Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice has voiced his concerns following the 2-1 defeat to Fulham in the Premier League.
Despite initially taking the lead through Bukayo Saka, Arsenal succumbed to a turnaround by Fulham, conceding goals to Raul Jimenez and Bobby De Cordova-Reid at Craven Cottage.
The Gunners were hoping to bounce back from last Thursday’s 2-0 home defeat to West Ham, but found themselves slipping further down the league table with another loss.
Speaking after the game, Rice was honest about the team’s performances in the recent games.
“Being brutally honest, it’s not good enough,” Declan said after the game. “The standards that we’ve set over the course of the season so far have not been met in the last two games.
“The loss at home to West Ham was tough to take and today we really wanted to bounce back and we had that on our mind. We really wanted to go out and started quick, went 1-0 up and then it’s about pushing, it’s about mentality, it’s about desire, knowing you’re going to fight for every ball.
“In the end, they won more duels, won more battles and sat in tight and in the end we weren’t good enough. When you’re not good enough in the Premier League you lose games and it’s a really tough one to take.
“It’s easy saying that we should kick on but Fulham are a good side. We still had plenty of the ball and some chances. Martinelli put one wide and we had one in the second half, but it’s one of those days and it’s really tough to take.
“You can see that we want to be competing for the Premier League, we want to be up there fighting and the last few results haven’t been up to the standards that we’ve set and the standards the manager has set. We’ve let ourselves down today and we’ve let the fans down.”
Despite consecutive setbacks, Rice remains optimistic, emphasising the need for the team to demand more from themselves and each other, especially during challenging times.
“Of course not. It’s not ideal when you want to be a top team, are striving to be a top team and want to be top players, you need to demand more from each other. We need to demand more from ourselves, push each other more when times are going tough.”
He stressed the importance of unity and positivity as they approach the new year, aiming to bounce back in the upcoming FA Cup fixture against Liverpool.
“Times like now are times when we stick together. It’s been a great year for Arsenal all round and we go into the new year with positivity. We play Liverpool and try to bounce back in the FA Cup now.”