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Arteta knew Arsenal were in trouble ‘from the first whistle’ vs Villa

Arsenal were well off the pace against Dean Smith’s Villans, with the Gunners failing to heed an early warning as John McGinn’s third-minute strike was ruled out for offside.

Bukayo Saka’s own goal put Villa in front after 25 minutes, and Arsenal were frustrated in front of goal before Ollie Watkins struck twice in three minutes after the break to seal a comfortable win.

The result leaves Arsenal 11th in the Premier League table heading into the international break, having won four and lost four of their opening eight League matches.

While Arteta has worked wonders with Arsenal’s defence, the attack is a real concern with the Gunners scoring just nine League goals so far; only five teams have scored fewer.

Asked about Arsenal’s lack of creativity on Sunday evening, Arteta said: “That is something we have to improve on, to create as well.

“We need to be more ruthless, but again I wouldn’t like to [point at] anybody – today wasn’t about that, it was about how we went about the job and who we were as a team and what we were transmitting as a team.

“I didn’t like it from the first whistle, we conceded on a mistake and got away with the goal on VAR and afterwards it was just not good enough.”

When questioned on whether a lack of goals would cause him to rethink his tactics, Arteta replied: “Yes, for sure. 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.”


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