Mikel Arteta apologizes to Arsenal fans for their dismal performance during 3-0 defeat against Liverpool and claims his side should show ‘big balls’ in Europa League draw against Slavia Prague
- Mikel Arteta was angry with his squad’s performance in their defeat to Liverpool
- His team collapsed in the second half due to goals from Mo Salah and Diogo Jota
- However, Arteta has taken responsibility for his side showing on Saturday night
- He added that they should show ‘big balls’ in Thursday’s Europa League game
Mikel Arteta apologized for Arsenal’s appearance on Saturday, saying he was ‘in shock’ and baffled as to why his players ‘couldn’t give three passes’.
Arteta was angry after Arsenal’s mediocre 3-0 defeat to Liverpool, adding that his players must show ‘big balls’ in Thursday’s potentially season-defining Europa League game against Slavia Prague.
Arsenal lost despite the three most expensive players in the club’s history who first started this season. Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe – which together cost £ 174.5 million – started while Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka missed.
Mikel Arteta was frustrated with his side’s poor play in their 3-0 defeat to Liverpool
Diogo Jota came off the bench and scored twice to inspire Jurgen Klopp’s side to victory
Arsenal struggled to put a finger on Liverpool when Arteta took responsibility for the defeat
Without their two academy graduates, Arsenal posed no threat and Arteta said: ‘Liverpool fully deserved to win the match, probably by a wider margin. They were better in every department.
‘We have to apologize to our people, to our fans. I have to apologize for what we did in that field. I am fully responsible. They were much better than us in every department. They won every game, every second ball, every challenge. It was one of the worst (performances from Arteta’s time at Arsenal).
‘I don’t have to apologize that we don’t have five, six players – that’s not the point. I don’t care who was missing. I hate excuses. They were much better than us in every department.
“The bar has to be set higher for this football club and it is my job to make them perform at that level.”
Arsenal are entering the Europa League knowing it could save their disappointing season
Arsenal are entering their first leg of the Europa League quarter-finals knowing that this is the league in which they have to save their season.
In a message to his underperforming players, including Aubameyang, who was replaced after struggling for 77 minutes to harass Trent Alexander-Arnold, Arteta continued: ‘It’s a challenge and challenge brings opportunities. In football you have the option a few days later, if you have guts you have big balls. If you represent a club like this, you have to get up and play it in the next game. ‘
“We gave away every ball. We couldn’t put three steps together. It was too many simple things that were not done properly.
‘The base is not done properly and if you do that against this level of opponent you will be punished like we have done. Right now I’m in shock because I didn’t expect the way the team trains, the way the team tries, this would happen. That is the reality. ‘