under fire | 

Critics turn on Mikel Arteta as Arsenal are humiliated against Manchester City

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

Kevin Palmer

Mikel Arteta apologised to the Arsenal fans after his side's disastrous start to the season continued with a 5-0 defeat against Manchester City and now the pressure is mounting on the Spanish tactician.

Arsenal have spent more money than any other Premier League club in this summer's transfer window, but they have lost their first three games in comprehensive fashion and the manner of their defeat at the Etihad Stadium left Arteta in a perilous position heading into the international break.

Ferran Torres struck twice for City, with a red card for Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka after 35 minutes ending the game as a contest, with the home side goals from Ilkay Gundogan, Gabriel Jesus and Rodri completing the rout in a game that felt a little like a training ground exercise between attack and defence.

"Really disappointed with the things that happened on the pitch," said Arteta in his post match press conference. "Obviously the summary after three games and losing the three of them it doesn’t make it any easier.

"We started the game really well and took the game the way we wanted. We were really competitive, but in the first action the ball is wide, we don’t stop the cross, we don’t deal the runners and defend the box well enough. If you do that here it’s impossible to win a football match with so many basic things that have to be done better.

"After that we concede the second one which I think is a clear punch on Calum Chambers’ face so I don’t know how the goal is allowed. We continue going and after another 20 minutes Granit gets the red card and we have to play 60 minutes with 10 men against the best team in the league. So, a very difficult day.

"I don’t think today is the day to talk about any process. Today we have to talk about the result, what happened on the pitch and that’s it.

"I stand here today and I question myself and I have to try to have the right people around me and look at every decision that we make, that I make and try to improve it and change it if we believe that we should have done something different of course."

Arteta's critics are now lining up to question his tactics and approach, with former Arsenal defender Martin Keown offering up a brutal assessment on BT Sport.

“The tactics Arteta is asking the players to follow is too complicated and they can’t carry it out on the pitch,” declared Keown.

“This was an embarrassing day for Arsenal and it has been going on for a long time now. The manager is playing a big role in this, we can’t get away from that.

“We have a manager who is conducting an experiment during games. and he needs to go away and look at himself because this not just down to the players.”

Prominent Arsenal support Pier Morgan also took to Twitter to call for Arteta to go, as he is failing to make progress 20 months into the job.

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