Arteta’s brutal verdict: Arsenal ‘weren’t a team’; Partey injured


Mikel Arteta explains Arsenal’s struggles: Not much, if anything, good happened to Arsenal on Sunday — from their 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa, to the nature of the performance, to Thomas Partey suffering an injury which forced him to come off at halftime… it was all bad.

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Mikel Arteta offered a harsh critique following his side’s latest defeat — their fourth in eight Premier League games to start the 2020-21 season — in which he declared the Gunners “weren’t a team” and lamented Arsenal’s confounding inconsistencies — quotes from the BBC:

“We performed below our standards and I have to say it’s the first time I’ve seen us play and we weren’t a team. I take full responsibility. We didn’t start well enough, we got away with VAR for an offside situation but we lost all the races, the duels and we were sloppy on the ball. When we created chances we didn’t hit the target. It’s a really bad combination. We left spaces and on the counter we looked really vulnerable.”

“I’ll keep what I said to my players in the dressing room private, my role is to get the team performing at the highest level every three days and today we haven’t done that and since I got appointed it’s the first time I haven’t seen that team on the pitch.

“This is football and when you are not at the races and not at your best teams destroy you in the Premier League. It’s a really bad combination if you don’t win the duels, you are late and they are more focused, they are more determined for every ball. If you don’t defend your box well enough and you have chances but you don’t put them away.

“No we are not creating enough chances but the ones we did create were clear enough to score at least one goal but if you look at the numbers from last few games it’s not enough.”

As for Partey, who arrived on transfer deadline day and immediately solidified the midfield as one truly positive development through eight games, it doesn’t sound like it’s a terribly serious injury as much as it’s a result of overuse during an exhausting run of fixtures.

“Thomas Partey is injured. I support the five substitutes rule but I’m also for the possibility of having 20 players in the squad, but that’s another story that we can not control.”

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