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Furious Mikel Arteta rips into underperforming players following Fulham defeat, points accusing fingers

Mikel Arteta was very angry with Arsenal players following the 2-1 defeat in the Premier League on Sunday

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta v Fulham
Image credit: Getty Images

Mikel Arteta was seemingly very angry with Arsenal players following another defeat in the Premier League on Sunday.

Arsenal suffered back to back defeats in the league this season for the first time. Arteta was hoping to get his team going following Thursday’s home loss to West Ham and got to a perfect start when Bukayo Saka gave the Gunners the lead inside five minutes.

The home side recovered from the early setback and equalised before half time through Raul Jimenez. Fulham completed the turnaround when Bobby De Cordova-Reid scored the winner in the second half.

Arsenal never looked like scoring again in the game and Arteta said it was a painful defeat.

“Painful, that’s how I’d sum it up,” Arteta told the official website. “We had the opportunity to be top of the table after 20 games with the consistency that we’ve shown, and we haven’t managed to perform well enough to earn the right to win the game. Three days ago we lost a game that we fully deserved to win, but today was a very different story.”

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When asked about the reason the team lost to Fulham, Arteta was brutal with his response, saying, “We weren’t good enough, we simply weren’t good enough in ball possession – we gave so many balls away, we didn’t have enough rhythm, enough purpose, enough threat, and defensively we were second best. 

“We couldn’t control them directly, it was so easy for them to win that first or second ball and have the opportunity to run; we conceded two exact goals like we did against West Ham, and if you do that in this league, it becomes really difficult to win.”

The manager was quick to dismiss any suggestions that the players suffered from fatigue after playing on Thursday before this fixture.
“No, we weren’t efficient enough. We didn’t have enough ball speed, enough movement, enough threat, and when we did that, we gave too many balls away. Not only when we were playing, but after regaining it straight away, which is the most dangerous moment to give away. 

“When you do that, and you don’t have consistent momentum, we never got set in the final third in the right moments, and you concede two goals like we’ve done, then it becomes very difficult to win the game. Today we didn’t deserve to win the game, and that’s very clear and simple.”

Arsenal will momentarily shift focus from the Premier League as they gear up for an FA Cup third-round clash against Liverpool at Emirates Stadium on Sunday, January 7. Their following league fixture is set to take place at home against Crystal Palace on Saturday, January 20.

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