Mikel Arteta has called on his Arsenal players to show ‘big balls’ for the rest of the season, following their dismal 3-0 defeat to Liverpool on Saturday evening.
The Gunners turned in a lifeless display, mustering only three shots against the Reds while conceding over 15 attempts on their own goal. The north Londoners also surrendered 64% of possession as they were outclassed by the Premier League champions.
Speaking after the match, Arteta slammed his players for their lack of ‘courage’ and demanded that they face this challenge with ‘big balls’ over the final weeks of the season.
“It is a challenge and brings an opportunity,” he said. “If you have courage and big balls and you represent a club like this, you have to stand up in the next game and take it.”
Arteta was graceful in defeat, admitting that Arsenal ‘completely’ merited the loss, and the Spaniard even accepted responsibility for his players’ ineptitude.
“We completely deserved to lose the game. They were better in every department and deserved to win the game with the margin they had, or even more. I accept responsibility for the way we played today.
“I don’t have to use any excuses – that we don’t have five or six players – the standards are much higher at this football club and I have to get them to perform at that level. It was technical as well. We gave every ball away and could not put three passes together. The basics weren’t there today.
“At the moment I am in shock. I didn’t expect that because of the way the team trained.”
The Arsenal boss also apologised to the supporters for the limp display, promising that his stars can do better than this tepid loss to Liverpool.
“We want to apologise, to our people and our fans,” he said. “This is nowhere near what we want and we have to do better.”