Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Arteta: It’s my fault but now players must show “big balls”

Mikel Arteta says he was left in shock by how poorly his Arsenal side played as Liverpool, courtesy of goals by Diogo Jota and Mo Salah, eased to a 3-0 win at the Emirates.

The Spaniard was quick to take the blame for the defeat but in conversation with Sky Sports, he also called on his players to get their act together before Thursday’s Europa League clash with Slavia Prague.

Here’s what Arteta had to say when quizzed by Geoff Shreeves…

On how disappointed he is…

Very much, we completely deserved to lose the game. They were better in every department. They deserved to win the game with the margin they had or more. It was unacceptable from our side the way we played today.

On why his players performed so badly…

They were much better than us in every department. They won every duel, every second ball, every challenge. They were brave when they had the ball, they made the right decisions, we didn’t. It’s my fault.

On why it’s his fault…

Because I have to set the team to play in a different way and to perform in a different way. That’s it.

On whether the players should take some responsibility…

I prefer to do that. I take it. Congratulations to Liverpool because I think they were exceptional today. They were and they can play at that level and we saw the difference today between the two teams when we play at that level that the margins between the sides are incredibly high.

On how dispiriting it is…

I don’t care. I can’t use excuses like we didn’t have five or six players. It’s not about that. The standards have to be much higher at this football club and my job is to get them to perform at that level.

On whether it was technical or a lack of effort…

It was technical as well. The effort was because of disappointment. We gave every ball away, we could not put three passes together. They did that really well, they counter-pressed but still, it was too many simple things not done right. The basics weren’t there today and when you do that against this level of opponent, you get punished like we have.

On how big a setback it is…

At the moment, I’m in shock. I didn’t expect that given the way the team trained, the way they tried but it happened today. That’s the reality.

On the damage it has done…

Now it’s a challenge. A challenge brings an opportunity and in football, you have an opportunity a few days later. If you have courage and you have big balls and you represent a club like this you have to stand up and take it.


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YOU need to show big balls Arteta and drop one of your strikers for the sake of team balance.


Apparently it’s the first time we’ve started Lacazette, Pepe + Aubameyang in the league together this season

Hopefully the last time we see it as well


It’s not the forwards – it’s the dire lack of quality (and subsequent service) we have from midfield.

Ceballos, Elneny, Willian. They’re the clowns who have been responsible for that.

If you want to have start naming culprits, they’ve been the sideways and backwards passing gang this season.


What do the fowards do with the balls they get? No good control, no dribbling or muscling their way through defences,no good pass. The ball is lost immediately,leaving mid field and defence vulnerable since no time to reorganize.


I think you’ll find that the majority of the time the ball is lost in midfield long before it reaches the forwards…

Ceballos, Elneny, Willian, Xhaka – take a bow, lads.


I guess Arteta is no better than Emery…high budget team in mid table position shows everything


His only real move was to run our generational youth talents into the ground because he doesn’t have any idea how to actually manage a squad.


Harsh, but true. He seems to stumble across something that works, then stick to that until those players get injured and he’s back to square 1.

Man Manny

When I said in December that Arteta only stumbled into the formation that worked, I was down voted to the depths of hell.
Now it is becoming clear that the ESR effect would not have happened if extraneous circumstances did not necessitate it.
Arteta was ready to live or die (footballistically) with Willian.




He isn’t

Jean Ralphio

I really can’t believe some fans. Do you not remember how our football was under Emery? How we had no identity? How the team overperformed even during the unbeaten run? Arteta has improved our football and mentality. We were poor this game and he got a few things wrong but we’ve seen how much better we can play and we have played much better including against the top teams. There’s more to come from Arteta and we’ll be much better next season.


We are not ignoring that. I saw someone state this on twitter yesterday. I paraphrase but it describes Arteta and this team perfectly. We aren’t shit but we aren’t excellent either. Once in a while there’s a top level performance and too frequently for a good team a shitty performance. This is the description of a above average middle team. If that doesn’t describe us I don’t know what will. Arteta has failed with the tools he has due to stubbornness and a lack of balls. Auba and Willian have started too many games and played in positions that do… Read more »


More to come from Arteta….

Rub it in, why don’t you….




to replace with who? martinelli(for the sake to avoid some long term injury)? eddy? gotta play the cards given.


Auba out. He has signed out.


He’s been played out of position and (with the exception of ESR and Saka) starved of service from the midfield.

His indifferent performances have had fuck all to do with his new contract.


Says the right things but he rarely seems to learn his lessons. The team he put out was very reminiscent of the one we were playing in our terrible patch before Christmas and put in a similar performance to the ones we served up then. Needs to be braver with some selections.


Such criticisms are easy to say but what exactly was he supposed to have done differently. We were missing essential players so he played those that were available. I think it’s the players fault. They seemed so lethargic. Honestly I don’t envy Arteta. The players he has are simply not good enough


Also the pitch was bad.

Johnny 2 Bad

Isn’t the manager’s job to inspire the players? The players aren’t that bad. That was embassaring.

Ocen Emma

A club manager should not have to inspire any player earning over 100,000 pounds a week. That is just unacceptable. I can understand the logic of the manager having to inspire players of a national team in a tournament because they are not paid that much.


Mate, it is the manager’s job.

It’s his responsibility to get the very best out of his players, whether that’s an International side or a pub side.

If they don’t perform – it’s on him.


It’s not the players – they’re internationals.

It’s the clown masquerading as a manager that’s the problem.

We could have had Messi and Ronaldo playing up front last night – and we still wouldn’t have beaten Liverpool.

It’s not the players. It’s the LEGO ball they’re being made to play.


Not play Auba on the wing against one of the best pressing teams. Plan and work on transitions if we’ll sit that deep. Use players who’ll thrive in that system. Show some balls in decision making so that you can tell us the team let us down. When a manager messes up the line up how will the players overcome that.


If the players are lethargic, then that’s on the manager.

They’re good players – they’re internationals ffs – not being managed properly.


4 losses more than emery in 50 games in the league – that and our position in the league and our dire boring performances are enough for me say see you later mate

Clearly he doesnt have the ability to manage a top club, time to get rid or else wel become a mid table team for the next decade.

I try not to watch anymore its that painful

Cleveland Brandy

Four more losses than Emery but Arteta has had to navigate the club through the hardest 12 months of the clubs recent history. Emery barely managed to outdo arteta despite having full stadiums, full revenue and full pre seasons to implement his ideas. Arteta is the equivalent of Saka when it comes to his managerial career. We can afford Saka to have rough patches and periods of inconsistency on the basis that we can see the talent and potential. In my opinion, Mikel has displayed enough talent to warrant some patience from the fan base.

Jean Ralphio

Looking at points and wins to compare the performance between managers is the most laziest form of analysis.


Oh please, which other team did not have a hard time in the past 12 months?


100% with you on that.


Who should he have played pray tell


Really can’t think of what changes to the squad he could have made considering the players who were unavailable. Bellerin or Cedric at RB weren’t going to change the flow of the game; Elneny instead of Ceballos? Might have helped a tiny bit. Willian, Nelson, Eddie, Martinelli? The ball barely made it up far enough for them to have had an impact anyway. Mari vs. Gabriel?

Luiz and Xhaka might have made for better possession at the back; Smith-Rowe and Saka might have made something happen with creativity up top; but none of them were available.


Nonsense. Why does everything have to be like-for like. Why not match up liverpool with 3 in midfield and bring Elneny in there as well as Ceballos and Partey at half-time. Willian is more suited to the possession LW role than Auba, and if he wants to continue what has worked since Xmas, why not continue that? Instead we see him shoehorning the most expensive, older players when the kids are the ones with the energy. Martinelli from the start would have given them far more to think about. There’s 101 things he could have done differently, that is just… Read more »


If Mikel had dropped Auba and played Martinelli, El Neny and Willian we would probably have still lost and he would’ve been absolutely slaughtered by fans and media alike. Hindsight is a great thing, but the players available to him should’ve upped their game and at least put some effort in. The manager can’t be held responsible for half the team not even trying. He should now know who needs to be out of the door in the summer and it should include both our senior strikers. Xhaka is the least of our worries. Liverpool are a very good team… Read more »



If the players don’t perform that’s on the manager and his failure to get them to perform.

Adam Hamilton

No more. I can’t. I’ve tried, like really tried but I’m done.

nobody important


Lower east

Taxi for Arteta

Alex Nagy

Perhaps try something different, Auba or Laca centrally, give Martinelli minutes, maybe give some more youth a go, it worked out well with Saka and Smith-Rowe, Azeez is getting lots of praise in the U23’s granted he’s still raw, but at least it would be something different from the dross performances from the likes of Elneny and Ceballos in CM.

Gunner up north

Definitely give youth a go. Nothing left in the Prem to play for now considering the senior players aren’t doing the business. Might as well give opportunities to potential than has-beens and build for the future.


You call that different? He has done that in previous games,were you watching all of our games? We clearly missed some essential players and nobody want to admit how important Xhaka in the team..

Alex Nagy

Xhaka is super important, but as you saw, he played ever minute previously and looked knackered and leggy, we need him fit and to be able to rotate so he’s available in our important games. Unfortunately our current midfield is soo weak, Elneny and Ceballos just can’t dominate a midfield in the way we need them to, hence requiring a different option there.


I’m certain that his season will be judged on the progress made in Europa as finishing top 6 is out of the calculation. So we’ll know if he’s to stay by Friday morning.


I dislike Arteta taking the blame for everything. Instead his players should be bloody embarrassed and a certain captain should start leading or give away the armband. It’s shocking to see that without Luiz and Xhaka the team has no steel, no balls, no nothing. What is even more shocking is to see a disinterested captain do absolutely nothing useful for an entire game while keeping our young talents on the bench. He should get a grip and a goddamn haircut. I swear Arsenal has to be the most frustrating team to watch in all of football. Bloody terrible is… Read more »

Matt P

He’s a really good player but Auba isn’t captain material, in my opinion.


He’s no longer a really good player, he’s been a waste of space for most of the season. He’s never been captain material, never faces up when the going gets tough. I honestly wish we could sell him and Lacazette and start again, I’m sick of them both.


Without creative players like Saka n ESR, Auba is ineffective. He is never going to find the ball and lead the attack. On a day like this, I rather use a player that try to get the ball. I am just so surprise Arteta left him on the pitch for 75 minutes……

Hank Scorpio

Maybe that’s down to the manager. Given the fact Auba has been consistently prolific for most of his career.


Well said.

The reason why Auba – and our frontline in general – have struggled this season is because of the woeful lack of service from the midfield.

Saka and ESR have started to make amends, but they cannot do it alone – nor should they be expected to.

The fact of the matter is that players such as Ceballos, Elneny and Willian are nowhere near good enough for this club and a manger who insists on a boring sideways passing game where we constantly lose possession instead of controlled incisive attacking is as much to blame as anyone.


Oh behave. Their goals have saved our bacon time and time and time again.

If you’re going to apportion blame, start with this arrogant rookie ‘manager’, who they’ve both clearly lost respect for.


Slow your roll.
I loathe liverpool and especially their A-hole supporters. But at this point, they were better than us on the pitch in almost every way. Theres plenty of blame to go around.

MA has a big job here and has been making a silk purse from a sows ear for months. Lots of work to fix what ails the club. And being a shouty man on this space wont get you a slot on AFtv.


Mate, you’re preaching to the converted.

It just irks me that our forwards get trashed on here when half the time they’re having to track back and defend because of our piss poor midfield constantly giving away possession. (ESR and Saka excluded)


Yea. Definitely not with that hairstyle


I take it you mean the manager…..


They are a bloody frustrating team to watch!

They lose the ball within seconds of receiving it but are never able to steal the ball off the opposition. Or their sloppy passing hands the ball back to the opposition.

Don’t they realise they will never score any goals if they don’t have the ball? What do they do at training every day?

Arteta can blame himself all he wants and call for the players to show courage but nothing will change. Nothing will change because these guys are gutless.

Gutless and a major embarrassment!


…..and that’s down to the manager and his ‘style’ of play….


Lucky if we finish 12th. No European football next year, and maybe years to come. Who is going to want to play (or manage) Arsenal? So sad. And don’t blame SK.


Manager is easy, much worse squads have much better managers. Unfortunately no one is around to pull the plug on this debacle.

Hank Scorpio

West Ham are a case in point. If people genuinely believe they have a better squad than us (or that our squad is on a par with Villa or Leeds for that matter) I have a shoehorn they can use to extricate their heads from their arses. And that’s the thing for Lego lovers. What gives us any indication at all that with the same manager at the helm next season things will be markedly better – say 5-6th place finish? “Faith” that we’ll naturally improve? More signings (hopefully not more like WIllian)? I hoped this would work but I… Read more »


Top post. People constantly blaming the players just don’t get it.

Players like Auba, Laca (I saw Partey’s head drop as well last night) and Pepe are clearly losing respect for the manager’s micro managed high pressing bore fest.

The players have no freedom of expression and the ‘football’ – if that’s what you can call it – is fucking awful.

Unfortunately this act is getting old. Arteta speaks like your typical career politician.

Amazing speeches, a likeable personality but ultimately fails to deliver on most things promised.

I really would a massive overhaul at this club from ownership to the players but realistically Edu and Mikel are the easiest changes that need to be made.


Yep. The sooner the better.

Then the Kroenkes and their begrudging loans need to be bought out by that Nigerian billionaire.

As it stands, be prepared for more of the same turgid shit next season.


Arteta is the one that needs to show some ball let alone BIG balls. Just one ball that would be nice a little once of courage you know how about that Mr Arteta?????

Cranky Colin

“big balls”!
You suddenly see more manfulness in a crèche.


He’s worse than Emery over the same timeframe. He’s not the answer, and we’d be morons to give him another transfer window given his complete lack of transfer market success. He’s only still in a job because he fucked things so bad he had to turn to teenagers to save himself.


He’s still in the job because of that FA Cup win. He should have been shown the door at Christmas, but our useless directionless lazy play is only matched by the equally lazy couldn’t be bothered cunts in the board room.

The club is a mess and only a takeover of ownership and a new top manager will change anything.

Gunner up north

Got to get your big balls out lads. Simple.


The Europa and the fight for 9th place. Can’t wait. 🙄

Naked Cygan

Arteta picks the tactics. He is the one with no balls. Sitting back with no tactics and plans to counter attack. Disgusting tactics all around. Players should take half the blame. Everyone played totally sh*t with no hunger. What hurts the most is not the result today, but our fans finding excuses for Arteta to stay. Disgusting!!!


The training videos all point to a plan to counter attack, one touch football, quick passing, shooting from distance, shooting accuracy and rounding the keeper. It’s not the managers fault that the majority of the players went to pieces and couldn’t string two passes together. Granit is the one who holds it together in the midfield. Leno was booting the ball up to nobody and was awful for two of those goals. That’s not the managers fault, he wasn’t happy with what he was seeing and without injuries I’m sure his team selection would’ve been different. I really hope that… Read more »


Yeah, I also thought that Leno could have done better with the first two goals, he’s a competent goalkeeper but he’s more Lukic than Seaman.

Gunner up north

In all honesty, I didn’t think we would win this game, but i also never thought we would put in such a timid, uninspired, toothless performance as I saw tonight. I can forgive losing if the effort and determination is there. I can’t forgive a performance where the extent of the players effort stopped at just turning up for the game. Arteta was at the side of the pitch watching what was happening. He had 15 minutes at half time to give them a serious bollocking and more instruction and direction. Nothing changed in the second half, apart from our… Read more »


If it’s counter attack all the way he wouldn’t have played Arteta and would have Gabby on the right. He only trusts old players so the second the two kids who knocked down the door to get in are out he goes back to the same bullshit that got us to 15th.


On the left*

La Défènse

Poor team selection. Losing KT was the killer blow.


Remembering the time when MA played Özil as a 10 against Chelsea (the team was winning when he left the pitch) and then United. When Özil was doing masterclasses at home against this same Liverpool. Good times. Not so far.


You’ll get banished to Room 101 with talk like that.


Arteta just isn’t cut out for this and is very lucky there are no fans in the ground. Emery was better than this and Wengers last side miles ahead. We wanted rid of both managers for failing to get top 4. Now we have a manager guiding us to top 10 at best. Worst team I’ve ever seen in my 37 years.

Naked Cygan

I said the same thing and you called me negative. Now who is negative? Hahaha


You mean worst managed team.

In 2009, Wenger got a team including Denilson, Silvestre, Senderos, Gallas, Eboue and Bendtner into the Champions League.

Our current squad is far better than that lot – and nowhere near top four.


You don’t get the right Transfer manager, your gaffer thinks he can play ala City without the same quality… …your fans wank of to fantasy of replacing the whole squad when the Transfer manager can’t sell players to make income. Arsenal are where they are. Too many ingrates were expecting only upward mobility when getting rid of Wenger… karma. We are still in and around mid table. This is a results competition. No point blabbering about seeing improvements when results prove otherwise. Some think they can get Odegaard or better but frankly these players will anyway be priced beyond our… Read more »


Yeah, I still remember the time when people like Fatso, John Cuntingham and Fake Priest Tobin were venting about how they don’t mind dropping out of CL if it meant AW left.

Happy times.


No Xhaka, no Mustafi and still losing by 3 goals.

As I mentioned many times, it was never about Flamini or Xhaka or Mustafi alone.

This is a systemic issue and one of man management as well.


Arsenal are yesterday. I don’t see any Arteta revolution. We’ll compete (hopefully better) next season but frankly a number of hungry teams are stepping up like Everton, Leicester, then the resources at United, Liverpool, city, Chelsea will see them up there ahead of us likely. Just watching City today and the GULF in class to us. Even Leicester which was thoroughly outplayed probably has more fight in them (with less budget) You have to wonder what some Arsenal fans are sipping. I mentioned when we signed Arteta, Everton were showing more ambition with Ancelotti coming in. Then we brought in… Read more »


Doesn’t bode well for the future, does it?

Short term, we need to get rid of Arteta and get in a top experienced manager. You might then see us properly challenge for the top four.

Long term, we have to pray for a takeover from that Nigerian billionaire. The sooner the Kroenkes are dust and our cash flow improves, in all areas of the clubs business, the better. You might then see us challenging properly for the Premiership Title and the ECL.

SB Still

Tired of hearing about the training. Need the performance on match day. Although the worst, today’s wasn’t a one-off.


At least we’ll be spared the self-congratulatory media clap-trap this week.

A little more honesty and humility from the manager and the team would go some way to getting the fans on side.


Without the distraction of European Thursday nights we should be in for a cracking PL league next season.


Should be nailed on for the 8th place trophy.

Hank Scorpio

That’s ambitious


Blah, blah, blah. At some point you have to accept what you are, a mid-table team with mid-table talent and an unproven manager. Why do we expect anything else?


Because this is Arsenal Football Club, not Plymouth Argyle. The players we have are all Internationals – they’re not mid table talents and they’ve proved that they can live with the top teams and beat the top teams. The fact that they clearly don’t possess the mindset to do it on a regular basis is down to the manager – and yes, by extension, the board for appointing him. If there’s no real leadership coming from a manager, then players will get lazy and unprofessional – if they think they can get away with it, they will. Arsenal were like… Read more »


Yes performances are the manager’s responsibility. But, in truth, the players who most consistently exemplify the fight, mental toughness and spirit that we want to see representing Arsenal Football Club are the youngest of the group, namely Saka and ESR. Periodic softness, periodic invisibility (throughout entire matches) has plagued this club’s senior players for the last what four/five years. We do not have anything close to a winning culture yet. The “one step forward one step backward” thing is truly maddening but I still back Arteta to rebuild this club and its culture.


Aubameyang needs to stop starting. He is completely useless as it stands, and only responds to a fully firing, functional team.


He’s a top player that is played out of position time and time and time again. He is NOT effective from the wing, he needs to be played centrally. If Arteta still doesn’t get it then more fool him.


No manager has come away with these results.

Using stupid tactics in the beginning of the season with barely creating any chances.

Using players in the wrong way multiple times, like Aubameyang chasing Robertson.

Wrong player selection, like keep playing Willian while not performing at all for a large part of the season.

He is unable to change a game with the right substitutions and waits tot long.

He is lucky to have Saka and Smith Rowe because he can’t get the best out of the rest.

We are a learning school form Arteta and he isn’t a bright student.


What we are seeing is a team with the players afraid to deviate from their designated position on the pitch ! That’s a coaching issue ! Auba no effort Lacazette squealing like an injured pig Pepe glued to his area Ceballos couldn’t pass water and our most talented player injured having done 3 in a row with the Jocks & in limited time frame ! No Martinelli until last 10 mins Youngsters must be thinking why stay at Arsenal ? Sorry but the team was poor all over the pitch yesterday and if you can’t get up for a game… Read more »

I love woolly mammoths

Time to drop Auba. I can’t believe we have another Ozil situation. So frustrating. Laca never been good enough.


I’d quite like to see Martinelli start up front for a couple of the ‘easier’ league games coming up. See how he gets on, the left wing position is easy to fill with Smith Rowe, Saka or even Pepe. But not Auba, not at the moment.


Stop playing auba on the wing. Either up top or on the bench, he basically offers nothing out there.

We better start putting a run of wins together and dare I say win the Europa otherwise I don’t see a strong case for continuing this ‘project’ much longer.


I understand where you are coming from but I am inclined to give Arteta until the first third of next season pretty much no matter how this run-in plays out. He needs another summer window to move out deadwood (probably 10-11 players should leave) and bring in players he wants (hopefully Bissouma and Edouard among them). Our position in the table is a disaster. But Emery’s tenure was a disaster, club culture has been a disaster for several years, and player recruitment has been a disaster for over a decade. The FA Cups have been a temporary sedative for our… Read more »


Arteta is inept cowardly prick! He’s got no right to speak about balls. His tactics are one of the reasons for why the team played like it did last night. You cant just park the bus even if you know the oponent is way better than you. You can’t set up and instruct Arsenal team not to even try to attack. It is not Arsenal. Arteta has had exactly the same tactics every time we played city, united, liverpool or chelsea. And every time we had no idea on how to attack because the players were not set up or… Read more »


if we don’t win on thursday, its got to be bould for the rest of the season- and i’m okay with that given how useless arteta has been at man management, implementation of tactics, and analysis of performances. he’s got to do some introspection and learn from the repeated mistakes he’s made as manager if he wants the respect of the players and supporters.


Ah yes, that Bould who is in the process of getting the u23s relegated, a master tactician not.


I love Arsenal fans a lot! I love the way we all love this football club.
Those of you on Twitter kindly follow me on @Rep_Saj1


If I had to choose between the manager and the captain I would choose the manager. Keep the manager ban the player. Our captain needs to be benched!!! Seriously!!

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