Mikel Arteta Talks North London Derby Defeat & Mesut Özil's Arsenal Future

Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta watched Arsenal lose 2-1 to Tottenham on Sunday | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was left cursing his luck once more as he watched his side throw away yet another lead in the 2-1 loss to north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

Alexandre Lacazette's outstanding strike gave Arsenal an early lead, only for a combined error from Sead Kolašinac and David Luiz to allow Son Heung-min to tap home just seconds later. It looked like the points were set to be shared, but Toby Alderweireld's 81st-minute header saw Arsenal drop below Spurs in the Premier League table.

Arteta spoke to the press (via the club's official website) about a whole range of subjects after the game, and here's what he had to say.

On Where the Game Was Lost

"We gave them the game again, an individual error and the set-piece that cost us three points again. But I'm extremely proud of the way the team played. This is who we are, it doesn't matter in which ground we will come here and do what we've done today, nullify the opponent and force them to kick the ball long and give it back to us.

"We have to improve in these areas because to compete at that level, you know the game is always open and when you [don't] close it, you always have the uncertainty of what's going to happen. It's part of the process that we have and we will learn.

"It is mentally tough because in your mindset you are ahead, you are controlling the game and everything that we talked about is actually happening. Then you just give that moment away and mentally it affects the whole mood and the momentum and our energy.

"Still, we came back in the second half and we were even better, we were even more dominant still, with more control and we were really looking to score the second goal and just in one isolated action, we conceded the set-piece. We have to learn. In every game, something happens. A little margin here, a little margin there. I'm sure we will get there."

On Whether He Still Feels Positive

"Yes. If we minimise the mistakes that we do and we keep playing like that, we're going to win many, many, many football games. Because we're going to make it really difficult for the opponent. I'm sure of that.

"But these two aspects, one has to be maintained and the other one has to be avoided and it's on us. They believe in what we're doing. You can see how they are trying and how they are going. It's a shame because if you are able to win that well in such a big ground, on such a big stage as with today, it gives you big belief. I am gutted as well for them because they really tried.

On Dropping a League-High 15 Points From Winning Positions

David Luiz, Heung-Min Son
David Luiz was again guilty of a costly error | Pool/Getty Images

"There’s been various things since I've joined that cost us games. I cannot just single out one of them but a few of the ones you have mentioned obviously are involved. Some come from errors, some is game management, some come from a set-piece, some from individual errors but look at the margin that we have.

"15 points is a lot and that means that we are fighting and competing in every game, we are very close but the margin to win, lose or draw is sometimes small and at the moment we have to improve on that.

"Sometimes errors are led by fatigue. We have made some errors and there have been some moments where it wasn't about that, it was about paying attention at a short corner or not picking up your man from a corner, or just making an individual error or because the opponent does well in this league. It pushes you in the last ten to 15 minutes and you have to suffer and sometimes you concede. We will look at that with more depth obviously but it is something where we have some margin to improve.

On Mesut Özil's Arsenal Future

Mesut Ozil
Ozil has been stuck on the sidelines since the restart | Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Özil is yet to play since the restart and has only made the bench for two of Arsenal's last seven games.

"He is still in the same positions he was last week or two weeks ago and we said we will manage everything internally. I have nothing to say."

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