Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal ‘lacked killer instinct’ after throwing away another two-goal lead against West Ham as Gunners boss questions his side’s mentality
London Stadium – Mikel Arteta questioned his players’ mentality after Arsenal’s title hopes were dealt a huge blow at West Ham.
Arteta accused his players of lacking ‘killer’ instinct and suggested they were undone by complacency after they threw away a 2-0 lead for the second successive game.
Now, after last week’s draw at Liverpool, Arsenal’s lead over Manchester City is just four points with Pep Guardiola’s side having played a game fewer.
Here, Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard put Arsenal 2-0 up inside 10 minutes, only for West Ham to earn a point through Said Benrahma and Jarrod Bowen.
“We made a huge mistake to stop playing with the same purpose to score the third and fourth one and just thinking we could play around them and just looked too easy,” Arteta said.
“We didn’t understand what the game required in the moment. We need that ruthless mindset in those moments to go and kill a team. When the game is there for the killing you have to do it. Today we haven’t.”
”Very disappointing. The way we started was superb again, we were in total control, then we lost purpose.”
”We gave them hope, conceded a terrible penalty, then credit to them. We got on the roller coaster where everything is going, corners and throw ins, and we never got away from that.”
The game hinged on two penalties – errors from Thomas Partey and Gabriel allowed West Ham back into the game before Bukayo Saka missed a second-half spot kick to make it 3-1.
”After we scored the second goal we stopped,” Jesus said. ”We have to raise the level again.”
”It’s not the pressure (of the title race), it’s that we misunderstood what the game needed in that moment.”