Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has spoken out after his side’s 1-0 Premier League defeat to Everton on Saturday. The Gunners had gone into the match hoping to pick up all three points to boost their chances of title glory However, they instead slipped to just a second loss of the season with James Tarkwoski scoring the only goal of the game.
Everton were playing for the first time since the appointment of Sean Dyche, who was confirmed as Frank Lampard’s replacement earlier in the week.
And the Toffees gave the former Burnley boss the best possible start on a stunning afternoon at Goodison Park.
Tarkowski scored the only goal of the game, with the Everton star heading home a corner in the 60th minute to send the home fans wild.
Arsenal huffed and puffed as they sought an equaliser but, in the end, it wasn’t to be.
And Arteta has now spoken out after the defeat, lamenting his side’s lack of quality in the final third – as well as their lack of composure and failure to control the game.
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“We had loads of the ball but we lacked that purpose and quality in the final third, we generated many chances,” he told BT Sport.
“But then we conceded and they slowed the game down and we struggled.
“They do this to every team that is their strength with the height, the physicality is their strength, if you want to control the game against them you have to control this. We did not do that today.
“We needed more composure and to control emotionally the game better. We gave away so many unnecessary free-kicks and that’s what they want.
“Today I love them much better than the week before or a month ago.
“It is easy to be next to someone when they are winning well. I am still so proud of all of these players, they deserve it.
“This is not going to be a rose pathway. This is going to be tricky and we will have to dig in and play much better than we did today.”
While it was a difficult day for Arsenal, Everton were delighted at full time.
And Dyche, speaking to BT, praised his side for the way they performed.
“It’s all about the players and they are the focal point for me,” he said. “They have taken a lot on this week. The minimum requirement is maximum effort and we saw that today.
“They have been in a position where it has not been nice for anyone. I still believe we can improve with our play.
“I’m delighted for James Tarkowski. I’ve taken great joy in the development of his career.
“It gives us a platform to move forward. We have crammed a lot in this week. To get a win against top of the league…we managed to calm the game down.
“I want to them to understand the basics of the game.”
Everton goalscorer Tarkowski also spoke out.
“It has been tough for us and the fans and for all the staff in the club,” he said.
“Hopefully this is the turning point for the club, there is a lot of talent here.
“It’s taken me a while, I need to score more.
“What a great time to do it and a great day. It’s back to work on Monday and we crack on.
“We’ve lacked that little bit of grit at times and that’s what the fans want. We’ve seen what it’s all about today.”