‘I didn’t see the spirit we have for the first time this season’: Mikel Arteta lays into Arsenal players after collapsing to heavy home defeat by Aston Villa… but insists the result is ‘my fault’
- Arsenal were soundly beaten 3-0 at home by an impressive Aston Villa
- Bukayo Saka’s own goal and two from Ollie Watkins inflicted heavy defeat
- Mikel Arteta was critical of his players, saying they lacked their usual ‘spirit’
- But the Arsenal boss also took full responsibility for the disappointing showing
Mikel Arteta laid into his Arsenal players for their performance against Aston Villa but took full responsibility for the heavy 3-0 home defeat.
Bukayo Saka’s own goal and a second half Ollie Watkins double saw the Midland outfit run out impressive winners at Emirates.
It was a well deserved victory for the visitors as Arsenal failed to stamp their authority on the tie, and the Arsenal boss did not mince his words with his criticism of the performance.
Mikel Arteta laid into his Arsenal players but took responsibility for their defeat vs Aston Villa
The Gunners were soundly beaten 3-0 by the impressive visitors in a disappointing showing
Arsenal boss Arteta said: ‘It’s my fault. We have to find the reasons why. I didn’t like it from the first minute. It’s just not good enough. I want to see a reaction – it hurts big time.
‘I take full responsibility. 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.
‘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.
Arteta said it was the first time his side didn’t show the ‘spirit’ they have and ‘weren’t a team’
‘I take full responsibility because it’s not acceptable the performance we put in from the beginning. I am responsible to make the team perform on the pitch and today we were not a team and it is my job. It is why I am standing here.
‘When you are not at the races and not at your best teams destroy you in the Premier League.
‘It is a frustration. It takes a lot to build momentum, to build a way of being, living and performing and when something like that comes up it’s a hard one to take but in a hard moment you learn more than in a positive moment and I want to see how we react.’
Ollie Watkins was at the double against the club he supports as Villa soared at the Emirates
The defeat was the Gunners’ fourth of the season already and leaves them in 11th place ahead of the international break.
It was a memorable moment for two-goal hero Watkins – who netted against his grandad’s boyhood club.
‘I’m Arsenal fan myself but I’m buzzing, and I’m sure they’ll be happy for me as well,’ the former Brentford man said.
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