Football

Arteta calls for “ruthless mindset” after West Ham draw

Mikel Arteta 1

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says his players need to rediscover their “ruthless mindset” after they dropped points at West Ham on Sunday from a winning position.

The Gunners raced into an early two-goal lead over the Hammers at the London Stadium thanks to excellent finishes from Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard, though a second-half capitulation from the visitors allowed West Ham to battle their way to parity.

It was the second time in as many games that Arsenal relinquished a two-goal advantage on the road following their collapse at Anfield against Liverpool, and it appears as though title-race nerves are beginning to have an effect on Arteta’s charges.

Arteta: “We stopped playing”

Arsenal’s latest slip-up on Sunday could have major implications in this season’s title race, and speaking after full time at the London Stadium, Arteta lamented his team’s mistakes, saying:

“We started extremely well again, dominated the game, dominated the pitch and scored two beautiful goals, and after that we made a huge mistake,” said Gunners boss Arteta.

“We stopped playing with the purpose to score a third and fourth one. It looked too easy. We gave them hope and credit to West Ham, they took it.

“They did what they did really well, extremely direct, and we struggled to get out of that game. If you don’t defend your box like you should then you have to do many more things better.

Mikel Arteta

Arsenal need to be ruthless says Arteta

A missed penalty kick from starlet Bukayo Saka early in the second half proved to be a key turning point in Sunday’s game, though Gunners boss Mikel Arteta seemed to insist that it was his team’s mindset rather than Saka’s faff that cost his team points.

“After 50 minutes you can go 3-1 up and the game is probably over, and two minutes later you concede a goal. That is part of football.

“My worry is after 2-0 that we made that huge mistake and did not understand what the game required in that moment. We need that ruthless mindset to go kill a team and today we haven’t done it.”

Sunday’s game was a tale of individual errors for the Gunners and a poor clearance from Thomas Partey just after the half-hour mark sparked a sequence that allowed West Ham to win a penalty kick, which was eventually converted by Said Benrahma.

Just after the interval, Saka had his own chance to net from the spot, though the misery from his miss was compounded when Jarrod Bowen beat the Arsenal offside trap to equalize shortly after.

Moyes pleased with “big result”

West Ham’s David Moyes was understandably hovering at the opposite end of the emotional spectrum after his side’s unexpected comeback, however, saying:

“Very good after going 2-0 down. When you ever go 2-0 down to the team leading the league you’re thinking ‘my goodness’. But I didn’t think we deserved to be 2-0 down.

“We tried to put Arsenal under pressure and we looked a bit quicker all round the pitch. We need to get back to that. But we’re pleased, it’s a big result.

“Sometimes the fine lines are so small. They got a penalty and at 3-1 it’s going to be difficult. We got a bit of fortune, but then we grew and I quite fancied us to get a third one.”

Next up for West Ham in the league is a trip to play relegation rivals Bournemouth, while Arsenal host Southampton in their next assignment.


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