Press conference

Arteta on the defeat, injuries and the top four


Mikel Arteta offered no excuses after seeing his side slump to a heavy defeat at Selhurst Park on Monday night.

After a good recent run that had lifted us to fourth place, we have fallen back to fifth after a bruising night in south London

The boss discussed the performance, injuries to Kieran Tierney and Thomas Partey, and responding in a positive way

Read on for a full transcript:

on whether it was a poor night all round…
Yes, especially in the first half, but first of all, congratulations to Crystal Palace for winning the match and the way that they performed, but we weren’t at the races today, especially in the first half. We were late to every ball, we were soft in the duels and we didn’t earn the right to play, and when we did a little bit we were sloppy on the ball. We didn’t have any dominance or sequences of play when we could take control of the game and we conceded two poor goals as well, so overall it’s unacceptable. We need to put our hands up, apologies, regroup, and tomorrow is a new day and a new opportunity to prepare for the game against Brighton.

on whether he saw this performance coming..
No, I could not see it. We discussed it just before the kick-off, the way you win here is when you compete in the way that you should, and competing means winning duels and having composure on the pitch to manage the situations. They are a really physical team and the pitch is not at the best to do that, so you have to find ways to do other things that usually you don’t have to do, and we didn’t manage to do that.

on whether the pressure of getting top four played a part…
No because the pressure has been there for the last seven or eight weeks. We are talking all the time about the race for the top four and the boys have been performing extremely well and getting the results and playing really well. Today we didn’t perform and it’s as simple as that, we were second best in every department, especially in the first half, and when we tried to change in the second half, we did and we played much more of the game that we wanted to play. In the final moments we had three of four big chances that we didn’t score to get back and give ourselves a chance to get back in the game.

on our lack of squad depth…
It’s what we have, it’s the numbers that we have. We’ve lost Kieran and we’ve lost Thomas now and that’s it. With the players that we have we will keep trying like we have since the start of the season, but we never had a big squad so we can’t find any excuses. Today we have to look at ourselves and I’m the first one because I repeat myself, it wasn’t good enough.

on whether Tierney is out for the season…
He’s seeing a specialist tomorrow and we will know more about the extent of the injury then, but the feeling that he had it wasn’t really positive and what the scan showed either, but we will have to wait and see what happens.

on missing a big chance and then giving away a penalty…
Today there were too many things that went wrong at the same time. There are a few examples and Emile had a clear chance before that as well which would have made it 2-1, Bukayo had another one and then Eddie hit the post, but overall the performance didn’t deserve the win or to get something out of the game, we have to be honest with ourselves.

on whether a lack of experience let us down…
These young boys have been doing really well, so I don’t like to be unfair because when they do something it’s because they’re young. They’ve been playing extremely well, they’ve been performing under pressure and doing what we ask them to do, and today we didn’t do it.

on why he decided to take off Tavares…
Today was just a tactical reason for how I wanted to do it with what Palace was doing and how we could attack and control the game much better in that position. We wanted to put another attacking midfielder with Emile in that space and that was the only reason. I’m sorry that it was Nuno again, but we had to do it.

on Partey’s injury…
I don’t know, but he felt something in the same area that he got injured previously, so it’s a big concern.

on Tottenham being above us in the table…
We’ve got a game in hand still and we need to play. We know that with nine games a lot of things are going to happen, we have to play each other and we have to play some big games coming up. We have to focus on ourselves and the problem that we had today is not Spurs, it was us and what we did in the first half.

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