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2020-2021-Season

#PLStories- #MikelArteta admits Liverpool deserved win as they were a superior team to Arsenal #ARSENALFC

Mikel Arteta Arsenal

You said before you wanted the team to play without the handbrake but it looked like they were cautious. Is that fair to say?

Yeah I think Liverpool completely deserved to win the game, probably with a bigger margin. They were much better than us in every single department and we were extremely poor today. Basically when you don’t do any of the basics right against this level of opponent you don’t have any chance to compete and that’s what happened today.

What do you put that down to? That’s 12 defeats now which is a poor return.

Well, it is a poor return. Every defeat is different, this one hurts deeply because the image that we showed today and the lack of clarity in what we wanted to get out from this game. We need to apologise to our people to our fans. These standards are nowhere near what we want and I am fully responsible for that.

What do you do to make it better?

What we do is talk on the pitch. Not to talk on the cameras and say we’re going to do that and try to find excuses, that we don’t have this player or it’s international break. It’s not good enough it’s time to talk on Thursday on the pitch.

Did you feel going into the game that the players were fresh given the international break because they seemed to run out of energy in the second half?

Well, it’s true that in the second half we struggled after conceding the second goal as well. But I think confidence went down as well. We were very poor in a lot of departments and when that happens it can look that we are tired. But it was more a mental issue and an issue with how we started the game and how we approached it. We didn’t win enough duels, enough second balls and that’s the starting point. We gave so many easy balls away again which against this opponent you get punished and they were much better than us.

Do you expect the players to show a statement of intent now against Slavia Prague?

Absolutely. This is the minimum that we can do. Perform at a completely different level on Thursday.

Why is it that it seems inconsistency has been such a feature of your season?

Absolutely and it’s very frustrating to see that. Today was a big shock to the system because we have been really competitive against the big sides – when we beat Chelsea here, when we beat Spurs, when we drew with United. But today they were really good, and a lot of credit to them because they were really good today, but we were extremely poor.

Would you say that’s the worst performance from your side since you took over?

I don’t know if it was the worse but probably one of the worst and the one that really shocked me. It leaves us in that position that we have to apologise for what we’ve done on that pitch today throughout the game.

You were missing Granit Xhaka,BukayoSaka, Emile Smith Rowe and David Luiz.

I don’t care who is missing. That’s excuses. International is excuses and I hate excuses. They were much better than us in every department. They fully deserved to win the match, by a bigger margin in my opinion and I’m fully responsible for that. The rest about one player, two players or three players is just excuses.

Do you expect to have any of those four back for Thursday night?

I don’t know. Today I cannot answer to that because I don’t know.

How’s Kieran Tierney doing?

He felt something in his knee and he was in pain so it looks like he will be injured but we don’t know for how long.

Does David Luiz require surgery on his knee and if so do you think he’ll be able to play at all in the run in?

We don’t know there are a few possibilities on that – being a little bit more conservative on the treatment or having to go through a surgery. We are talking with the docs right now to make the right decision on that, but looks like he will be out for a few weeks at least.

Do you think he’ll play again this season

I don’t know it depends again on what decision we will take. If it’s more conservative it will be short term, if it’s a little bit more radical what he needs, obviously it will take longer.

It was another game where Auba starting on the left didn’t quite work, were you expecting more from him tonight?

Again, we expect more from every player, from myself because the standards that we showed today are nowhere near.

Was it a case of Liverpool pressing well or did things just not work going forward for you.

It was a combination of a lot of things. Obviously credit to them for how they did it and we were extremely poor and doing what we had to do to avoid that.

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