Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has joked he will be having nightmares for a long time over his side’s Jekyll and Hyde showing in Sunday’s 3-3 draw with West Ham.
In a match which was crucial to both sides’ European hopes, West Ham looked like the only team who wanted to be there early on. Goals from Jesse Lingard, Jarrod Bowen and Tomas Soucek had them 3-0 up within 32 minutes and it looked like it could have easily been more.
Fortunately for Arsenal, a Soucek own goal before half time changed the momentum, and an own goal from Craig Dawson and a header from Alexandre Lacazette would eventually be enough to earn the Gunners one of the toughest points imaginable.
“This game is going to give me a few nightmares because it is really difficult to stop some of the things we have been doing to hurt ourselves,” Arteta told BBC Sport.
The boss went on to describe Arsenal’s second-half showing as ‘the best they have played all season’, adding: “That is the level we can show. We could have scored six or seven goals and won the game, but we cannot have two faces.
“We stuck to the plan we had because we were getting further away from it. We had the belief we could do something.”
Arteta later explained to Sky Sports that he was obviously frustrated to see his side start the game so poorly, but felt the sheer dominance of their comeback was a sign of how the winds are changing at the Emirates Stadium.
“It is my responsibility as before we couldn’t play at that level. Now we can,” he continued. “This is where we’re heading and we need to stop giving the opponents anything. It’s too simple, but I’m incredibly proud of the team and the courage we showed.
“I sensed at half-time we could complete the turnaround and it shows how far we’ve come together. It keeps me awake as it’s happened too many times, too often. I was pleased with the level that we played at afterwards.
“I’m not worried about the culture as we’ve come so far on that. I’ve seen so many positive things. Today was one of those as I’ve seen a completely different reaction before from a similar situation. I’m worried with the different levels we can show within a game, and on this we are still far from being among the top teams.”