Arteta looks to provide support to his players

Despite seeing us fall to defeat against Everton, Mikel Arteta believes now is the time to “love the players more than ever” for what they have achieved so far this season.

James Tarkowski’s goal on 60 minutes proved to be the decisive factor in the contest, which was one filled with goalscoring opportunities that were spurned by both teams.

But rather than dwell too much on this disappointment, the boss wants to take stock of where we are in the campaign, stand by our players and look to put things right with successive home games against Brentford and Manchester City.

Reflecting on the game, he said: “We need to digest this one because it is important to digest, look in the mirror and on Monday come to the training ground ready for a fight because Brentford will be tough.

“Now is a time to love the players more than the day before and the month before, because they fully deserve it. We will be next to them and prepare for Saturday.”

As well as missed chances proving costly, Mikel was also left frustrated at how many dead ball opportunities we handed a side who thrive on those scenarios, as well as our reaction to going behind.

However he is already planning on working on both of those things as he aims to get back on track in our next league fixture.

“The reality is that we should have done more to win the game,” he said. “We put ourselves in many situations and we had to defend so many set pieces, and against this team it is a very difficult thing to do.

“Then in terms of our possession, we opened them up in many, many situations and we got into the final third in great positions and we didn’t finish well enough.

“They work on [set pieces] every single day and are really good at it. We have experience with Burnley in that type of situation and we have to prevent that happening, and we have to do the basics in defending really well against this team and we came up short in that.

“We still had a lot of time to react to that and we generated some situations but especially in the last 15 minutes, emotionally we didn’t manage the game well enough. We conceded too many free-kicks that stopped the game every 30-40 seconds and we couldn’t get back into the game.

“In the end, it is about the last 20 minutes and what do you do? There I think we lacked something to win like we won a lot of games this season, but we’ll work on that.”

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