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Arteta on defeat, his tactics, Xhaka’s red and selling his project

by Koolkola

Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal’s 5-0 defeat to Manchester City was “really painful” and that he has an “impossible” job selling his project to supporters while the team continues to fail on the pitch.

Having failed to score in the Premier League, the Gunners hit rock bottom of the table and with the boss well aware, he has his work cut out.

Here’s what the Spaniard had to say when he faced the BT Sport cameras…

On his assessment of the match…

Really painful. Things happened in the game to get where we got. I think we started really, really well and then in the first situation, they had the ball wide, near to our box and we didn’t defend the cross. We defended the run into the box really poorly and we are one-nil down. After that, we tried to go again, we created some situations, we then conceded the second one. For me, it’s a clear punch on Calum’s face. The referee allows it to go, we’re two goals down. After the red card, [we had] a mountain to climb.

On what he said to Xhaka after the red…

I’m angry because of the consequences that it had to the team. I must say that the line we’re being judged with is really, really thin. We’ve suffered actions like that already in the last two Premier League games and nothing happened. I’m disappointed, very disappointed with the second goal, the way we allowed that goal.

On Auba saying Arsenal lack courage and commitment…

If that’s his feeling, then he’s right because he’s on the field and experiencing that. What I can tell, is that the way we started the game today…and then we have to make decisions and we looked nervy. Then we started playing back to the goalkeeper and we don’t have the ability – I don’t know if it’s the courage – to make better decisions when we’re going into the final third and the box, once with Bukayo – which I think was a push – and another with KT. Then with 10 men, you know what game they are going to play.

On whether enough work had been done on the system…

We’ve played that system before. Last week, when we played with a back four against Chelsea, [I was asked] why it’s not a three. Every time you lose the game, it should have been the other system or another player. We understand that and you have to accept it.

On the results making it hard to sell his project…

When you lose the games, it’s impossible. But you saw, we had 3,000 fans today and the way they reacted to the team and the club with the support they are giving, is unconditional. That’s why everyone went over to say thank you. I’m really proud of that. I’m sorry that we can’t give them the results right now. We have to fix it.

On the Interlull giving him a chance to regroup…

We have to regroup to get a lot of players hopefully back as well that we need. We have to start work, refresh them. At times it has been really tough the first three weeks with everything that happened. We have to face the challenge.

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