Arteta Expresses Disappointment As Arsenal Lose First Pre-Season Game To Hibernian
Arsenal stepped up preparations for the 2021/2022 season with a friendly game against Hibernian on Tuesday but lost 2-1 to the Scottish side, much to the disappointment of manager Mikel Arteta.
Arteta paraded a strong starting eleven that included the likes of captain Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, Willian, Eddie Nketiah and Mohamed Elneny, with Thomas Partey, Hector Bellerin, Alexandre Lacazette, Nicolas Pepe and Emile Smith-Rowe joining the fray in the second half.
Despite parading their big guns against the Hibees, Arsenal could not recover from going 2-0 down, with Smith Rowe’s 82nd minute effort only serving as a consolation in a game which also saw Pepe miss a penalty.
Arteta could not hide his disappointment after the game and has asked his charges to improve.
"Well I'm always disappointed when we lose a football match but it is the first game, we played with many kids and we only had four training sessions," Arteta said, quoted on Arsenal's official website.
"We've trained really hard and you could see that the players were a little bit leggy. I think we conceded the first goal, an accident, and the second goal was clearly offside. We created many, many chances but we didn't score.
"That's what pre-season is for, to take the things that we haven't done well into a training session and then improve."
Asked whether a lack of training might explain the loss, Arteta said: "It does but there's no excuse because we want to come here and win the match.
"They worked really hard, the boys worked really hard and you could see that some of them were not in the best condition, but we're still very early in pre-season. It was great to see some of the young lads making their debuts here. We'll keep working."
Arsenal will face Rangers, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspurs in their pre-season programme before opening their Premier League campaign away at newly promoted Brentford on August 13.