Mikel Arteta didn’t want to offer any excuses for Arsenal’s disappointing 2-0 defeat to Brentford on the opening day of the new season. The Gunners were well beaten and looked without inspiration as both Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sat out the game through injury.
Despite missing three strikers, Arteta didn’t want to use their absences as an excuse for the underwhelming performance:
“It’s a very disappointing night. We needed to start in a very different way. The performance in the two halves was different. In the first half, we had periods where we weren’t ourselves. We got in trouble pretty easily in different ways with the long balls and the second balls. We were very disappointed with that.
We reacted in the second half after going 1-0 down, when the crowd was right behind them. We created a lot of situations but not enough threat or shots on target to win a football match. When you concede a goal on a long throw, it then becomes a big task. Congratulations to Brentford on what they did, on what they’ve done to be where they are and for the fantastic crowd that they have right behind the team.
We have to react, not find any excuses about players that weren’t here or our injured players, and look at ourselves and raise the level.
Aubameyang and Lacazette? Congratulations to Brentford. I don’t want to use any excuses.
All the young players that played today – Flo had his debut, Gabriel Martinelli hasn’t played for a long time as he’s been with Brazil – they tried their best and it wasn’t enough [to get a result].
Chelsea? It’s a completely different game. We will analyse what we did and have time to prepare that game.”
[Image and quotes from Arsenal.com]