Mikel Arteta apologised to Arsenal fans for the 5-0 defeat to Manchester City and told fans he knew, ‘we have to fix it.’
Speaking to BT Sport after watching his side lose their third consecutive Premier League game, he said it was: “Really painful, a lot of things didn’t happen in the game. I think we started the game really, really well. And in the first situation they had the ball from the cross and we didn’t defend the run into the box – really poorly.
“We tried to go again, we created some situations, we conceded the second goal. For me it’s a clear punch on his face. The referee allowed it to go. After the red card, there is a mountain to climb.”
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For Granit Xhaka’s sending off, Arteta admitted his disappointment.
“I’m angry because of the consequences that had for the team,” he began.
“I’m upset because two Premier League games we had something like that, and nothing happened. And I’m very disappointed with the second goal, the way they allowed that to happen.”
The former City assistant then paid tribute to the fans who had travelled up from London to support the team and acknowledged there was much to improve.
“When you lose the game, it’s impossible, but we had 3,000 fans today and you saw the way they reacted to the team, the club, the support they were giving was unconditional,” he began.
“I’m sorry we can’t get the results right now, we have to fix it.
“We’re going to get a lot of players hopefully back and refresh our minds. We need to face the challenge.”
Speaking to BT Sport, Pep Guardiola defended his former assistant Arteta, saying patience was needed and there are reasons for Arsenal’s struggles.
However he was surprisingly critical of his own players, saying they had struggled before Xhaka’s sending off.
“We found the goals without deserving it. We had problems in the first minutes, we had the feeling of things to improve. Our process in the build-up was not good but we found the goals,” he began.
“From the sending off of Xhaka, the game was a completely different one. It was difficult for the opponent and easier for us.
“We know Mikel uses man-to-man marking. After we were able to drop them, our process was good.
“We respect the opponent, and another victory.”
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Guardiola was asked about the failure to add a striker to the team, with Harry Kane remaining with Spurs, Cristiano Ronaldo going to Manchester United, and Lionel Messi switching to PSG, and the former Barcelona man pointed out just how much his players were already capable of achieving.
“We are the same, we have done what we’ve done in the past two or three years,” he explained.
“Maybe people have forgotten what these guys have done. This club has the intention to get better, to improve. Players change, people change, the club has the desire to get better.
“The team played magnificently last season, they have the same enthusiasm, and we will go with this team.”
Turning to Arteta, he was effusive in his praise of his former assistant manager, who departed to take over his former club Arsenal.
“I worked with him for two or three years. What I learned in my life from him is many, many things. He’s beyond a good manager. He was beloved.
“We were sad when he left. Some people expect results immediately . The team is not the one he dreamed of because of six, seve, eight injured, really important players. Ben White, an example of that. Thomas Partey. These are the players he needs to do it. All the managers need their squad.
“I’m a big fan of his and if they trust him they are going to do a good job.”
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Source: Euro Sports