Arsenal’s players failed to play like a team in a woeful 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa in the Premier League, according to manager Mikel Arteta.
Mikel Arteta criticised a “sloppy” display from his Arsenal players and said they did not play like a team during a dismal 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa.
The Gunners suffered back-to-back home defeats in the Premier League after a meek display at the Emirates, as Ollie Watkins’ double and a Bukayo Saka own goal gave Villa a deserved win.
Arsenal lacked intent going forward and have scored just nine goals in eight Premier League games this season which is their fewest at this stage of a league campaign since 1998-99.
Arteta’s side also failed to keep a clean sheet at home in the Premier League for the seventh game in a row and sit 11th in the table.
The Arsenal manager shouldered the blame for the loss, but did not hold back in voicing his disappointment with the performance levels of his players.
“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,” Arteta told Sky Sports.
“We lost all the duels and we were sloppy on the ball. When we created chances we didn’t hit the target. We left spaces and, on the counterattack, we looked really vulnerable.
“I take full responsibility. I am responsible to make the team perform on the pitch and we were not a team.
“It takes a lot to build momentum, to build a way of being, living and performing and when a result 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.”
While Arteta’s claim that his side “lost all the duels” was not backed up by the statistics – Arsenal won 38 in total – it was 11 fewer than the 49 duels in which Villa came out on top.
Arsenal had a total of 13 shots, but only two of those were on target, while Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang did not register a single attempt – the first time the striker has played 90 minutes in a Premier League home match and failed to record at least one effort.
Arteta acknowledged his side’s lack of goals this season was a real cause for concern.
“We are not creating enough chances,” Arteta told BBC Radio 5 live. “The ones we did create were clear enough to score at least one goal, but if you look at the numbers from the last few games it’s not enough.
“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 defend your box well enough and you have chances but you don’t put them away.”