Mikel Arteta has stated that Jordan Pickford was kicking the ball long ‘all the time’ during Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat to Everton on Monday night, as he told Sky Sports.
The Arsenal boss stated that his players were ‘pressing high’ which was seemingly forcing the Everton shot-stopper to do that, as he defended his team’s tactics after going one goal up.
Martin Odegaard put the away team ahead after Richarlison’s goal was ruled offside in the first half, before the same thing happened to the Brazilian after the break.
But, at the third time of asking, the Everton forward equalised with a well-timed and reactionary header from five yards out following Demarai Gray’s long-range effort.
Arsenal clearly didn’t learn their lesson because they allowed Gray to cut inside onto his right foot after a surging run to score a wonder goal in stoppage-time.
It meant that it was the Toffees, who went into last night’s match winless in eight games, that secured all three points.
This is what Arteta had to say about his team after yesterday’s defeat and the man in between Everton’s sticks.
On whether his Arsenal team were too keen to protect at 1-0: “No, I think we tried to go,” said Arteta.
“We were pressing high and their keeper was kicking the ball long all the time.
“We lost a few important duels during that moment that put us under pressure.
“But the way we conceded the goal from the throw-in, it can’t happen when you are 1-0 down.”
Arteta’s tactics and the mindset of the team is now going to be questioned because the same thing has repeated itself in the space of a few days.
The Gunners took the lead at Old Trafford last Thursday, only to come out in the second half and lose the game.
Therefore, it’s understandable if the Arsenal fans were a little annoyed that the same thing has happened again.
Even though the North London club are sitting outside of the Champions League places, Arteta is being questioned with fans unhappy at the progression, or lack of it, that is being made.