Fulham vs Arsenal: What is the reason behind the Gunners’ shock loss? Mikel Arteta responds

It was their second successive defeat in the league, as they have now gone three games without a win in the English top flight.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta in a file photo; Credit: Twitter/@Arsenal
By Karthik Raman | Jan 1, 2024 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Arsenal’s poor run of late continued with another shock defeat in the Premier League at the weekend. The Gunners lost 2-1 away to Fulham, a result not many saw it coming. It was their second successive defeat in the league, as they have now gone three games without a win in the English top flight. Arsenal could have ended the calendar year on top of the table, however, the recent results have denied them that opportunity.

Manager Mikel Arteta was not happy with the result, as he labeled the 2-1 loss to Fulham in the Premier League as “painful.” Reacting to the result, Arteta, quoted on Arsenal.com, said in his post-match press conference, “Painful, that’s how I’d sum it up. We had the opportunity to be top of the table after 20 games with the consistency that we’ve shown, and we haven’t managed to perform well enough to earn the right to win the game. Three days ago we lost a game that we fully deserved to win, but today was a very different story.”

What is the reason behind Arsenal’s loss?

Speaking about the reason for the defeat, he replied, “We weren’t good enough, we simply weren’t good enough in ball possession – we gave so many balls away, we didn’t have enough rhythm, enough purpose, enough threat, and defensively we were second best. We couldn’t control them directly, it was so easy for them to win that first or second ball and have the opportunity to run; we conceded two exact goals like we did against West Ham, and if you do that in this league, it becomes really difficult to win.”

Notably, Arteta felt that his side did not deserve to get the three points on the night. When asked if fatigue or other reasons played a part in the result, the manager replied, “No, we weren’t efficient enough. We didn’t have enough ball speed, enough movement, enough threat, and when we did that, we gave too many balls away. Not only when we were playing, but after regaining it straight away, which is the most dangerous moment to give away. When you do that, and you don’t have consistent momentum, we never got set in the final third in the right moments, and you concede two goals like we’ve done, then it becomes very difficult to win the game. Today we didn’t deserve to win the game, and that’s very clear and simple.”

Arsenal will now have a long break before the league action resumes. “We certainly need a reset after today because that’s going to be in our tummy for a few days. The game against West Ham felt very different because you can move on, it can happen. What happened today cannot happen again. If you do that, you’re never going to have the chance to be where we want to be. Today it could have been a beautiful way to finish the year top of the league. These are the margins and you have to find the balance. It could have been the best day and it can be even the worst day because you have lost a game but we have to look at ourselves in the mirror because today is the worst game that we had this season, that’s for sure,” Arteta said.

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