Arsenal fans were hoping to see the Gunners really make a statement at the Emirates last night, but instead, they were faced with another disastrous evening as they were beaten 2-1 by Wolverhampton Wanderers. The game was massively affected by a clash of heads between David Luiz and Raul Jimenez in the first few minutes that ensured the latter was taken to the hospital, but even after that, Arsenal just couldn’t seem to get going.
Mikel Arteta spoke with the media in the wake of a really disheartening evening in North London.
On David Luiz and whether the incident affected the players:
It was a really tense situation because the collision was surprising and straightaway you could see the reaction of the players, asking for the doctors to come on the field, which is never a good reaction. Then I just had news from David that the doc made all the tests and followed all the protocols to make sure that he was fine. He responded really well to all of them, but it was a nasty cut. David wanted to continue and he continued, but at half-time we decided to take him out because he was uncomfortable heading the ball. And with Raul, I’m really concerned and worried and want to send him our best wishes for him and his family because it looked really nasty and hopefully he can make a good recovery.
On whether it feels like ‘one step forward, two steps back’ currently:
Well, it’s a frustrating night again. Losing at home is painful. It’s the third time in a row, for different reasons but at the end of the day, in the first half Wolves had two shots on target and scored two goals. We had I don’t know how many entrances into the penalty box, how many crosses, chances and situations with more or less efficiency, with more or less quality in the final ball but enough for sure not to lose the game or even win it. But when the game’s close, in that situation against Wolves, you are so exposed in any ball that you lose in certain areas because they are a great counter-attack team and this is our reality at the moment. This is our level today. We can beat anybody but we can lose as well because the margins are so minimal. We want to start to score more goals, obviously. The mountain is a big one to climb.
On creating the fourth-fewest chances in the league:
When we can train, that means that we have time, because we are playing every three days and that makes it really difficult to do that. We just try to improve this situation. More than the situations we create or not is the final ball that we deliver when we are in this situation and the amount of times that we hit the target with the situations that we create, which is not enough. It’s down to me to find this solution, to put the players in the right positions and do it better.
On whether he is more concerned with finishing chances or creating chances:
Well for sure today, we got into these positions much more than Wolves did and we lost 2-1. That’s for sure, but the quality, as I mentioned before to your colleague, the efficiency when we get into these positions and the quality of the delivery when we get there and the final product, it has to be much more consistent and better and this is the task that we have ahead of us.
On if he’s concerned for his position:
It’s something that, the day I decided to become a coach, I knew that one day I would be sacked or I would leave the football club. I don’t know if that will be the day I sign my contract or in a month’s time or in a year’s time or in six months, so I never worry about that. My only concern is to get the best out of the players, give the best possible service to the club and become better and better. I know one day I will get the sack, I will leave, but I don’t know when that is going to happen.
On our low points tally:
It’s very worrying. As you can imagine, you expect other things to happen. We’ve lost games in many different ways but in the end we’ve lost them and that is our reality. After a few more games the table will tell you where you are and how much you deserve and clearly, we have to improve. It’s nowhere near good enough for this football club and we have to change things dramatically.
On the importance of Thomas Partey:
I don’t know. I don’t think he will be with us in the next few games but still, we’ve been missing a lot of players. We have many different issues but I don’t like to use that excuse. At the end of the day, we are always really close to winning football matches and we have ended up losing them in the last few games and this is only in our hands with the players that we have. It’s what we have to do, we cannot change that. It is in our hands.
On if Thomas Partey is out for the next few games:
On if he’s worried by Aubameyang’s form:
I think we all are becuase the main goal scorer of the club at the moment isn’t scoring goals, so my biggest concern is how to help him more to score goals because we need his goals. How important Auba has been for this club in the last two years and how the goal sheet has been shared among the squad tells you his importance. He needs to be scoring goals if we want to be successful.
Quotes courtesy of Arsenal.com
What is the next step for Mikel Arteta?