Mikel Arteta demands more from Arsenal: For every step Arsenal take in a forward direction, the Gunners always seem to take two or three backwards immediately thereafter.
It’s become something of an unbreakable habit for the once-great club over the last 10 or so years — from the final seasons of Arsene Wenger’s reign, to Unai Emery’s short and unspectacular tenure, and now Arteta’s still-young but uninspiring 10 months in charge.
Saturday’s defeat to Leicester City was but the latest example of progress quickly snuffed out by their duty to take the field and perform. Arteta wasn’t pleased with much of anything he saw from his team — quotes from the BBC:
“I’m really disappointed, we had it in our hands in the first half and I don’t know how the hell the goal was disallowed.
“They caught us with space at the back, and in that moment we lost the game. It is difficult to create spaces with 10 men behind the ball, but we should have finished the game better. When it comes to those moments you can’t give away chances at the back.
“We still had some moments after the goal but gave away too many free kicks. The effort that the boys put in, and the pressure the Leicester team put you under, it’s not an easy thing to do but we have to improve.”
“The game the way it went, I felt we had total control in the first half and restricted them to nothing. We were winning every ball, created a few chances and scored a goal I don’t know how it got disallowed. They defended deeper in the second half, waiting for the mistake and in one moment they did it.
“Against this block, against so well-organized teams, when you open them up you have to put the ball in the back of the net. They were similar against Manchester City, they scored with two set pieces and credit to them for what they have done.”
Up next for Arsenal is another difficult task: a trip to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United next Sunday (11:30 am ET).