Mikel Arteta admitted after the game that his team completely deserved to lose against newcomers Brentford while also addressing the issues with the absentees.
Arsenal suffered the worst possible start to their Premier League season with a morale-sapping defeat to newly-promoted Brentford. Sergi Canos and Christian Norgaard were the scorers as the Bees ensured a triumphant return to top-flight football after a 74-year absence.
The fallout from that defeat for Arsenal has been bad, with many fans complaining about their team’s lack of intent and enthusiasm. Celebrity supporter Piers Morgan went as far as criticizing Arteta and Arsenal via his Twitter account.
The Gunners lacked creativity and end product, while the closest they came to scoring was the Nicolas Pepe effort, which was saved expertly by David Raya. Arteta was also forced to field a very young and inexperienced frontline in the absence of key stars.
Folarin Balogun and Gabriel Martinelli came into the side, and their rustiness was evident right from the start. The calls to sign a new striker and attacking midfielder only grew after that game. However, more questions were raised on those missing the game and their circumstances.
After complaining about illness, Captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette pulled out of the clash late in the day. When Arteta was asked about their status, he responded, “I can’t change that. We knew that before the game. I don’t know [if they’ll be available for the next game]. What I can control and help, I’ll put all my enthusiasm and work into that.”
However, the main subject was the defeat of Brentford. Football365 posted quotes from Arteta’s post-game interview. The Arsenal manager said few words about the loss and the controversial second Brentford goal.
“I’m disappointed. We started the season against a good opponent. I don’t think we deserved anything different. They scored from a long throw-in, and we didn’t have enough presence in the box.”
“It’s allowed in the Premier League. He cannot move. I can’t change it now.
“The first goal gave them some hope. We wanted to play better in the second half, but we need many more shots on target, then we conceded on a set-piece. A lot of young boys were doing everything they can. For some of them, it was the first experience in the league – that says a lot.”
The Gunners will have a reality check again next week when they host Chelsea at the Emirates while travelling to the Etihad to face Champions Manchester City the week after. If Arsenal can overcome this opposition, they can look forward to a positive season; otherwise, Arteta will come under intense pressure.