Mikel Arteta admits his Arsenal players were unable to compete with West Ham’s physicality (AFP via Getty)
The Gunners were dumped out of the competition as David Moyes’ side ran out deserved winners at the London Stadium.
Ben White’s own goal put West Ham ahead before goals from Mohammed Kudus and Jarrod Bowen extended the hosts’ lead in the second half. Martin Odegaard scored a late consolation but Arsenal lacked the cutting edge and physicality with Arteta opting to start Bukayo Saka, William Saliba and Declan Rice on the bench.
Arteta said after the game that he takes responsibility for the defeat but insists he warned his players before the match about the need to ‘compete’ with West Ham.
‘I’m very disappointed with the result and the performance, and I’m responsible for that,’ Arteta said.
‘I tried to warn them for 48 hours that today was about how you’re going to compete in these games, and in the Carabao Cup away from home, we haven’t done that well enough.
West Ham will play Liverpool at Anfield in the Carabao Cup quarter final in December (Getty)
‘Obviously, the game started pretty well for us, we had total control, but the goal changes a lot of things, and even though I didn’t think it was a goal, it’s not an excuse for the rest of the performance.
‘For sure, we have to use the pain that we’ve felt today to make sure that we’re on our best again on Saturday because that’s what’s going to be required to win.
‘But it’s also a good experience to feel the pain and when we’re not at our best, the performance has to be very different compete and to earn the right to win the game.’
Declan Rice was booed by West Ham fans at the London Stadium (Shutterstock)
When asked if the absence of Rice and Saliba had a big impact on Arsenal’s lack of physicality, Arteta said: ‘Obviously there are different players that bring something different to the table but it’s not about that, it’s about a lot of simple things that we didn’t do well at all today.
‘Some of them were competing, some were duels, 50-50s, but a lot of giveaways we have in areas that we didn’t allow us in any moment to be a threat in the final third and that’s something we have to improve dramatically from today.’
When asked if Arsenal’s fringe players had suffered a missed opportunity by struggling against West ham, Arteta replied: ‘You have to be fair on the players,
‘Some players haven’t had that many minutes, it wasn’t to do it straight away in the first game, in a different conversation surrounded by players that haven’t started is not a fair assessment.
‘But that’s something that is further from the assessment is about doing certain things that have to be required to win a football match, especially when you play away from home against West Ham, and today we haven’t done that good enough.’
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‘I tried to warn them for 48 hours.’