Tuesday, June 18, 2024

“We didn’t do the simple things” – Arteta reacts to West Ham defeat

Mikel Arteta lamented his side’s ability to do the simple things as Arsenal fell to a humbling 3-1 defeat at West Ham United that ends a short-lived flirtation with the Carabao Cup.

After easing to an impressive win over Sheffield United on Saturday hopes were high that the Gunners could carry their impressive league form into this tricky cup encounter. However, after falling behind on 16 minutes to Ben White’s headed own goal, the Gunners struggled to move through the gears.

Arteta’s side had done well enough to stop the Hammers from having any attempts on goal in the first half but the moment the hosts stepped up the tempo after the break, Arsenal were blown away.

Mohammed Kudus gave the Hammers an iron grip on the game with a well-taken strike on 50 minutes before Jarod Bowen’s effort, aided by a slight deflection off Jakub Kiwior, put the result beyond doubt on the hour mark.

Despite a big game coming up against Newcastle, an angry Arteta sent on Declan Rice, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard to try and rescue an unlikely result but the latter’s injury-time strike was too little too late.

“First of all I’m disappointed with myself because obviously I wanted the team to play in a very different way and we haven’t managed to do that,” said Arteta in his post-game press conference. 

“Every time that you lose a game the pain is there and we have to use this pain for Saturday that’s for sure.”

While he didn’t want to make too much of the situation, the manager was clearly irked by the fact West Ham’s should have been disallowed. Replays showed Aaron Ramsdale having his shirt pulled by Tomas Soucek as Bowen swung in his corner but the referee missed the offence and didn’t have VAR to fall back on.

“If it’s VAR there’s no goal, that’s for sure,” reflected Arteta. “I understand that for the referees it’s difficult because of the angle and the amount of people there; obviously it affects the game.

“But again I don’t want to use that as an excuse. We can still compete for the ball much better than we did and be in better positions but obviously, that takes something in the game and that [something], which is very important, is momentum.”

When it was put to the manager that the absence of Rice and Saliba from the starting lineup meant his side lacked physicality, Arteta retorted: “Obviously they are different players that bring something different to the table, but it’s not about that.

“It’s about all the simple things that we didn’t do well at all today. Some of them were competing, some were duels 50-50, but also a lot of giveaways that we have in areas that didn’t allow us in any moment to be a threat in the final third. That’s something we have to improve dramatically from today.”

In a further blow, Arteta also confirmed that midfielder Emile Smith Rowe, absent from the matchday squad, was facing a prolonged spell on the sidelines.

“He’s got an injury in his knee and he’s going to be out for weeks,” confirmed the Spaniard, who admitted pre-game, the nature of the issue was a “big worry”. 

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The non personnel players need to be managed a lot better. Can’t expect Nelson as an example to pull up trees when he hasn’t played all season. He needs games to get match fit.


So you’d sit Saka against Newcastle to get Nelson the minutes, then?

Teryima Adi

No, just give Nelson more minutes – I believe that was what Vic meant.


• I know people talk about giving Havertz time, and I do see some good qualities (arial ability, steadiness on the ball, intelligence) but I do wonder if Mikel was given a chance to go back in time and not buy him, would he take it ? In hindsight I think he’d have second thoughts. • The switch in playing style to a more “controlled” way for me smacks a little bit of arrogance. All it really is is bringing back the dreaded horseshoe style of play and then trying to step it up when needed. Hell for leather from… Read more »


what I find really odd about Havertz is how technically brilliant his first touch & close control almost always are…….but how poor technically he looks when shooting (he so rarely gets a clean connection) or passing (he so often leaves a pass short as he just doesn’t strike it firmly enough)
He is such a confusing player.


He’s weak mentally. That’s it. He plays scared. He is a smart player and works hard particularly on defense. However, in attack he’s timid and scared. He’s too scared to use his technical ability and take players on and he’s scared in front of goal. You’d think some better scouting might have worked that out before we lumped 65M quid on the guy. I guess Mikel et al., just believed that could get the best out of him. He’s looking like a lost cause to me – there isn’t enough dog in that fight and he doesn’t have that killer… Read more »

A Different George

He also makes really intelligent runs.This is a player who looks really good in every way except when finishing (and yes, sometimes on those passes). Which sounds like all he needs is confidence and he will come good. Which might be true, except that this is how he looked at Chelsea (where he was, contrary to what their fans seem to think, often their best player in every other way) and for Germany too. I assume he looks very good in training or Arteta would not play him as often. So, I just don’t know.


This is an over inflation. His passing game is overly simple (he adds little to no value there), and he never dribbles with the ball and never takes players on with the ball.

Strengths – defensive workrate and positioning, aerial ability, solid off ball movement in possession.

Weaknesses – lacks creativity, overly simple passing game, poor finishing, does not take people on – basically everything he does offensively is too simple and too easy. Weak mentally.

He looks a very poor signing.


Dude, give him some time. Think of all the times we’ve raced to judgement only to realize how wrong we were? We’re 10 games into his first season at the club. Every single player who has worked under Arteta at Arsenal has said the same thing — you see football completely differently. Some players adapt quickly and standout as they occupy roles they’ve dominated in the past (Rice at #6), while others require much more time to balance the overflow of new instructions with their instinctual play (Havertz as a midfielder, Rice as a left #8). Jesus took zero seconds… Read more »


Just don’t see it. In every game situation he plays the same way – he’s a boring 6/10 when he starts in a full XI in the EPL, and he’s an even more boring 5/10 when he starts in the Mickey Mouse Cup with an opportunity to prove himself against one of our rivals. What you’re saying is that he will be a creative force, start dribbling through defenders, and banging in goals left, right and centre. That would be some jump from his current offensive contributions. Everything you state here is excuses – “it’s really hard and complicated for… Read more »


Yes, I think we can agree that you don’t see it. What I am trying to encourage in you is a little more patience so that you don’t feel forced to cast a player off before he’s had a chance to make his mark. These comments just don’t age well (just think back to the things you used to say about Arteta on here, daily). And yes, I do think Havertz is going to become a creative force in this team — absolutely. I don’t think he’s going to contribute as often as the captain does, but I think he’s… Read more »


If Havertz turns into Kevin De Bruyne – great. I’d be over the moon (why would I care about being proven wrong?! I’d rather be proven wrong). Will he? It doesn’t look good. There have been no improvements. In fact, the trends in his stats are all negative. Year after year he’s been attempting less and less take ons and he’s becoming less and less successful in those attempts. His progressing passes received is at a career low after also basically dropping year after year (this says his work off ball in attack isn’t even good). In 2018/19 he had… Read more »


I didn’t say KDB; I said he’d improve upon Xhaka’s numbers this season, and then carry on from there. Stats are helpful, but they can be damning or illusory (I am so pleased that Eddie is our top scorer this season, but that doesn’t mean he has been our best player). The number of people that used to parade our attacking stats under Arteta 2 season ago stated plainly and firmly that we would never be a true attacking side under him or challenge for titles because the stats and XG say so. Just be patient and try to see… Read more »


‘Dude, give him some time. Think of all the times we’ve raced to judgement only to realize how wrong we were?’

This works two ways. There’s been plenty of ‘this guy is going to be great’ comments on new players that were miles off the mark too !

Bleeding gums murphy

I recon we should have have give Willian more time 😂


Strange, I basically completely agree with your analysis of his strengths and weaknesses but when I look at them they don’t seem to point to the same conclusion of “very poor signing”. Seems like those strengths (to which I’d add strong physically and good at holding back defenders to receive passes/maintain possession) at the very least make him more than that… and then there’s still the added possibility that he improves on those weaknesses, especially finishing given that didn’t use to be a weakness of his. Don’t get me wrong, not in love with him at all so far and… Read more »


The dude cost 65M quid and is an attacker that plays like an #6. How is that not a poor signing? Maybe that’s his future, a backup for Rice at #6… but far out…that’s not what I’d be hoping for at 65M quid.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Exactly! This is not the conversations you Soto’s be having about a £65M player. Of course that’s not his fault but a massive error by Edu and Arteta. Arms around the shoulder, giving him time all equals bring a player down whenever he’s on the pitch. Do you think Pep would tolerate a player like that?


Pep didn’t sign “a player like that”…and he certainly could have. He can sign whoever he likes (except Rice).


I get it, me neither, but he’s not some Pepe-like disaster. He’s helping us win games, we’re 2nd in the table and 1st in our CL group with him having played a fair bit. It’s not been super impressive but it’s not been us winning game despite him either, he’s contributed to this controlled “boring boring Arsenal” style of beating teams. Could those 65m have been used better? Almost definitely. But that’s crying over spilt oat milk. They could’ve been used worse too and we’ve seen them used worse. He’s at minimum an ok player who can still get much… Read more »


The dude cost 65M quid and is an attacker that plays like a #6. How is that not a poor signing? Maybe that’s his future, a backup for Rice at #6… but far out…that’s not what I’d be hoping for at 65M quid.


2 Chelski rejects + Viera what a midfield! Funny how teams like ‘Pool’ make lots of changes & it does not effect them. Would have preffered the Kids be played last night than these ‘Waste of Spacers’ Remind me how much did Leverkusen pay for Xhaka?


You make some great points, was fully with you until the Vieira comment, the lightweight critique is sooo tiresome. There have been soo many players his size who made it in the PL, will you all just let it be… he might not make it still, but if he doesn’t it won’t be because of that mate. Whatever he did well and not well yesterday virtually none of it had to do with his stature or physique. The fact he has 3 assists already this season, plus two penalties drawn and a goal in almost no playing time, shows pretty… Read more »


I genuinely really like Fabio as a player. I think his touch, the weight of his pass, his vision all are at least 8 or 9 from 10. The lightweight comment was due to how many duels he loses and how easily he is brushed off the ball. When he gets into a tight space and is challenged, I have zero confidence in him not turning over possession. He just gets brushed off it too easily. And I know we had mini maestros before like Santi for example, but these players often had a low centre of balance and strong… Read more »


Santi was much older though when we got him, players don’t usually have that sort of strength in their youth. Or look at Wilshere who didn’t have a low centre of gravity nor much strength when he first broke into the team at what, 18? But he had that “I’m not gonna get beaten” fire in him, that’s what Vieira needs to develop imo. Whether he can or will is a different question.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Henry was like Havertz at Juventus, for six months.

Naked Cygan

Long story we were absolutely sh#t. Heads dropped after going 1-0 with no plan B. Just pass pass hold the ball pass pass and give it away. Really felt like watching Man Utd.

Dorset Gooner

Really happy that Manure took media pressure off us!


It was all about intensity. West Ham flew out of the blocks and pressed with a high intensity, especially on our midfield. They played it like a home cup tie. We didn’t, we lacked any intensity and lost every 50/50 in the second half. West Ham after losing three in a row, played probably their strongest line up at home and simply wanted it more.

Naked Cygan

You would think these Arsenal players who are not regular starters would show the hunger and intensity but it was just not there. We looked totally lost


As much as it pains me to say esr looks done, even when he has played he looks lost and drastically different to the player that burst on the scenes a couple seasons ago, not sure if it’s down to injuries holding him back, confidence, lack of playing time or a mixture of all the above. It’s a shame. Viera simply is not good enough, and I still don’t understand why arteta felt it necessary to spend 65 million on havertz, the more I see him play the more it looks like Chelsea Swindled us.

Dorset Gooner

I watched “The Invisible Man” the night before and it looked like we had several candidates for the lead role in another remake – Havertz (again) Vieira, Nketiah, Jorginho, Trossard – totally outfought and harried by West Ham. Not even the usual excuse of having played a load of kids in LC that we expected from AW.


Our biggest issue is that we have too many crocks. Jesus, zinchenko, esr, tomi and partey are all unreliable. Four were bought by arteta. We have to have 22 players because we carry 5 as insurance for the crocks. If we had 17-18 in total
And they were all available then they’d all play. As it is we have. 22 and they don’t.


When Arsenal desperately needed goals to avoid defeat, you continued to place your trust in Havertz and let him play as striker, what did that say about you? STUBBORN! You are still trying to prove that your purchase of Havertz is correct despite him not showing his worth of 60M at all. And no matter how well Nelson played, he still wont last longer than Havertz on the field. Your favouritism will cause Arsenal trophies, Arteta.


Crickey, this one is funny!!!


Every one of those players Mikel sent out are capable of playing decent football. Apart from Kiwior they all went to pieces. The decision making all over the pitch was terrible. Zinchenko was running around like a headless chicken, getting in everyone’s way and giving the ball away at every opportunity, too many players were anonymous. The total lack of leadership and responsibility shows why the majority of these players will never be in contention to start for the first team. Our midfield was non existent, our defence under pressure and our disjointed and ineffective attack had no service or… Read more »


Never mind statistics show we had more possession? This I’m afraid is on Arteta It’s his style of play ! It’s worse than last year ! The players look frightened to move out of their “zones” ! And finally a mentality of the Newcastle game is more important ! Yeah right they went to Man Utd played their hearts out win 3-0 & now go into that game in Saturday full of confidence ! If you don’t care about winning in the cup then I’m sorry but I do !


It feels to me that Tomi is slowly becoming first choice at left back so I’d like to see Zinchenko given a go in the left 8 position. At least he won’t spend the match hiding like some…


Thats a really good take and I haven’t really heard anyone say it before! Could highlights Zinnys strengths and hide his weakness, especially with Rice at 6.


I take these as Tactical Losses. We never wanted to win the Carabao before the season started, and if this can be a stick Arteta uses to beat the first team with before we play Newcastle, that is alright by me. If you asked me if I could choose 1 game to win, I’d have chosen Newcastle. Also, we now don’t have to play Liverpool twice in 3 days.


Or a potential two legged semi in January when Citeh are resting.


I was more pissed that benny blanco had to play 90min than the loss…guy is essential to us now. Where was Cedric? If him and Elneny can’t get a carabou cup game, why are they even on the payroll…jeeeeez


Elneny because he’s a top guy. Cedric because nobody would take him off our hands and Timber got broken

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

As blogs said, injuries piling up is a big concern. Rice can’t do it all on his own in midfield and Eddie and Havertz will not get us through November unscathed.


It just mean our Team 2 is not good enough.

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