Arteta bemoans profligate attack and VAR penalty decision

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Mikel Arteta was clearly frustrated with his side’s failure to beat Burnley at Turf Moor after clear chances were missed and VAR decided not to award a clear penalty for a late handball by Erik Pieters.

Chris Wood took advantage of a terrible pass by Granit Xhaka to cancel out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s early opener as the Gunners settled for a 1-1 draw.

After the game, he spoke to BT Sport

On the performance…

Obviously, it’s a really tough place and a difficult pitch but overall, I have to say that if you don’t score the big chances that we have, if give a goal to the opponent and you don’t get the decision when it’s a clear penalty, in the Premier League it’s pretty complicated.

On playing out from the back…

It’s something that we work on and it’s something we’ll keep doing. The goal we scored is through Bernd [Leno], he starts the whole thing and we score a goal with Aubameyang. We made a mistake that cost us a goal but as well, the only other chance they had started with a long kick from Bernd, we had an open structure and the had the chance that they had. It can happen when you play short or long. This is football. Obviously, when you miss the chances that we missed today in this ground, you’re going to have moments in the game when you’re under pressure and the game becomes exactly what they want. And then you don’t get the decision when it’s an obvious penalty. Somebody has to explain to me what a penalty is.

On a season of mistakes…

Still, with that [the mistake], you have to come here and win. With what we produced in the game, you have to come and win it. It’s as simple as that. If you don’t, then we have to look at ourselves and not look for other excuses. We completely dominated the first half. We felt comfortable and should have been two or three-nil up. In the second half, you’re going to have periods the way they play where they make it really difficult. It was a difficult pitch, a lot of long balls, a lot of aerial duels. We generated chances, we should have won the game.

On what Arsenal could be…

We have to come here and win by two or three goals when you produce a performance like that. If you give hope to any team in the Premier League they are going to take it. That’s the difference when you have consistency in results…one day you win, one day you draw, the other you lose.

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C.B.

Shocking penalty decision, and not the one with the sending-off.

We are givign away far too many silly points. Willian and Pepe not good enough based on today’s performance, Xhaka definitely not…

FMT

Pepe??!!

Goo-nerd

To put any of this on Pepe is ridiculous. The man had less than 20 minutes to do his work and created 3-4 big chances, including a volley on-target with his weaker foot – in clear contrast to Willian who did jack all game.

davorsuker

The man was a pure threat!
He ignited our game as no-one could in the team. Yes, he missed an absolute sitter but I’m sure he will convert these kind of chances into goals when becoming a first choice winger

IamaGoober

Pepe failed to connect with a ball that was literally rolling across the area in the 6 yard box. I appreciate any player can miss chances etc.. but come on. You have to score those. And if you can’t, then you’re probably not good enough to play in the Premier League. But listen, we are 10th in the league for a reason. We have a squad with lots of players that aren’t good enough. We have to clear them out now. No more excuses. No more post match criticisms when the same players are making the same mistakes we’ve seen… Read more »

Francesc

He missed a sitter.. dont defend for anything

Kiran

He actually has been defending tracking back consistently over last 6 weeks or so when he has featured and given us some aerial presence from long punts upfield. We all know he should have put that one away but when you look at his output which has been at a consistent level you need to question manager in my view as to why he hasn’t got more starts, I think Arteta is too cagey for the Arsenal.

Eyob

Can easily find a Ronaldo “El-classico Air shot” and it didnot make him the worst player. Moments may make them great players, yet certainly they will not make them the worst. Take it easy

Andy

Yes but Ronaldo has 750 plus goals to balance the odd howler.

CAZORSAKANELLI

Yes Pepe listen Pepe is good for 3 to 4 games after that he goes back to typical Pepe Willian well I don’t really know what he’s good for he’s never had two great back to back games so Xhaka on the other hand no matter how well he’s playing just like Luiz they have an error or 2 in them and it manifest at different times like today. Everyone knows you don’t turn to the center of your own goal you don’t pass across the center of your goal. Xhaka decides he’s going to break every football fundamental rules… Read more »

davorsuker

Downvoted this because I honestly believe Pepe only needs a solid 6-7 games run in order to become more consistent. Every time he gets a decent run he’s being dropped and then he fails to come up with another good game

Public Elneny

We have some players who need to be shocking for 5-10 games straight for them to lose their place – Xhaka, Luiz, Willian

Others – Ceballos, Pepe, Martinelli – need to put in excellent performances for 5-10 games straight, or they’ll be sidelined for the next 10 games

Just ridiculous favouritism from Arteta in his team selections, and it’s why we can’t get any momentum going

NorthernGooner

Willian had his one good game of the season against Leicester, I wouldn’t expect anymore from him until next season.

Meanwhile, Martinelli warms the bench for his own “protection”.

All is well in Artetaball, Luiz, Xhaka and Willian played from the start.

Getting into champions league on a regular basis didn’t save Wenger, making it to fifth and a EL final was not good enough for Emery and yet finishing 10th (if we are lucky) is being portraid as progress, how Arteta gets away with this is baffling. Northern

Andy

October 2020 interpretation of handball, after it was discussed at a Shareholders meeting between all 20 clubs. More emphasis will now be put on what a player’s “expected” arm position is when the ball strikes him, and the time they have to react. The “softened approach” will apply from Matchweek 4, starting on Saturday. In determining whether or not a handball should be penalised the following factors will be considered: Position of the arm • Where the arm is in an expected position given player’s action • This includes where the arms are clearly used for balance and/or protection it… Read more »

Disarmed Gunner

Waste of time reading his excuses. Once fans are allowed back into the stadiums he’ll soon realise he is running on borrowed time. Enough of using as a a work experience site or training facility for when Man City come a calling. Get him out and get someone in who knows what they are doing.

He has lowered the standards to such a point we will soon be giving Arteta a knighthood for avoiding the drop.

Fezec

He didn’t make excuses. He clearly says it’s on us.

karl

Arteta was more restrained than most would be about that penalty. After what VAR officials have done to us over this season, he has every right to complain.

Vaibhav

Arteta put up a great structure and team created loads of chances. When top class players miss those chances, is it in the manager to score goals on the pitch?? FFS don’t sound like entitled bunch.

MrT

Were 10th buddy… Lost 11 games buddy… Out of the FA Cup bud…
What you smoking

Vaibhav Pandey

So what we are 10th? Some aspects of his style and man management can be questioned but you don’t know what is going on at training ground or at the board and here you are making the decisions. He has the confidence of players and he has confidence of board so, no one gives a shit to what you or I think. We should be enjoying when winning and getting team’s back when losing or drawing. Also realize that with players we have, we are far away from top and it will take a long time to get back to… Read more »

Jimbo

Blind faith. A true member of the cult of arteta

goongot

I wish lampard on his way out, would have exposed the referring association. There’s no pressure on them, while managers lose jobs, teams get relegated or miss on european spots, this incompetent ppl are giving a week off and they are back again bottling decisions and costing clubs.utter shambles.

Fezec

I really like Arteta. He’s honourable. Says all the right things.

This loss was on him.

God. It’s the hope that kills you.

Cheerio

This loss wasn’t on him. If professional footballers are missing chances from 3 yards out (Saka, Pepe) and giving away stupid goals (Xhaka), and the referees don’t give an obvious penalty, there’s not a lot a manager can do

MrT

Cheerio Cheerio What are you smoking.. Look at the league table, losses & games won and check if we are in the Fa Cup

RedHotHornBlower

How on earth was this loss on him? He didn’t gift Burnley a goal. Nor did he miss 5 guilt edged chances at the other end.

Fezec

Because he’s had long enough to coach these errors out of players or stop selecting them.

Because once we were pulled level, no one on the pitch stood up and took the team forward.

These are systemic problems that were forgivable at the start of the season.

18 months in, they are no longer the players problems but the managers.

No foot Norbert

Imo arteta got his subs wrong today. Should have brought on pepe earlier and subbed a struggling xhaka instead of partey. We had 45 mins to turn it around and could have easily lost this game as well, don’t let the last 10 mins fool you. Ultimately though it’s down to these players and their weak mentality. Not enough of them are serious, too many potential trouble makers and not enough real winners. It’s up to the board to sort it out in the next few windows which they won’t. Arteta is learning on the job and to be honest… Read more »

Timorous Me

I’m guessing Partey was the one to come off because of fitness concerns. And at least the Laca and Pepe subs were earlier than normal for Arteta, so maybe he’s learning?

If Partey didn’t need to come off I would have preferred a more attacking RB instead–be it Bellerin or maybe Saka out wide like in the Benfica desperation mode win.

Bob's Mexican Cousin

We are tenth with eleven games to go. That is on all the club, not just Arteta. Having said that, he’s right there at the top.

We should part ways in the summer before it gets nasty.

db10s

It’s hard to disagree with the league table but I haven’t come to a conclusion on Arteta yet. The amount of losses this season from things outside a manager’s control is quite significant. 5 red cards, mistakes like Xhaka’s etc etc. On the top of my head that’s 12 possible points dropped and those 12 points translate to 4th/5th in the table now. Part of me wants to stick with him and see what happens after next season because no matter who we hire now, it won’t change the fact that football finances are decimated meaning we won’t be able… Read more »

Goo-nerd

Xhaka’s mistake will get so much more play because it cost us points.
But VAR is supposed to eliminate mistakes and instead it compounds them.
Forget individual referees – Mike Riley has to go. He lets his refs get clobbered in the press week after week without stepping up and taking responsibility – cowardice. The quality of the referees in supposedly the “best league in the world” is nothing short of shocking.

No foot Norbert

Referees are fucking dreadful and they all need to be replaced (And their replacements mic’d up) but today was completely on us self destructing yet again. Burnley had big opportunities to go ahead at 1-1 so to be quite frank we deserved the draw today based on that 2nd half performance. Arteta gets 25% of the blame because of his subs for me the players 45% and the shit arsehole refs 30%

Thierrys_Tears

Not going to torch the ref on this one. Yes, he missed the clear penalty, but he was quick to call one and show red. It wasn’t a penalty but he called it. The problem now is VAR. No one outside of a Burnley supporter could argue that hand ball, but VAR didn’t even appear to look at it. It’s a joke.

afl

Premier League Refereeing and VAR in particular are rjust ridicilous. I get to watch 5 top european leagues and level of free interpretation and inconsistency from VAR refs is almost inconceivable for what Premier League would want to be.
Absence of any concrete and notable reactions from the clubs is what I don’t understand.

willyp

Lady luck has not been with us all season, it is just so frustrating. I trust in Arteta to take us back to the champions league next season aslong decisions don’t constantly go against us like now

Reality check

We’re also pretty efficient in shooting ourselves in the foot. That also will have to be cut out.

Arteta is not getting us anywhere in the league until he manages 4 consecutive EPL wins.

He has to start making his own luck and he can start that by giving more time to his most productive players and benching the more error-prone players in the team.

This is not the tenth best set of footballers in the league. We deserve better quality coaching and management.

Quick

Cannot fathom the logic of VAR there. Fair enough the one off the shoulder but the earlier one was an absolute stonewall penalty, regardless of “proximity”.

Jimbo

Might as well let him see the season out. But it’s clear arteta is out of his depth.
He hasn’t improved us at all.
His only improvement had been to slightly improve on the complete disaster relagation form he oversaw earlier in the season. Now we’ve improved to midtable form. Win a couple lose a couple draw a couple. Is this really good enough?
Emery was sacked for less

bob

Well if you look overall he has improved us. He focused on defence first, now that has improved, but at the cost of attack. Then onto attack and chance creation, and that improved too. This has of course taken many months, but statistically there has been obvious improvements, and anecdotally I am less terrified by our defence as a whole than I was previously. However, he hasn’t improved results…yet. I don’t think it’s too crazy to posit that these will improve as performances do too. Moreover, if we can move on some of our more calamitous players, and cut out… Read more »

jimbo

I dont see any improvement he has taken us backwards. The football is very dull to watch and the team has no fight.
His team selection is at times baffling as are his subs. everytime we are chasing a game we fail to build any pressure and break teams down.
He fails to use players in the squad with obvious huge potential and has signed several average players who havent improved the team.
A better manager would get more out of this squad.

Vaibhav

Emery was sacked for totally different reasons. Emery lost the players but Arteta has the dressing room and I don’t think KSE will sack him anytime soon because 1. There is fucking pandemic 2. Finances are super tight 3. Arteta has already done a lot of good work by moving on Deadwood.
He will get next season for sure.

Jimbo

Managers get sacked for poor results. Emery lost the dressing room just as Wenger had seemed to in his last season. What does that say about these players?
Arteta will go the same way unless he learns quickly
Sticking with the likes of xhaka luiz and Willian is his way to the sack.
He everyone to buy into his non negotiable stuff but a team of yes men will achieve little.

pound4pound

I honestly feel bad for Arteta. This is at least three times in recent matches where he’s put us in position to dominate and win rather easily, and we came up short because of crazy mistakes, referee / VAR decisions, finishes that were just slightly off, or all of the above.

No, he’s certainly not perfect. I don’t understand some of his man management (Martinelli especially). But I think he’s getting better and better, and the foundation is there for a very good manager. I’m just sad that we likely won’t have European football next season to show for it.

No foot Norbert

Agreed, we can’t expect him to be the finished article just yet and he is learning and improving. Ultimately for me the players are the problem but that doesn’t mean arteta is immune to criticism. We were flat in the first 15-20 mins of the 2nd half Imo the subs should have come sooner and different subs (easy to say in hindsight but I was resigned to a draw at the 70 min mark)

loose_cannon

Will be a lot of talk about Xhaka’s mistake, Pepe’s miss and VAR, but the biggest issue for me, and this has been the case all season, is the lack of intensity in our play. I don’t know if it’s a physical, mental or tactical thing, but we were far too slow on and off the ball today. The way we played for the first and last 10 minutes is how we should be looking to play for the full 90.

Ndouzi

Part of the problem in my view is that the manager is wedded to structured football with no room for spontaneity. If itsnot rehearsed, it’s not done. Our routines are very predictable.

Timorous Me

I thought the absence of Smith-Rowe was really glaring today. Playing as the No. 10 he really does bring that forward drive and attacking and pressing intensity. No coincidence I think in that the one goal we did score came from a play where Willian sort of stepped into the Smith-Rowe role and just dribbled forward into space.

Odegaard is a nice player, but I think there’s a risk having him and Xhaka and Willian all in the team together because of how deliberate they can be on the ball. He’s just a bit too passive right now.

loose_cannon

Had a similar feeling about Odegaard today, though he was a bit better in the second half.

Biggles

We all know the vagaries of VAR. Hopefully, we may get a decision our way when we need it in a coming game. The other point, the wastefulness in attack is worrying as it’s been a problem for much of the season. Looking at the shots on target for many of our games, it’s been pretty poor to woeful on occasion. We had only three on target against Burnley, albeit that’s a 33% success rate but you can’t help wondering… It looks like Laca may be on his way in the summer. Even if he stays, there could still be… Read more »

Public Elneny

I think Arteta is doing a lot of good work that is putting us in a more stable and optimistic position than we’ve been in for a long time.

But jfc he is not very good at winning games

Francesc

Disgraceful VAR

Francesc

After 5 years.. Xhaka serving us just a slightly better shit..

No foot Norbert

Form is temporary class is permanent

Johnny 2 Bad

A one nil win and we’d all be happy. Insistence from playing it out from the back with a keeper who isn’t clearly confident with his feet and a one footed slow coach in midfield is losing us points. We are not Man City!!

Vaibhav

What if we are aspiring for it? Any problems with that or we should become Burnley?

Typical tantrums

I don’t really know anymore, how can one call this a “premier” league if the officiating standards are so low. The proof is there for the whole world to see, yet here we are, I wouldn’t be surprised if a few years down the line some referees would be investigated for match fixing in the premier league.

Vaibhav

The fact that refs are officially freelancers, they can do whatever they want without any accountability

49 49 undefeated

Nah man
You talk the talk but the table doesn’t lie and ur making Emery look like AW..

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Moan and excuses.
Arsenal are where they are because of persisting to play people who’ve proved time and again that they’re not good enough.
Just be ruthless like Pep or Mourinho.
If a player is always injured, replace him. If a player is always costing the team points, get him out.

And put whom Elneny? Kid from Academy? You? Me? Himself?

Can someone convince me that the board have simply not let Arteta go because it’s the cheapest option?

We are led by a coach whose tactics and selection are about as random aa British weather. In 47 league matches he has not managed even. 4 consecutive wins.

In those 47, we’ve technically never had a “purple patch” (5 wins), our PPM is 1.5, our win rate is just 55%, our goal difference is 18 (across two season) and we have taken 71 points from a possible 141.

jimbo

Its a process so trust the process

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Hard to trust the process when it’s dependant on certain players.

Hank Scorpio

I either can’t detect your sarcasm or you’re talking like a cult member.

Bill Hall

That first double handball not given by the ref was a fucking howler of a mistake. I am not saying we played that well in the second half of the game but that was a clear penalty.

Chris

At times I think referees don’t get enough respect but then I watch displays like today and I realise why ☹️

Did they offer an explanation for not giving the penalty?

Timorous Me

There have been a lot of games lately–several involving us, but some others as well–where I just absolutely don’t understand it. It’s one thing to get decisions wrong on the pitch where there’s so much happening quickly (in ice hockey in the NHL they added a second referee for that very reason some years back), but to see the incompetence that happens with VAR makes it impossible to defend these guys. It’s as if they have literally no idea what they’re doing.

Chris

I’ve never been a referee or assistant referee so can’t say how difficult it is to make big calls in the game when it’s moving so fast but VAR? Literally sat in a room watching replays and still get it wrong, it’s laughable honestly.

Andy

The explanation was that the ball was fired at his hand from a close position. Not saying is correct but proximity can be a mitigation for handball.

PTAFC

Worrying that Arteta can’t seem to sort these errors out as they occur nearly every game. And the way they came out in the second half hardly suggests an inspiring speech by him! Pointless bemoaning VAR as we had enough chances. Also One of those games where we took the lead and thought we’d won. Another weekend ruined!

Santori

This is the problem. We had a full half to go for a win and we ended up being sucked into a scrap which suited them since we had little outlet or ball retention higher up. Even in first half we started to drop in out put despite the goal which probably gave many a false sense of comfort. And we played Arteta’s dogmatic 6 yard box suicide passes close to our goal. This was a disaster that has been waiting to happen for some time. I frankly do not see any other team apply this sort of play out… Read more »

Santori

I don’t even think Chris Wood took advantage…he did not even know what hit him.

Xhaka got his ‘clearance’ all wrong but in truth why play the ball to him Leno when he was under pressure moving back to goal.

Why play 6 yard box suicide game all the time?

Absurd.

Those blaming Xhaka will continue to wonder why we still make mistakes like this in future if Arteta persist with ‘the way he wants to play’

Its far too dogmatic and obvious.

You don’t score playing in your half.

Arteta’s system is part of the problem we have.

jimbo

Why is it aways the same players who make the mistakes then? its not coincendence is it?
Fucking baffles me peope asking why blame xhaka. He fucked up thats why and not for the 1st time. He is a fucking liabiity and not good enough to play for arsenal uness your happy to be a midtable team.

Hugh1942

You are 100% Correct! The goalkeeper is responsible for his penalty box.
Leno could see who was behind Xhaka but how could Xhaka see when he had to play the ball. I played right back in the 1950’s when you cleared your lines this is suicidal coaching and Arteta should take full responsibility for the fiasco and stop blaming everything and everybody!

Alex

When will Arteta bring some joy back to the game we play? Still doesn’t smile when we score. Wenger smiled.

jimbo

He has no personality. No wonder he cant motivate the team