Mikel Arteta backed himself to turn Arsenal’s dismal form around and called on everyone at the club to “look in the mirror” after Saturday’s thrashing at Manchester City.
The Gunners crashed to a humiliating 5-0 loss with 10 men at the Etihad Stadium, a result which left them without a point – or even a goal – after their opening three Premier League games of the season.
It is their worst start to a season in 67 years and prompted a lot of soul-searching from a manager on whom pressure is now mounting.
Arteta said: “I’m really disappointed with the things that happened on the pitch and the summary after three games, losing all of them, doesn’t make it any easier.
“It is time to reflect and look in the mirror, each of us, and try to change the dynamic straight away because we need to pick up results.”
Asked if he felt he was the right man for the job, the Spaniard said: “Yes I do, if not I wouldn’t be sitting here.
“I have been most critical of myself and taken the blame every single time when we had defeats. Today I say exactly the same thing.
“I question myself and I have to try and have the right people around me and look at every decision that we make and I make and change it if we think we should have done something different.”
Arsenal’s misery began as they conceded twice to Ilkay Gundogan and Ferran Torres in the opening 12 minutes. They then capitulated after Granit Xhaka was shown a straight red card with Gabriel Jesus, Rodri and Torres completing the rout.
Arteta said: “We started the game really well, we were really competitive, but in their first action we didn’t stop the cross or deal with the runners.
“If you don’t do that here, it’s impossible to win a game. It was really basic things and we need to do better.”
Captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang agreed with Arteta’s assessment of Arsenal’s situation.
The striker told BT Sport: “I just blame us as a team. Everyone has to look in the mirror and work as a team and stick together. This is the only way to go forward.”
Arteta could, as ever, count on the support of the City manager, his former boss Pep Guardiola.
“I love him, we love him,” said Guardiola. “The period we worked together, these two or three seasons was a key point to build what we now have.
“I know, completely, his talent. I am pretty sure the moment (will come when) everything will be back and he will do a job because he is an excellent manager.”
Guardiola’s champions were ruthless in attack, hitting five goals for a second game in succession.
The week may have been dominated by City’s high-profile pursuits of Harry Kane and Cristiano Ronaldo ending without success, but Guardiola stressed he was perfectly happy with his squad.
He said: “That is why we did not need to buy a striker. We tried but it was not possible. It is a fantastic squad. I have to say thank you for the players they have given me.”
Torres, who arrived at the club as a winger, again impressed playing as a centre forward and Guardiola compared him favourably to one of the Premier League’s best in that position.
He said: “He played incredibly well. Now in this position, he make movements like the best strikers in behind, like Jamie Vardy.
“He is a good finisher, he is so young. Man City made an incredible job buying him.”
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