Lee Dixon thinks Arsenal defender Ben White went “over the top” in his downbeat assessment of their performance against Southampton on Sunday.
Arsenal opened the scoring after just 11 minutes, thanks to Granit Xhaka’s thumping strike, before Stuart Armstrong rescued a share of the spoils with a second-half equaliser.
The 1-1 draw was the Gunners’ first draw in 32 fixtures in all competitions with the result leaving them two points ahead of defending champions Manchester City at the Premier League summit.
Arsenal, and particularly Gabriel Jesus, had chances to win the match but they eventualy had to settle for their first draw of the season.
In his post-match interview, Ben White was critical of the Gunners’ display and showed his disappointment at not getting all three points.
When asked why Arsenal had been so poor in the second half, White replied: “Sloppy in possession, didn’t win duels, the opposite to the first half and that’s why the game went the way it did.
“We’re only human… it’s tricky.”
On his assist for Xhaka’s goal, White added: “Obviously to be a part of it is amazing but it’s about the team and unfortunately we didn’t get the win today.”
After watching White’s interview, former Arsenal defender Dixon reacted: “Wow, did they get beat 8-0?
“Yeah, that was a little bit over the top. He’s feeling what he’s feeling but I still think that this season, when you play like that in the second half, you’ve got to take it on the chin and go, ‘yeah, we didn’t play great, move on to the next one’. But he was very down there wasn’t he?”
Dixon added: “I think it [Arsenal’s poor finishing] would’ve been Mikel’s concern at half time because you always remember the game that’s just gone, they had a midweek game but the last Premier League game he’ll remember how in control they were against Leeds and then how it went away from them in the second half.
“It was very similar, this time Southampton got the goal. But tomorrow when he’s softened his view on it he’ll say it’s a decent point. because they could’ve lost that game in the end.”
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was fairly measured in his assessment of the draw, he said: “Complaints? No, no complaints.
“In the Premier League, unfortunately, when you don’t do that when you are on top of the game you can pay the price.
“In the second half we had some difficulties. We put ourselves in problems with the amount of giveaways that we had, especially in possession, that didn’t allow us to control the game the way we wanted.
“We stopped doing all the simple things right. The distances sometimes in ball possession were too far, we gave so many balls away in very dangerous areas and without much pressure and that didn’t allow us any continuity that we had in the first half.
“And then you are more tired because the game becomes more open and there are more transitions and you are more fatigued.
“We ended the game on top of them and we tried to go for a second goal but we didn’t find a way to do it.”
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