Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is urging his team to look at the bigger picture after the club’s first home defeat of the season on Thursday evening against West Ham United.
Despite dominating the match and setting a new Premier League record with 77 touches in the opposition penalty box without scoring, the Gunners suffered a 2-0 loss at Emirates Stadium.
The defeat places Arsenal in second place in the Premier League, exactly midway through the season, trailing leaders Liverpool by two points.
Arteta, however, remains optimistic about the team’s performance and emphasised that there is still much to fight for in the second half of the campaign.
Speaking about the team’s consistency and ability to navigate through injuries, Arteta said, “I’m really happy with what they’re doing. We can improve, yes, we want to evolve, yes, and that will be the target for the next coming games.”
Despite the obvious disappointment of losing the unbeaten home record this season, Arteta drew encouragement from the numerous chances Arsenal created against West Ham. He praised the players for their performance but noted that the difference in the match was made in both boxes.
Arteta expressed his pride in the team’s efforts, stating, “The team kept trying and they did everything they could to win the game, and I don’t think that this scoreline reflects actually what happened on that pitch.”
Addressing the issue of missed opportunities in front of goal, Arteta explained, “It’s for a lot of different reasons. Sometimes we didn’t pick the right pass or the centimeters of the smallest spaces in the box; there was a combination of all.”
Despite the defeat, Arteta encouraged his players to continue their efforts, stating, “If they will continue to play like that, it is very unlikely that it will happen again.”
Looking ahead, Arteta conveyed a message to his team, saying, “We’re disappointed we lost at home. We have to go now to Fulham and play better if possible than today and win the game, and that’s it.”