Kieran Tierney has said Arsenal “deserves” to be booed after being knocked out at home by Burnley, so how bad is the situation for the Gunners right now?
The 1-0 defeat, thanks to the own goal of captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, leaves the North London team 15th in the standings and on a series of seven defeats in their last 10 league games.
A number of the 2,000 fans inside Emirates Stadium made it clear that they were unhappy with the game.
“We’re not showing the manager what we can do and how much we believe in him,” Scotland international Tierney said.
“In every game there are signs that we’re doing a little better, but it’s still not good enough.
“Hard work is the only thing [that can fix this], nothing else for that. There are no excuses. There is nothing I can say that will make people believe that this will result in a positive thing. ”
Tierney is not wrong. If you’re an Arsenal supporter, the stats give a grim reading:
- The defeat means Arsenal have lost four consecutive league games at home for the first time in 61 years.
- The Gunners spent 12 hours and 32 minutes flying high without finding the net of the game open.
- With four wins and a draw after 12 games, it was their worst top-flight start to the season since 1974-75, when they won two and drew three.
- Their total of 10 goals after 12 Premier League games is their lowest at this stage of a top-level season since 1981-82, when they had eight.
- Arsenal have received six Premier League red cards since Mikel Arteta took the lead last December, double that of any other team in the same period.
The latest act of bad discipline cost them dearly against Burnley.
Granit Xhaka was shown the red card on Sunday for catching Clarets midfielder Ashley Westwood in the throat just before the hour mark, with the visitors grabbing the winner 15 minutes later.
It was the second time this season that an Arsenal player has been sent off for violent conduct after Nicolas Pepe signed a club record £ 72million for a header in the draw against Leeds on last month.
The hosts were fortunate enough not to receive a second red of the game when Mohamed Elneny raised his arm to James Tarkowski’s face in a corner, for which the Egyptian was awarded a yellow.
When asked if Xhaka’s dismissal was unacceptable, Arteta told BBC Sport: “Yes. In my opinion, it is too much will to do well, to compete to do everything.
“We took it on the wrong side, when you cross the line you will be punished. “
It doesn’t get any easier for Arsenal, who host fit Southampton on Wednesday at Emirates Stadium.
Asked where the performance against Burnley leaves his side, the Spaniard replied: “In a worse position.
“When you have this type of performance, you have to win matches, you have to win that simple. It puts us in a difficult position and we have to try again on Wednesday.
“I am clear in my mind what needs to be improved. I don’t know how to put the ball in the net. “
Former Premier League striker Chris Sutton said on BBC Radio 5 Live: “If I’m an Arsenal fan listening to this Mikel Arteta interview I’m worried about the manager.
“He said he was delighted with the attitude, he had a player rightly sent off and Mohamed Elneny should have gone too.
“He said they were playing well, he said they were too willing. I may be wrong, but I haven’t seen this. I think he was wrong. “
Former Arsenal defender Alex Scott added on MOTD2: “First of all Granit Xhaka’s tackle, you don’t need to do it in this area of the pitch. Then the reaction – you let your teammates down, the fans down. It totally changed the game. With VAR you can’t do that.
“It’s that red haze, it’s about having that control and knowing that you can’t do that and in the position we’re in, my team needs me.
“When you watch the game today, who is the Arsenal star? He’s young left-back Kieran Tierney. I’m so disappointed with Willian, the number of times I’ve seen him pass the ball without even moving. “