Mikel Arteta slams poor Arsenal performance despite West Ham comeback – ‘Unacceptable’

West Ham v Arsenal: Match in pictures

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta admitted that he was ‘very disappointed’ with his side’s efforts after they were held to a draw by West Ham United on Sunday afternoon. The Gunners conceded three first-half goals to hand West Ham a healthy advantage, but fought back in remarkable fashion to snatch a point with Alexandre Lacazette’s late header ensuring the spoils were shared at the London Stadium.

Manchester United loanee Jesse Lingard drew first blood for the Hammers, finding the back of the net inside the first 15 minutes, before Jarrod Bowen scored a quick-fire second for the hosts.

Tomas Soucek added a third with 32 minutes played before putting the ball into his own net six minutes later to give Arsenal a lifeline.

Craig Dawson’s second own goal in a week then put Arteta’s side within striking range, paving the way for Lacazette to nod home with eight minutes remaining to cap off an enthralling match and bring the Gunners up to ninth in the Premier League table.

Despite the heroic second-half efforts of his Arsenal players, Arteta launched an attack on their performance after the final whistle, claiming that they should never have allowed West Ham to rack up a three-goal lead before half-time.

“I’m very disappointed because I cannot accept my team to play the way we did in periods in the first half,” Arteta told Sky Sports.

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“I expect we play at the level we did afterwards. The first goal, it can happen. It is a really good combination [by West Ham]. That is fine.

“The way we concede the second and third is unacceptable. Afterwards the attitude and togetherness we showed – it is really difficult to do what we have done.

“We got really close to winning and I think we deserved to win it, but the first part really worried me.”

Arsenal only had themselves to blame for Soucek’s goal that put the Hammers two up, with Bukayo Saka’s silly foul on Michail Antonio allowing the hosts to take a quick-free kick and sneak in behind the Gunners, who had switched off completely.

Arteta continued, stressing that a side of Arsenal’s calibre should not be letting themselves down with an avoidable lapse in concentration.

“[The goal was] unacceptable,” he added. “We talk about that all the time. I don’t know if it’s a hangover from Europe, tired, focus.

“It was more than one player that switched off. We have to right that quick.”

Although Arsenal’s performance was far from perfect, there were a number of positives to take from Sunday’s encounter including an impressive showing from Calum Chambers, who was named man of the match for his efforts at the back.

The former Southampton man was handed a surprise start having been sidelined for an extended period with a knee ligament injury, and performed well in his role on the right-hand side.

Arteta hailed the impact of the 26-year-old, hinting that he could be set for a return to the first-team fold over the coming weeks.

“He was really good, he has been training really well, he gives us something else,” said the Spaniard.

“[He provides] some height in the back line and he was busy in the final third as well. A really good performance.”

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