October 17, 2021

Arteta ‘in shock’ and calls on Arsenal to show ‘big balls’ after Liverpool loss

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The Gunners were crushed 3-0 by the Reds at the Emirates, and their manager was not happy

Mikel Arteta has said Arsenal’s dismal loss to Liverpool left him “in shock,” and has called on his players to show “big balls” and fashion a response.

Arsenal’s outside hopes of making a late push for the European places suffered a huge setback with a 3-0 loss to Liverpool at the Emirates on Saturday.

The score flattered Arsenal, as they were second best in every facet of the game.

What was said?

Arteta pulled no punches with his assessment of the performance.

“We completely deserved to lose the game,” Arteta told Sky Sports. “They were better in every department and deserved to win the game with the margin they had, or even more. I accept responsibility for the way we played today.

“I don’t have to use any excuses – that we don’t have five or six players – the standards are much higher at this football club and I have to get them to perform at that level. It was technical as well. We gave every ball away and could not put three passes together. The basics weren’t there today.

“At the moment I am in shock. I didn’t expect that because of the way the team trained.”

Arteta seeking a response

The Gunners’ hopes of earning a place in the Champions League through their Premier League position are effectively over.

They still have a route into Europe’s premier club competition via victory in the Europa League.

Arsenal take on Slavia Prague in the quarter-finals on Thursday, and Arteta is demanding a response from his players.

“It is a challenge and brings an opportunity,” he said. “If you have courage and big balls and you represent a club like this, you have to stand up in the next game and take it.”

Gunners boss apologises to fans

Arsenal fans are not known for their vociferous nature, but it was probably fortunate there were no supporters at the Emirates on Saturday as the atmosphere could have turned ugly.

Arteta was unhappy in his pitch-side interviews, and took the opportunity in his press conference to apologise to Gunners fans.

“We want to apologise, to our people and our fans,” he said. “This is nowhere near what we want and we have to do better.”

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