Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Arteta Bemoans Missed Opportunity Despite ‘Complete Control’

Mikel Arteta spoke to Sky Sports following Arsenal’s 3-1 defeat at the hands of old foes Manchester United.

He said the following:

Winning run at an end – what did you make of today?

[It’s] really disappointing to lose the game, especially after what happened throughout 95 minutes. We had big periods where we were dominant, in complete control … creating chance after chance but we didn’t close the game. If you leave open spaces in those moments, they’re going to hurt you

Was it a case of not closing the game out or not defending that cost you?

Both. In both boxes was the big difference. They had three big chances and score three goals, we had chance after chance and didn’t score enough goals.

Even when 1-0 down you were still comfortable…

The first 18 minutes we struggled and we didn’t control the game. After that, it was all us and after 1-1 it was all us. We gave the ball away in a difficult place and one pass and they were through.

What’s your opinion on the overturned goal?

Inconsistency. What is soft? Last week, we had a foul on Aaron (Ramsdale) that was soft, but wasn’t given, and foul on Bukayo (Saka) that was soft, but it’s not a penalty. Then today another soft [challenge] and it’s a foul.

From the first action there were some strong tackles, but no yellow card because they want to put the threshold up because it’s a big game, so really difficult to understand.

Did the triple sub make the team more open?

I don’t think so. The way we were playing, we have the same numbers in the backline against the the players they had. Maybe different profiles [of players], but I don’t think that was the case.

Biggest frustration from today?

That we should come here and win the game … because of the performance, the way the boys played and dominated the game. When you come here and you are on top, you have to win the game.

So more vindicated than disappointed?


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Old bloke

Complete control of a large part of the game but not complete control of the whole game, ie giving Antony so much time and space to score and being caught on the break twice. Still lots of positives despite the result.

Funsho Patrick

Yes… we’re susceptible to counter attacks…it’s a consequence of a high line and control of games…it’s easy to forget that saliba is 20,Gabriel and Ben White-24(and they’re actually senior citizens in that squad)… They’ll work out the bugs and get better at doing it….. today’s loss is part of the process… we’re ahead of schedule…learn our lessons and move on to the next one….

Brady’s bunch

Funnily enough it was centre mid that cost us, huge gaps in the centre for all three goals and an questionable performance from the ref (unusual at old trafford I know)


Yup. Midfielders were the one thing they really needed above all else in the transfer window, but instead, they changed the style even more to basically make the midfield as unimportant as possible (or at least such that it doesn’t require particularly skillful players and then let the back four do the bulk of the midfield work in terms of distribution and recycling and building up) and then after two of their three senior midfield players were injured and they failed to find someone new in the transfer market…they lose an important game to an arch-rival because of their absolutely… Read more »


Lover and supporters of football should all come together and make a stand against VAR. It’s only destroying the soul and joy of football..until there anacontablity from the referees football is open for corruption. and why is it called technology when we know its the same useless people are making the decision.

Eric Blair

Agreed, but they won’t give it up as they now have even more power and unaccountability to alter the narrative of the match.


It’s the incompetency of the people behind VAR bit the technology at fault.


Comments ripping Arteta a new arsehole over his subs in 3…2…1…


I said at the time to my brothers watching the game; do we really need to be making this many subs given we were dominating the match already? We have plenty of time to get back in it with 20 minutes to go, we will create more opportunities to score because we had been doing it all game. With that being said, fair fucks to Mikel in my opinion. I heavily criticized him in previous seasons for sitting on his hands and not making decisions when things had gone stale and we didn’t change anything, so I don’t blame him… Read more »

Glen Helders Left Foot

Same shite as always in old Trafford


To be honest, I find myself questioning the integrity of the Premier League every weekend nowadays. How can you have two of the most senior officials, the on field referee and the off-field video referee both be from Manchester? Like how the fuck can that be allowed to happen? It is absolutely scandalous they’ve been allowed to referee that match. And what a surprise? They eventually disallow a perfectly good Arsenal goal after meticulously reviewing the footage for nearly 5 minutes, citing the softest of challenges on Eriksen as the reason to not award it. Even though that goes against… Read more »

Eric Blair

That decision was an absolute disgrace, as if they were willing themselves to see it as a clear foul. Reminds me of that ridiculous red card for Martinelli.


Ah yes, quite literally McTominay committed about 3 bookable offenses when he threw Martinelli to the ground, naturally only got the one yellow card, glossing over the other 70 minutes of him being late to every fucking tackle as well.


I’ve always said I think VAR should have a timer like DRS does in cricket, if you can’t find anything wrong within that set time then the on field decision stands. If it takes 3-5 minutes to come to a decision then it’s obviously not a clear & obvious error

Will cheShire

Exactly. If it’s not clear & obvious at first glance then it is not clear & obvious. Slow motion replay should not be necessary.


Agree, it’s been a missed opportunity and it’s disappointing.
It’s not all about that, but damm I agree referee was everything but professional today


Call me bitter but, whenever there is a shunt in the box, deep in my mind’s eye I keep replaying that cedric “foul” on Son last season…. was that Paul Tierney too?

Today, Maguire on Nketiah?
Was it Varane jumping into Jesus under the cross bar?

I just can’t get over it.


McTominay showing that to get a yellow card he had to stop playing football and take up all-in wrestling.
That said it all for me.


It was Tierney I believe. Adding Saka getting cleared out. All 3 could have been if they want to give them. They don’t want to give them though

Gus Caesar

Yep. And if we apply the same standard that was applied to our disallowed goal then we should’ve had two pens.


Spot on George.


exactly…there is no consistency, and the fact it’s the same ref that gave that marginal foul on Son, but nothing today…nothing…it’s…what is it? Corrupt? Incompetent? Biased and unjust is for sure and we’ll never know what goes on behind closed doors at the pigmob. We’re playing 12 men or 13 counting the VAR ref, and so be it (what can the club do bout’ it?), could of still won or drawn. Upwards and onwards we go. COYG.


Find it hilarious that the PMGOL have agreed to sit down with the league & review this weekends VAR issues…BIT FUCKING LATE NOW!! Do better ffs

Petit's Handbag

If we won I’d have lost it and said we’re going to win the league. That’s not the aim (as amazing as it would be obviously). All about top four this year, and a European trophy maybe.


Wenger like performance, nice football with no end product. We are not clinical enough, battered Villa the other night but relied on a goalie error for the first and he should have saved the 2nd. To lose at home to breakaway goals is bad enough but away is pure naivety. Another old Trafford bottle job.


You’re getting confused here mate. Wenger’s sides sometimes dominated games and then failed to score and lost because he never shelled out for a decent enough striker. The quality of chances his team’s created were much much higher than the stuff that arteta’s side comes up with now. Excluding the two goals, we only had one other clear-cut chance in the game and odegaard fluffed his lines as usual. Arteta’s sides are just unconvincing because they’re bad. That’s why we could only score two poor quality goals against Villa and why we neither play beautiful football, nor create high quality… Read more »

Pedro pires

Here we go again same old story. Start to smell ourselves and then get done by first half decent “big team” ( who were shite up to a few weeks ago). Will we ever learn? Another reality check of how far we actually haven’t come.

Fireman Sam

Who is top of the league?

We outplayed United for most of the game. At Old Shiteford. Bit of naive defending and tactics which hopefully MA will learn from. Onwards and upwards.


Enough positives to take away to not be too concerned!

Everton at home next, back on the bike and put this result in a box!

Gus Caesar

I don’t get the criticism of the subs. Sambi is someone we need fit and he was hardly going to find us a goal. Odegaard wasn’t getting a lot of space and had spent some of the week injured. Ditto Zinchenko and we’d successfully won games this season by sacrificing our lb. None of the subs were the reason for our Cbs not dropping a yard and being caught square on the goals. Seems to me like it’s just a way of Sky deflecting away from the fact that the ref cost us a great chance of winning and i… Read more »

The Arsenal

After the subs we conceded two goals from identical counter attacks to a team infamous for counter attacking.It was incredibly naive generally speaking. We can say Arteta jumped the gun and changed too much too early when we still had control. Then again i prefer to lose trying to win and i like the teams mentality to believe they could go and win the game.

Gus Caesar

Yep and i think everyone knows that, if you’re losing, you either keep things tight and hope to nick something or you go for it and take the risk of being caught on the counter. Personally i much prefer this Arteta, someone who’s prepared to go for it than the cautious one we saw meekly lose in his first year. As for the Sky lot, there wasn’t a single successful coach or manager amongst the pundits, so i’ll be fucked if i’m listening to their view about the subs.

Santi's Little Helper

Wait till we see Halaand. One man counter


We played well but we should manage teams paying on the counter better. Still fuming though!


If the softest foul of the game was a foul AND a clear and obvious error:

1. Conservatively, there are 50+ clear and obvious errors every game week.
2. The standard of what was a foul was used once the entire game and “just so happened” to deny Arsenal the first goal.


So if arsenal score a var official will pour over the build up looking for evidence of a foul.

But if an arsenal player should press the man u area and get rugby tackled by Ol’ second row mctominay everything is fine and peachy is it?

It really chaps my gears


Paul Tierney after the game on the disallowed goal , I would like to thank the var official for bringing the obvious error I made. On looking at the incident from various angles I realised how close I live to these idiots and how attached I am to my double glazing. Obviously they would be intact if they used the same force Martin used on Erickson but I think I also heard him say boo which is unsporting behavior to a man with a dodgy heart.


A lucky United with lot of supports as always
.just one bad loss and we move ahead to winning days..coyg


Even Scholes said “it’s ridiculous” to overturn Gabis’s goal….


And Roy Keane too …

Living stone

Top four charge? Yes.Title push? Not ready yet.Arteta is still tactically short,Man utd needed the win more than us.I expected the team to be more conservative,going forward at 1-1.Same mistake that cost is against sp*rs last season was repeated today.Sit back and hit them on the counter like we did in the first half instead,we went all out,leaving the defenders exposed to their pacy towards.The substitution just left the team uncoordinated.We could have salvaged a draw,had we maintained the momentum.How we respond vs Everton is very crucial as it’s city vs sp*rs next.I’m so pained.


We’re playing much as Citeh with just two central defenders and the rest of the team pushed forward. Generally this works but those two can’t stand on the halfway line, they have to be a bit deeper to ensure offside can still come into play.


Good point – standing on halfway really just robs them of the offside weapon. About 5-10m inside our half and opposition can’t get that initial sprint going with impunity.
If you look closely at Saliba, yes he’s a tad slow to pick up the dart through but it’s that second or two’s headstart that did him.


I don’t think the refs are corrupt. I just think they are awful. Air puts Son on the turf and it’s a pen. Saka has his shirt pulled in the box, he’s kicked, he’s pulled down and it’s nothing. The refs are just plain bad.


Look, I wish we had won. Old Trafford is a hard place for us to go, it’s a bogey venue for us. But wow, I’m so proud of the team to be top of the league after 6 games…the fight and effort has been fantastic. Today, we worked hard, no one can say we didn’t leave it all on the pitch. That’s important and they did that today again. If we carry on like this it will be a great season. Will we finish top? I doubt it. Will we lose other games? I’m sure we will. But we have… Read more »


Agreed – but we simply have got to learn to put away chances in big, tight matches like this. Mik repeated says ‘you don’t get many chances’ at the top level, and yet we are still way to profligate with our finishing.
Manure hardly threatened us… but 3 breakaways = 3 goals. We need to find that ruthlessness!


Dissapointing result. I hate losing to united almost the same amount as that lot. However, we will lose some games, it is inevitable. Have to put this aside now and bounce back straight away against Everton at home.


What team do we put out in Zurich?

Living stone

Seems smith-rowe got injured in the warm-down after the game.Would be a disaster if he’s out as we’re already thin in midfield.


Thinking similar to a Carabao Cup team

Turner, Tomi, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney, Sambi, Xhaka, Fabio, Martinelli, Marquinhos & Eddie with Jesus, Saka, Zinny etc on the bench in case we get in trouble


consequence of our transfer dealings. We started off well with good signings but always needed a Partey backup and winger


Not very disappointed as the performance was good but I wonder why don’t we ever cause such upsets. Why are we always at the receiving end of such upsets


Because we are THE ARSENAL and always expected to win, so all will feast on our defeats

Matt P

Excuses, excuses, excuses. Same old excuses year after year.
Yes we played ‘quite’ well.
But our execution was poor, and some of our defending was poor.
United were there for the taking, or at least one point.

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