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Arteta explains what went wrong for Arsenal in Brentford loss

Mikel Arteta, Arsenal
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Arsenal got their season off to the worst possible start with a 2-0 loss to Premier League newbies Brentford to leave Arteta under the spotlight again.

Mikel Arteta has conceded Arsenal were second best in their opening day defeat to Brentford in the Premier League.

The Gunners boss highlighted how a poor start, inability to handle long balls well, and a lack of killer touch in the attack from his side ultimately condemned them to a 2-0 loss in west London.

Sergi Canos and Christian Norgaard’s goals handed Brentford all three points on Friday. It was another wretched night for Arsenal. The problems that haunted them last season remain, leaving Arteta under a lot of scrutiny from the club’s own supporters. The Gunners had 22 shots, yet only four of them were on target – which was just one more than Brentford, who had eight shots in total.

“I’m disappointed. It’s not the way we wanted to start the season,” Arteta told Sky Sports.

“We didn’t start well, conceding a goal in an isolated incident. We didn’t cope well with the second balls or long balls. And that’s all they needed to create problems for us. Then we conceded from a long throw.

“The biggest worry was our threat in front goal. The number of times we got around the box and got in great situations but it wasn’t enough threat or shots on target. If you don’t do that in the Premier League, then you won’t win.”

No excuses

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, and Runar Alex Runarsson were absent due to illness. Injuries also ruled Thomas Partey, Eddie Nketiah, and Gabriel Magalhaes out.

Losing these players didn’t help matters, especially for being a goal threat. But Arteta refused to use their absence as an excuse. The Spaniard instead accepted responsibility for the result.

“I don’t want excuses – we missed players, but I don’t like to hide,” said the Arsenal manager.

“We were not good enough to beat them. We did not do the basics. We have started in a disappointing way but we will review and speak with cool heads and try to put it right as soon as possible.”

Arsenal will face Chelsea next Sunday in their second game of the new Premier League season.