Mikel Arteta ‘disappointed’ as Arsenal come unstuck in ‘real test’; boss reiterates ‘love’ for Gunners stars

Mikel Arteta of Arsenal

Mikel Arteta has spoken about the ‘disappointment’ in the Arsenal camp after they were beaten by Everton in the Premier League, although the manager still has ‘love’ for his group of players.

The match at Goodison Park on Saturday pitted Premier League frontrunners Arsenal against Everton, who have been one of the poorest sides in the division this campaign. However, it was never going to be easy for the Gunners due it being Sean Dyche’s first game in charge of Everton.

And Dyche’s men pulled off a shock by beating Arsenal 1-0. James Tarkowski connected with a Dwight McNeil corner to beat Aaron Ramsdale in the 60th minute, and that goal proved to be the winner.

During a post-match interview with BBC Match of the Day, Arteta revealed how the mood is low in the Arsenal squad after failing to emerge triumphant from a ‘real test’.

“Of course there is disappointment,” the Spaniard said (via BBC Sport). “We knew this was going to be a real test for us. We had a lot of control in periods but we struggled.

“We needed to do more to win the game. Conceding the goal the way we did was disappointing as was how we played in many areas, especially the final third.

“I love them more than before the game and last month. Now we have to be next to them when we have had a defeat.”

In another post-match interview, this time with BT Sport, Arteta added: “We had loads of the ball but we lacked that purpose and quality in the final third, we generated many chances. But then we conceded and they slowed the game down and we struggled.

Arsenal struggle to deal with Everton ‘physicality’

“They do this to every team that is their strength with the height, the physicality is their strength, if you want to control the game against them you have to control this. We did not do that today.

“We needed more composure and to control emotionally the game better. We gave away so many unnecessary free-kicks and that’s what they want.

“Today I love them much better than the week before or a month ago. It is easy to be next to someone when they are winning well. I am still so proud of all of these players, they deserve it.

“This is not going to be a rose pathway. This is going to be tricky and we will have to dig in and play much better than we did today.”

Arteta and Arsenal will be hoping Manchester City do not cut their lead down to two points by beating Tottenham on Sunday afternoon.

The Gunners will also be hoping they can get back to winning ways in their next outing. They will play Brentford on Saturday February 11 at 15:00.

Meanwhile, Arsenal are preparing to battle Tottenham and Liverpool for the signing of a German Bundesliga star.