Arsenal Young Squad Deserves and Needs my Backing; Mike Arteta Speaks After Losing Southampton On Saturday.
Arsenal has gone from being the bookies’ favorite to snatching fourth position in the space of two weeks.
Defeats to Crystal Palace, Brighton, and Southampton have dealt a jab-left cross-right uppercut to our Champions League hopes, and Chelsea, Manchester United, and West Ham are the next teams to strike.
Mikel Arteta admitted Arsenal’s players were dejected after their quest for Champions League qualification suffered a further setback with a damaging a 1-0 Premier League defeat at Southampton.
Tottenham’s shock home loss to Brighton in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off offered the Gunners the chance to move level on points with their fourth-placed north London rivals.
But Arteta’s men blew a major opportunity to capitalise at St Mary’s as Jan Bednarek’s strike on the stroke of half-time condemned them to a fourth defeat from five games.
Understandably, Mikel Arteta doesn’t want to criticize players whose confidence has taken a pounding but he also knows he needs more from them if there’s to be any chance of qualifying for Europe.
Arteta on Arsenal Young Squad
After yesterday’s 1-0 defeat at Saint Mary’s, he told Arsenal.com: “I want to be behind my players because they deserve that, because I know what stage of their career they are and what they need and how they try every single day.
“To come here and play the way they played and lose the match, this is football. It’s not like basketball where you have 20 shots and the opponent has one, you’re always going to win and in football that doesn’t happen.
He added: “I’m very frustrated and disappointed because when you see what happened on the pitch, to concede and lose the football match I think it’s very difficult scenario to imagine.
“We tried to do everything that we could have done in the best possible way, I can not fault the attitude of the players.
“I think it’s the opposite, the way they played as well but at the end of the day you have to put the ball in the net in the opponent’s half and we didn’t for various reasons. One, because their keeper was exceptional and because the amount of situations that we created, we needed more quality to finish them off.”
Arteta noted: “It’s another game gone and the situation hasn’t changed much but again I said it weeks ago, it’s about us, how we perform, the results that we have to pick up and the rest will come.”
That starts at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. His players have pulled a rabbit out of the hat for him a couple of times against the Blues in recent years – the FA Cup final win and the 2020 Boxing Day success at the Emirates – and he’s in desperate need of another.