Kieran Tierney assessed the carcass of Arsenal’s woeful season and admitted: “Blame the players – it’s terrible.”
The Gunners’ 1-0 defeat by Burnley condemned them to their worst league start since 1974 and, incredibly, leaves rookie manager Mikel Arteta facing a relegation battle.
Scotland defender Tierney faced up to the shambles after Granit Xhaka became the sixth red card of Arteta’s 12-month reign and apologised to the supporters, saying: “We are Arsenal. We need to do better than this.”
Four consecutive home defeats, for the first time since 1959, have left the Gunners marooned in 15th place, just five points above the drop zone.
And with in-form Southampton next up at the Emirates on Wednesday night, it could get even worse for Arteta before it gets better.
Tierney admitted: “It’s not good enough. There is no way to disguise it. It’s terrible, to be honest.
“It’s not what we are, not where we are as a club. It’s not what the fans deserve, it’s not what the manager deserves, it’s not what the board deserves.
“It’s us players that need to take responsibility for this. It’s on us and nobody else. We have got a great manager and we believe in him 100 per cent. The blame is on us, nobody else.
“There’s not much else you can say – it’s not good enough. That’s the only way you can describe it – not good enough in any way. We should be taking chances.
“We are not scoring enough goals.”
Asked what was going wrong, after Arteta’s promising start brought the FA Cup to north London just four months ago, Tierney shrugged: “Everything is going wrong isn’t it?
“We are working on the right things, we are doing the right things in training, we are working as hard as we can, but things that can go wrong are going wrong.
“That happens in football. It is the lowest we have probably all felt in our careers and nobody is going to help us except ourselves.
“So we just need to keep believing, keep positive. I know it is hard. I know the fans deserve much better and all I can do is apologise to every single one of the supporters through these tough times.
“We just need to work hard. It is easy enough to say we want to do better, but we need to actually show we want to do better.”
Mikel Arteta’s Gunners have been starved of title glory for a while now – but things could be changing as a new-look Arsenal side plot a course to success.
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New signings Gabriel Magalhaes and Thomas Partey have hit the ground running following their big money summer arrivals, and the new-look Gunners are going all out for a top four spot and Europa League glory this term.
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Xhaka’s third red card of his Gunners career took the wind out of their display, and 2,000 Gunners fans booed their team off after Burnley’s first win at Arsenal in 46 years.
Only three Premier League clubs have scored fewer than Arsenal’s 10 goals in 12 games and Tierney acknowledged: “Confidence is massive in football with everyone.
“When everyone is out to get you, of course confidence is going to be low, but we can’t let that affect us. We can’t use that as an excuse.
“We are Arsenal. We need to be better than this and we are not performing up to the standards. But we don’t deserve to be [performing up to the standards], we are not playing well enough.
“We are doing well in stages but it is not good enough. We need to better throughout the full game. We need to take chances, we need to score goals. It’s Arsenal. It’s just not good enough.
“The Burnley game kind of sums up how it’s been the last few weeks. We are always looking to turn the corner, to get a win to climb up the table and unfortunately it is just not going that way right now.”
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