Mikel Arteta on Taking Blame for Aston Villa Loss, Aubameyang's Form & Needing a System Change

Mikel Arteta fell to his heaviest defeat as Arsenal manager on Sunday evening as his side were unapologetically thumped 3-0 by Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners were completely outclassed from the first minute, when John McGinn was unfortunate to see a goal ruled out. Villa were not deterred and continued to dominate, cruising to victory thanks to a Bukayo Saka own goal and a double from Ollie Watkins.

Here's what Arteta had to say after the game.

On His Role in the Defeat

Arteta took the blame | Pool/Getty Images

"I don't feel like we were the team we're supposed to be, we performed below our standards, our ability and I didn't see the spirit for the first time that I have seen every day in training and every day when we compete," he said (via the club's official website).

"This is totally my fault, it is why I am here, I am responsible for that, to make sure the team performs and competes at the highest level every three days. Today [Sunday] I haven't done that, so obviously it is my fault.

"It is very tough to find the reasons. I cannot say I have seen a change or this week that we have trained a different way. I would be lying if I said that. But obviously there was something there today that [Villa] wanted much more than us, and they showed it."

On Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's Struggles

Aubameyang failed to get involved | James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has managed just two goals so far this season, failed to even register a shot on goal against Villa - the first time he has ever failed to do so while playing 90 minutes at the Emirates.

"A team function is a collective thing that we have to do more," Arteta added. "We certainly are getting in some situations, but the end product is something we have to improve and about the position and his movement and where we can find him, of course we can talk about is this the right or wrong place for him, but when things were working and he was scoring that debate wasn't there.

"What is certain is that with these numbers, scoring this amount of goals is impossible to fight with the top teams so we have to maintain the numbers that we have defensively in our organisation and for sure we have to improve our numbers attacking-wise if we want to be challenging and if you want to be consistent in winning football matches."

On Thomas Partey's Injury

Partey picked up an injury | James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Summer signing Thomas Partey, who had Arsenal's only shot in the first half, was withdrawn at half time with a thigh injury.

"We don't know. We have to scan him tomorrow or the day after and see what he felt straight away. Let's wait and see what the magnitude of the injury is."

On Needing to Change His Tactics

Fans have called for changes to the team | James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Arteta's front three of Aubameyang, Willian and Alexandre Lacazette have come under real fire since the game, with many fans calling for immediate changes to the boss' system.

"Yes, for sure [this result may force a change of system]. We do that every week. You know, [look at] how we can get into better positions in the final third, with certain numbers in the positions that have to be occupied all the time. The same for how we control the transition moments after not finishing that action when the ball leaves that box. Certainly, as you said, we will look at that again and try to modify certain things to try and get better like we always do.

"We will consider [whether we need to change the front three] when we look back on all of the games that we've played since the last international break. It will depend on who is in good form, who is in good spirits and how the boys react to that defeat as well. We'll try to make the right adjustments."

On Whether There Can Be Any Excuses

"Not for big teams. Big teams can't afford that. We cannot afford that. You win a football match, two football matches, three.

"We expect to win every game and this is the standard that we have to set. So if someone believes that winning one or two games is good enough, they're completely wrong and I'm not going to accept that.

"I'm not going to accept that mindset at all and it's obviously not what this club deserves. It's my full responsibility and now I have to find a way to do it."

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Source : 90min