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Arsenal's Mikel Arteta Voices Frustration Despite 'Proud' Display at Villa Park

Updated: Dec 16, 2023

Arsenal Boss Acknowledges Missed Opportunities and Controversial Decisions

Following Arsenal's narrow defeat against Aston Villa at Villa Park, manager Mikel Arteta opened up to BBC's Match of the Day, expressing a mix of pride and frustration over his team's performance in the high-stakes Premier League clash.

Arsenal Mikel Arteta Proud Yet Frustrated

Arteta's sentiments were clear as he spoke about the match. "The result. I’m really proud of the way the team played in this stadium against this team. We deserved to win the game but you have to be better in the boxes, and things have to go your way as well," he stated, reflecting the bittersweet nature of the defeat.

Missed Opportunities

Addressing the areas that went awry, Arteta emphasised the failure to convert opportunities. "That was one of the things [failure to put the ball in the net]. Especially in the second half, we lost a bit of control, we gave the ball away, we went into attack too fast because you are tempted to put the ball in behind with the way they defend with the line, but we could have done a bit better," he noted, pinpointing the moments that slipped through Arsenal's grasp.

Clear and Obvious Refereeing Decisions

Arteta did not mince his words when asked about the refereeing decisions. "It’s clear and obvious for me," he remarked, expressing his dissatisfaction with certain calls that impacted the course of the game. The controversial decisions, including a disallowed goal after a VAR review, added a layer of frustration for the Gunners.

Credit to Villa's Home Record

Despite the defeat, Arteta acknowledged Aston Villa's impressive home record, recognising their deserving position in the league. "They are there, and with the home record they have, they fully deserve to be where they are because when you win as many games at home, they deserve the credit," he conceded, giving credit where it was due.

Lifting Spirits

Asked about the morale of his players, Arteta remained optimistic. "I just told them, 'pull your head up because the way you played.' I see many, many teams come here, and I haven’t seen many do what we have done to them today. The result is not there, but certainly the way we played, it was there," he affirmed, attempting to lift the spirits of the team after a hard-fought battle.

In the aftermath of this challenging encounter, Arteta's reflections provide insight into the complex emotions surrounding Arsenal's performance, leaving fans and pundits alike to analyze the nuances of the match and contemplate the team's future in the Premier League.

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