Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was furious with his players in the lacklustre 2-1 loss at Everton on Monday night – with the Spaniard adamant his side failed to ‘execute their plans’ on Merseyside in a loss that has halted their Champions League qualification hopes.
Goals from Demarai Gray and Richarlison – who also had two goals ruled out via VAR – consigned Arsenal to a third defeat in four Premier League games, just when it looked like the Gunners had turned a corner of form.
Having gone seven games undefeated prior to their loss against Liverpool in November, Arteta’s men had climbed to just two points from fourth place.
Yet another drip in form has seen rivals Tottenham and Manchester United leapfrog them, alongside West Ham extending the gap between them and the north London outfit to four points.
The result means Arteta’s men have let more points away from home slip through their fingers for the second time in just a week after a 1-0 lead at Old Trafford resulted in a 3-2 loss.
And the Spaniard let his thoughts on the shock loss known by berating his players in his post-match interview.
“It could’ve been very different but we haven’t managed to do that,” Arteta said after the game.
“The Premier League, you have to manage when you have the game there for the killing and the opponent there for the taking.
“We haven’t done it today and we had big chances but we didn’t put in the net. I’m concerned about the way we played and not about the structure but actually how we executed what we wanted and it wasn’t good enough.
“If we find excuses we are never going to get it right.”
A contentious decision not to send off Ben Godfrey – or even book the Everton defender – in the first half left pundits Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville stunned, with both accusing him of deliberately stamping on Takehiro Tomiyasu’s face.
However, Arteta refused to get drawn into the decision at full-time and insisted his players were to blame for the defeat.
He added: “That decision was made, I’m sure VAR reviewed it. What I want is more from my team by learning from what happened in the game because against United we deserved more but today we had the game under control even if we weren’t playing at our best.
“We have to find a way to win it. When you lose two in a row in the way in which we conceded the goal of course – losing a match for this club is not good.”