Mikel Arteta admitted his players looked leggy as Arsenal went down 2-1 to Hibernian in their first match of their pre-season.
Martin Boyle put the home side in front when newly promoted keeper Arthur Okonkwo made a hash of clearing a back pass midway through the first half. Daniel Mackay doubled the lead with 21 minutes remaining although there was a little hinge of offside as he headed home from on the goal line.
Arteta’s men were lively in attack and squandered a number of good opportunities, including a Nicolas Pepe penalty that was saved, before Emile Smith Rowe grabbed a late consolation for his side.
Mikel Arteta speaking to Arsenal.com said:
“I’m always disappointed when we lose a football match but it is the first game, we played with many kids and we only had four training sessions.
“We’ve trained really hard and you could see that the players were a little bit leggy.
“I think we conceded the first goal, an accident, and the second goal was clearly offside. We created many, many chances but we didn’t score. That’s what pre-season is for, to take the things that we haven’t done well into a training session and then improve.”
On whether a lack of training explains the performance, he added:
“It does but there’s no excuse because we want to come here and win the match.
“They worked really hard, the boys worked really hard and you could see that some of them were not in the best condition, but we’re still very early in pre-season. It was great to see some of the young lads making their debuts here. We’ll keep working.”