The Gunners vice-captain Mikel Arteta admits his side are unhappy after their shock defeat at the hands of Norwich, but believes they can and will bounce back with Schalke next on the fixture list this week.
The Holt got the Canaries underway in the 19th minute and they had at least 10 men behind the ball at all times as the Gunners tried to apply pressure and create an opening. The equalizer never came and their lack of spunk and sparkle condemned Wenger’s men to their first loss on the road and Houghton’s team their first win of the season.
Arteta has confirmed his side are bitter after the loss against a team they really ought to destroy, but going behind is a difficult feat to overcome as they failed to recreate the heroics from the Hammers match.
Arteta told Arsenal Player:
We’re really down because we expected to win the game. They raised their game, they made it very difficult for us.
I think we controlled the game, mostly, for 90 minutes. But you go a goal down, you start getting anxious, the goal doesn’t come, it makes it really hard.
For the amount of ball we had in the game, we should have done more and created more goal situations. We need more patience sometimes.
It’s not the first time we have conceded the first goal. It’s very difficult.
If you go ahead, it gives you a lift, the other team has to take risks, and you can cause mistakes. You can’t get back in the game every time you fall behind. It’s a tough ask and we haven’t done it today.
We have time to come back. But we are down because we know how good we are and how good we can be.
Arteta said it all in the opening quote – ‘we expected to win the game’. A battling side like Norwich is never an easy match and relegation battling sides have started to become our Achilles heel. Maybe that is a little harsh on the Spaniard but it appeared his side weren’t in the zone so to speak.
Oxlade-Chamberlain’s injury was detrimental for the Gunners comeback as he could have provided the spark needed to ignite the misfiring frontline (apologies for the excessive puns) just like Walcott’s explosive cameo against West Ham prior to the international break.
Overall the World Cup qualification matches did little to help Wenger’s side as they suffered the cohesion that was starting to build prior to the break and seemed lethargic. Now they will have to get the ball rolling again and gain some momentum – starting with the Schalke showdown this Wednesday.
Gibbs and Walcott will still be missing, Chambo too looks set to miss the tie, so Podolski, Giroud and Gervinho have to step it up another notch this week, especially the Ivorian who has been nothing short of crap recently.
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