Tuesday, May 24

Mikel Arteta concerned with Arsenal’s poor away form

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has confessed that his side have not been good enough on the road in recent weeks after watching them collapse against Everton on Monday.

The Gunners went 1-0 up through Martin Odegaard but watched Everton have two goals chalked off for offside before conceding twice in the last ten minutes, with Richarlison and Demarai Gray finding the back of the net to hand Arsenal their third straight defeat away from home and their fifth of the campaign.

After the game, Arteta admitted to Sky Sports that he expected so much more from his side.

“We couldn’t take the ball into the final third, we kept giving the ball away, sloppy passes, sloppy touches,” he said. “They’re not going to give you that time [on the ball], you have to know what to expect and the spaces were there and it wasn’t good enough.

“In the first half we were very inconsistent with the ball. We were in control of the game, we didn’t concede anything apart from the set-piece [which led to Richarlison’s first disallowed goal], but I didn’t like it. There was no penetration, no threat, totally contrary to what we tried to do. One of the few times that we’ve done it, we’ve scored a goal from Martin and we were 1-0 up.

“In the second half, we tried to do more things but again we were inconsistent. We created four big chances, one from Eddie [Nketiah], two from Martin and at the end from Auba, but we conceded a very sloppy goal, the first one, when you have to manage the game. It’s not enough to win the game.

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“When you lose three in a row and the way we’ve conceded the goals, of course, it is [concerning]. Losing a match with this club is always not something good.”

Arteta has come under fire from supporters and pundits for some of the decisions he made during the game, one of which was to bring on wantaway striker Eddie Nketiah on before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Nketiah wants to leave Arsenal in January after snubbing a new contract, but he was still given more minutes that Aubameyang, with whom Arteta insisted he had no problem just days earlier.

The boss defended his team selection, adding: “We can use anything to justify anything, we can find excuses. I’m concerned about the way we played, not about the structure but the way we executed what we wanted.

“It wasn’t good enough. If we want to find excuses we’re not going to get it right.”

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