Mikel Arteta praised his side’s attitude and desire after Arsenal mounted a remarkable comeback to snatch a 3-3 draw with West Ham United but he couldn’t help but lament the way his players got themselves into a difficult situation in the first place.
The home side stormed into a three-goal lead inside 32 minutes thanks to goals from Jesse Lingard, Jarod Bowen and Tomas Soucek before the Czech was credited with an own goal six minutes later after deflecting Alex Lacazette’s effort past Lukasz Fabianski.
The Gunners looked much sharper after the break with Martin Odegaard pulling the strings and Calum Chambers proving a dangerous outlet on the right. The defender’s dangerous cross was deflected into his own net by Craig Dawson to further reduce the deficit before Lacazette, set up by substitute Nicolas Pepe, equalised with a bullet header eight minutes from time.
After the match, the boss talked through the roller coaster ride. Here’s what he said to Sky Sports…
His assessment of the match…
I’m really disappointed because I cannot accept my team to play the way we did for certain periods of the first half…the goals we conceded. What I expect, is the team to play at the level we showed afterwards. We played incredibly well, we should have scored six or seven goals. But we are all the time in reverse because we have two faces. The first face is about giving goals to the opponent and not doing what we have to do. It’s not good enough.
On his players not respecting the game plan…
I don’t know. The first goal, it can happen. It’s a really good combination, they play that channel well, it’s two actions, they have players in the box and he [Lingard] scores a brilliant goal. It’s fine. That is fine. The way we concede the second one is unacceptable. The third one is unacceptable. And we still [nearly] give them one more when we gave them a throw in and they hit the post. It’s too much margins. Then you have to score six every game. For the rest, the attitude and the desire we showed and the togetherness we showed [is good] because at 3-0 it’s really difficult to do what we’ve done. I had no doubts because we talked about it and I see every day the energy and the cohesion that the players have. We got it really close to winning at the end, I think we deserved to win it at the end but the first half really worries me.
On how he explains his players switching off…
It’s unacceptable because we talk about that all the time. But it happens. I don’t know if it’s a hangover from Europe. Tired. You lose your focus. The game is taking over because you are losing. I don’t know what it is. It wasn’t just one or two players, it was more that switched off in this case. I have to correct that dramatically and quick.
On starting Aubameyang on the right…
With the way we wanted to play. It made sense for him to play there. But obviously, we didn’t have the ball, we didn’t win any duels, everything was long balls and second balls and it wasn’t our game. Then he couldn’t have any influence on the game. When we started to play a little bit, I decided to switch them because as well we were having some issues on that side defensively. We were more stable, not because of this, but because we started to do what we had to do.
On Calum Chambers…
He was really good. He’s been training really well. It’s a player that gives us something else. He gives us height which was the plan with the team we have at the moment. He was superb and really efficient in the final third. I think he had a great performance.
If we sell Bellerin we still have Chambers and Cedric. It will give us some money for Odegaard. Hopefully we sell Guendouzi too. And have a decision to make on Laca.
And have a decision to make on Auba*
There’s no way we should be keeping Auba over Laca.
we need to take money for both of them. we can’t afford not to.
Laca is a good option at least. Auba needs to play in a counter attacking team.
We can’t sell Auba, wages too high, transfer fees are too low.
Laca is extremely similar to Giroud. Adept at hold up play – works hard but will only get you 10-15 goals a year. That type of player is not one we should be sinking massive resources into as he enters his 30s as they are much easier to find than pure goal scorers
well, how many goals is Giroud getting these days? His G/min ratio… I think with what he offers, we would be glad to have some Giroud ourselves
We lost a great opportunity to sell Auba last summer…It’s easy to say that today , but if someone like Wenger was in charge,i think , we would have taken the cash… Something like Persie.
I lIke Auba , but after his new contract he is not the same player. At the moment he needs a rest , there are players that can start the game in front of him. Hope he gets his form back!
Would you guys keep Torreira too?
I’d keep either him or Guendouzi to replace Ceballos.
I’d keep both of them and give them a go for a season (and let Ceballos go) unless a big offer comes in for either – which is highly unlikely – less so with Guendouzi but it probably wouldn’t be much more than the 20m region and I can’t see how we could buy someone his age, with is potential, who we know can cope with the prem for less than we would get for him.
They’re both very average players and we need to do better, take what we can and move on. That money could buy a player like Bissouma. We have Azeez, Cirjan, Patino and other quality players coming through the academy, we shouldn’t be looking to keep average players.
Or promote a youngster such as Azeez? Arteta won’t give Guendouzi another chance and Torreira likely wants to leave. We’ll need to shift a lot of players to get the funds we need to bring in quality. And the focus has to be on quality to climb the table.
I think that there’s a decision that could arguably be made on many of our players, that’s if we want to get back to anywhere near to where we used to be, in fact I think that there’s only 5 players who are unsellable and that’s Saka, Partey, Martinelli, Smith Rowe and Tierney. Obviously I’d add a Odegaard to that group but everyone else to me is up for sale if the price is right and an upgrade is available and affordable.
I would add Gabriel to your list
You can obviously expect the player’s to do better, but the second Arsenal switched to the preferred (reasonable) line-up they dominated the game. The second half is Artetas Arsenal with all it’s positives, the first half is also Artetas Arsenal with all of his infuriating negatives coming to display. His main tactics and build-up of this team is amazing to watch, at the same time he does such weird decisions with the line-ups, time and time again. Willian the obvious example over time, Auba on the right and Pablo Maris position in this game other ones. I hope these are… Read more »
his tactics are good, his subs and in game management need improvement, hopefully things go in the right direction
“We showed a phase that I didn’t like at all for some minutes in the first half. Then I think we hit another level with the way we can play, which is probably the best I’ve seen us play the whole season. I cannot accept that the team has two phases, it only has one phase which is the top level that we can reach consistently every three days for the whole period of the game. If we are able to do that, then we’ll become a different team.” I love this from Arteta and it´s exactly how best teams… Read more »
I know it’s a bit disappointing we couldn’t nick a win but just think how absolutely fuming you’d be as a West Ham fan to lose a 3 goal lead
Would love to hear the thinking behind starting Auba on the right. Maybe to throw them off? It certainly didn’t work if so
Shit decision to start Auba full stop.
Hammers played us off the park in the first 30 minutes. But did anyone else think the ref gave them that second goal…no way that should have been allowed…he had his hand in his pocket about to book someone just after blowing for the foul when west ham already had the ball in the net…fkn bullshit “early” free kick…should have been pulled back and taken properly.
At least he knows that first 30 minutes was a disgrace. But we’ve been here before and nothing changes.
If you keep playing the constants in our decline for the past half decade (Xhaka being the prime example) then we will really go nowhere. All well and good saying he is key for us- that probably explains why we are 9th/10th. He slows everything down, we can have a counter developing and he will take 10 touches, walk, and pass backwards. Sick to death of him
not always, he wasn’t like that vs leicester few weeks ago
but he is a player who can be upgraded, has really good passing but too many mistakes in him and can often be defensively exposed
auba needs some time off, needs to earn his spot, possibly with a rest vs pool and a start against a so-called lower team (so-called because we are adept at shooting ourselves against anyone)
Think the captaincy is weighing him down Give him a rest and pass the band to KT Adams in the making
Maybe its his shitty entitled attitude weighing him down.
Absolutely agree would love to see KT get a captaincy
Time off without wages, yeah fine. Not gonna happen though…
I hope this comeback motivates the boys(especially Auba). But the gunners need to face the facts it’s going to be very hard to win the Europa League let alone grab 4th place. But i feel there is still hope for us in the Europa League. Keep winning games, have Auba motivated, and let Man U exposure themselves AND THE EUROPA LEAGUE WILL BE OURS!!!! ( hopefully
I understand the meaning, but looking at the positives, there is evident growth in this team. This team would not claw back a three goal deficit, away from home, in the past two seasons. That, to me, is sign of progress. Yes, there are infuriating errors at the back. But I think it will be ironed out with time. The attacking play of this team is as incisive as any on EPL at the moment. Ødegaard has to stay, even if it means selling Torreira, Guendouzi, Holding and AMN to fund it. The boy is pure class. Luiz and Elneny… Read more »
When did Arsenal bought own goal is our man of the match
Not the first time this season we’ve started a game slowly this season, but maybe the first time we’ve been punished so comprehensively. Still struggling to put my finger on how much that is down to the players and how much is it down to instructions/tactics. Either way, we’re not getting out of midtable until we sort it out.
Always talking about the mistakes and then the attitude and togetherness We need to stop the talk and do something Drop the old guard
Bring in the fringe players Seasons gone Let’s blood them for the next
It’d be novel to try our best players in their best positions.
I mean just to see.
The squad is fully fit, right?
Exposing chambers so early on was a mistake in the game plan.
If he wanted to pin cresswell back using the threat of Auba then that plan really failed as we couldn’t break the press as chambers don’t contribute to the build up as well as Hector so found ourselves under pressure and chambers had two players to mark with Auba nowhere to be seen.
It was very poor from the captain not to adjust, if he was instructed to stay up then he should have reorganised odegaard or Partey to fill in.
That was our biggest problem down the right in the beginning of the game. Chambers was being spread thin on that flank for a long time.
Chambers was outstanding today.
Not too keen on the chambers Saka partnership, often Saka was left to fend for himself Against two opposition players
Chambers is so useful going forward. His crossing is slow and ponderous but seems to have the right trajectory just sometimes over hit. Not exactly what you would want and predictable in its variety, allowing opposition defences the time and rhythm to do what they need to do. But it did force them to deal with it. I do wonder if martinelli’s aerial ability could have helped us out a little bit. Any resulting corner and we could have used chambers aerial ability in the box and his penalty box reactions, as he has scored a few with his right… Read more »
Because of Xhaka and chambers and Luiz lack of pace and others with tired legs it was a difficult first 15 minutes.
We had to defend so deep and couldn’t get out of our half.
As soon as moyes sees that combination on the right half of defence he must have been rubbing his hands.
Hector gives us the technical ability to assist in defeating the opposition press, but his end product is woeful
Good work from him today and best of all FINALLY played in his NATURAL postion. Wenger had experimented with him first at midfield then Cback as much bc of player deficiencies in those areas as much as his potential there with his ball control and height. But frankly his career has been mucked a little plus injuries so good to see him taking his chances and back in with a position he showed great application with at Soton. Of course the other positive is he gives us options now particularly going into the summer. 1) Should we sell Bellerin (If… Read more »
Then he couldn’t have any influence on the game.
And u kept him in d game until the 80min wen u have a boy who can take anyone one on on n score goals.
Mr arteta all this is on u.atleast if he wasnt having influence on d game .u change the game plan to suit him.since u find it hard to drop him or hook him off.