Fuming Mikel Arteta struggles to defend Arsenal players after Newcastle United defeat

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta slammed Newcastle United on Monday after a 2-0 defeat in the Premier League, saying his performance was nowhere near the level needed to play in the Champions League.

Ben White’s own goal and Bruno Guimares’ late strike sealed Newcastle’s victory, leaving Arsenal two points behind fourth-placed North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur with one game remaining.

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“It’s very disappointing that Newcastle were 10 times better than us and there was nowhere near that level of performance if we wanted to play in the Champions League,” Arteta told Sky Sports.

“It simply came to our notice then. It was in our hands and it is not in our hands today. “

The Spaniard, who suffered a bad start to the campaign before leading the fight for a place in Europe’s elite club competition, said he was ultimately responsible for his failure on the pitch.

“I’m responsible all the time,” Arteta told reporters later when asked if he felt frustrated by his players.

“If there’s one person who has made an expectation this year that nobody will talk about it at the start of the season, it’s the players and I will always defend them.

“But tonight, it’s really hard to do.”

With their extremely poor quality goal difference, Arsenal must beat Everton on Sunday and hope to upset Norwich City Spurs at home to reach fourth place.

“Football always has a small chance,” Arteta said.

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