Mikel Arteta said he will question his own decision-making after Arsenal made their worst start to a season since 1954. Midfielder Granit Xhaka was sent off for a dangerous tackle as Arsenal were thrashed 5-0 by Manchester City to make it three defeats from their opening three Premier League games.
Arteta insists he blames himself for Arsenal’s dismal form, while captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang called on his teammates to show more pride. “I am really disappointed with the things that happened on the pitch,” Arteta said. “I am more critical of myself and take the blame every single time we had defeats. I question myself and I have to look at every decision I make and change it if we think we should have done something different.
“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. A lot has happened in the last three weeks and we are in a difficult position.”
Aubameyang said: “I just blame us as a team because this is not enough. Against a team like Man City, 11 against 11, you have to take risks and you have to be brave on the ball and we didn’t. We need to work this out as a team. That is the only way to go forward. We need pride and we need to talk between each other, be honest and raise the level.”
Mesut Özil, who left the Emirates Stadium after being omitted by Arteta, sarcastically tweeted “trust the process”, but Pep Guardiola backed his former assistant and cited Arsenal’s injuries as a contributing factor in their poor start. “Arteta knows how I love him,” said the City manager.
“In the three years he was here he was important to what we built. People want results right away but when many players they invested in were missing, like Ben White and Thomas Partey, without that it is difficult. I know his awareness as a manager and as a leader. The moment everyone is back he will do an excellent job. I know the job he can do.”