Mikel Arteta says Arsenal must ‘swallow the poison’ after indefensible defeat

‘Newcastle were 100 times better than us in every department from the beginning to the end’

Richard Jolly
St James’ Park
Monday 16 May 2022 23:05
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<p>Mikel Arteta looks on during his side’s defeat</p>

Mikel Arteta looks on during his side’s defeat

Mikel Arteta branded Arsenal’s performance in defeat at Newcastle indefensible and said that they did not deserve to qualify for the Champions League playing like that as he accepted they have to “swallow the poison” from a terrible night for them.

Arsenal lost 2-0 at St James’ Park to leave them two points behind Tottenham with a game to go and Arteta accepted Eddie Howe’s team were “100 times better”.

It was Arsenal’s second successive defeat after losing 3-0 at Tottenham and Arteta said: “The performance was nowhere near the level we need to be at if we want to play in the Champions League.

“Normally, I sit here and I can defend [the display]. Today Newcastle were 100 times better than us in every department from the beginning to the end and it is very hard to accept it. We didn’t compete. We never got into the game. We put ourselves in trouble. We lost every duel. Newcastle deserved to win the game, probably by a bigger margin. We have to put our head down and swallow every poison possible.

“I am incredibly disappointed. It’s a very painful one. It was in our hands and today it’s not in our hands.”

While Arsenal are likely to finish fifth, midfielder Granit Xhaka said they did not even merit a place in the Europa League with that display.

He added: “We didn’t do what the game plan was, not listening to the coach. We were doing our things and when you do your things, this is what happens. You don’t deserve to play Champions League, you don’t deserve to even play Europa League. It’s very hard to take.”

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