleven.. Still on track for what exactly? He’ll do nuthin this season. He should’ve been loaned out and Balogun needs to be our focus from the academy.

I hope that’s a lesson.

Willian, never again. I hope that’s a lesson.

I’m Arteta in but if he doesn’t learn these lessons obvious to all then he needs to start attending class instantly.

Bleeding gums murphy

He is clearly not a quick learner. He will play nketia again and almost everybody can see he is not good enough. He will continue with Willian as the nonsense he came out with yesterday about not repeating Ozil situation has just happened. Only difference is Ozil could play football m. He has brought Willian in age 32 on 3 year contract and £200 thousand a week.


Its a lesson in not playing Willian. The guy for whatever reason is just not up for the fight.
Nketiah is not good enough, another lesson.

Sadly we won’t learn any lessons from it as we have 1 for another 2plus years on crazy wages and the other he seems to favour over a player we could lose because he gets no playing time.

This defeat is 100% on the manager im afraid.
He will live or die by such decisions and sadly I fear he will carry on making such poor judgement calls.


Yes we lost but can fans be real and pragmatic. Do you you guys want to play 19 and 20 year olds into the ground? ESR needed a break and so did Tierney. There is a reason why we have a squad and it has to be used.Willian didn’t score the own goal let’s remember that.


Willian didn’t score the own goal.

Oh well, that’s all right then. Let’s make him Player of The Season. We might as well…


We are running out of opportunities to salvage this season. We cannot use fixture congestion as an excuse any more.


With the amount of lessons we’ve learned this season we must be the smartest team going around.


Back to school with Mikel.

Baggy trousers….baggy trousers…..baggy trousers….,

Keep it Real

Not great but when you look at the run of games it is easy to see the reason for the selections – as long as we win Tuesday a justified pick (even willian)


This hysterical over-reaction is making me laugh. So thanks, needed something to cheer me up after what was admittedly a disappointing performance. But if Martinelli connects from 3 yards out, I think we win the game. Their goal was also so lucky. No opposition player has scored against us for around 8 games now. So can everyone try and cheer the fuck up a little? Hopefully we win Tuesday and then Arteta won’t be completely clueless and our players won’t be utter garbage

Tomaury Bischfeld

Here’s the lesson: next time your pally agent comes and offers you a player who they are also an agent for and says: “hey Mr Edu, here is my client. You may already be friends from your time with the Brazilian national team. He is 31 years old so is naturally in decline as his performances have indicated. His club, who have the same aspirations as yours, don’t think it’s worth offering him a 3 year contract. Will you offer him a 3 year contract? I did a good job for you getting you a job at Arsenal, go on,… Read more »

A sad arsenal fan

Felt like Cedric was poor today. Was quite shocked that he played left back over AMN. I think we lack that precision on the left when Tierney isn’t playing.


This was a major game for us and we put THAT line-up on?


A lesson in not choosing to slim down a bloated squad by ostracising and then selling one of your most experienced creative midfielders.

Yeah, yeah. I know, move on, blah fucking blah – but can anyone tell me that Mesut Ozil wouldn’t have been a darn sight more useful today than Willian…..?

That’s a rhetorical question by the way; I couldn’t give a shit what you Ozil Haters think.


Probably not….you really think we win this game with Ozil in Willian’s place? It’s like saying this pile of shit stinks less than this pile of shit. Still a pile of shit. Ozil in 2020 was not the Ozil from 2015. Ozil in 2021 should be playing in Turkey. It’s his level.

Kendall Jefferson

Somehow he just finds a way to bring in Mesuit Ozil into every conversation, it can be annoying sometimes but most times it’s so hilarious.

Can the UK hurry up and get the vaccines available for everyone, the lockdown’s starting to make some people go cuckoo.


….Says the guy who tells everyone to shut up and/or fuck off when he can’t handle their opinions.


Silver lining…they put their best 11 out there and we didn’t and lost 1-0 on a own goal. Besides that I’m just lost on what has happened to Willian. I figured we’d get at least 1 year of good play from him before tailing off but the hill of aging has truly transitioned to a cliff.


It’s his level


I never enjoyed lessons as a child and they certainly haven’t improved.

Man Manny

Tuesday will prove if we’ve learned any lessons today.
Leno, Soares, Holding, Luiz, Tierney
Partey , Xhaka,
Saka, Laca and Auba should be enough for 3 points on Tuesday.
I am quietly confident we’ll win well.


great. Arteta is all talk..this rookie is trying to fake it till he makes it!


I have not watched the match (could not be bothered frankly) so I’ll refrain from judging it. Suffice to say we have not learnt our lessons (plural) This trite about learning from mistakes keeps being thrown out after every defeat. the fact is BC we are so shallow in depth in terms of quality, Arteta made a massive (but predictable) miscalculation) again. Seeing Nektiah, Pepe, Willian starting alone indicative of where the fault lies. Granted we need to rotate but Arteta has been guilty of over rotating. particularly since we are out of Europe, FA cup and PL remain the… Read more »


I cant be bothered to watch them sometimes either maybe its a feeling of disconnetion without being able to go to the games. Maybe its because they are so boring to watch and lacking in imagination. No player in this team seems to be able to rally the troops when things are not going to plan, dont see much of that coming from the manager either. Have alway looked forward to watching arsenal whether they were in form or not we would always at least have a go in the last 20 mins and put teams under pressure but this… Read more »

V h

Biggest lesson… when the manager picks a shitty line up you usually lose.


Still puzzled how, with basically the same team as last season, except supposedly improved with one or two new signings, plus Auba who almost put the most goals away in the whole Premiership, we can suddenly start playing so dogshit this season?

I believed Arteta was the man to take Arsenal back up the table – partly because I couldn’t think of any other manager available who could do the job – but really starting to have my doubts: he is starting to look like Emery – out of his depth, making bad decisions.Trouble is, what is Plan B?


Hes just not a very good manager. He cant handle anyone with a bit about them. Hence his freezing out of guendouzi and ozil.
Good man managers are people who see how each individual can be motivated and when to push them, when to put an arm around them.
This non negotiables shite he follows isnt the way to create a good attacking team. flair players need a bit of leeway to express themselves.


Arteta picked the right team. He had every right to expect a better performance from that group of players, but they played shit. Still, even playing shit it took a sloppy, lucky own goal to beat us. Willan’s a disaster, but let’s not forget who pushed that disaster on us. Kia Joorapchian’s supposed to be a super agent and an Arsenal supporter—well where are all the super players he’s brought us? With support like his we’ll be bankrupt in a matter of years. He’s playing the club for a mark… On Nketiah (and Nelson/Willock as well): let’s remember these players… Read more »


“They all tried so hard.”

Damn, if this is how Willian looks when he’s trying hard, imagine what he’s like when he can’t be bothered.

If he were a horse, he’d be taken behind a barn and shot.

DB’s first touch

Surprised by all the people who think we should have prioritized the FA cup. Even if we had played our best team and won that is still far removed from winning the whole thing. Prioritizing the cup this early can be a problem because all it takes is one loss and you have nothing to show for it. Makes more sense to prioritize the league in the long run where losing a match doesn’t preclude you from winning the next one.


Would Willian really be so relaxed if he had a two year contract instead of three.

Some bad negotiating there…

Let’s hope the pressure on Edu will make him think twice.

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