Mikel Arteta, the manager of Arsenal, expressed his disappointment with himself after his team’s 3-1 loss to West Ham in the Carabao Cup fourth round.
Declan Rice, Bukayo Saka, and captain Martin Odegaard were benched as part of Arteta’s six-man alteration to his starting lineup.
Arteta accepted responsibility for the underwhelming performance of the Arsenal team that was chosen.
“I’m not happy at all. That’s my fault,” he declared.
“We wanted to compete and play a very different game, so we’re out of the Cup.
“The first goal changed the course of the game, but we still need to see a lot more from the team to prove we deserve to win.
“I feel let down by myself. We wanted to play differently, but we were unable to achieve our goals. The pain is present every time we lose.
“We have to use this pain and this defeat to prepare the best way for Newcastle [in the Premier League] on Saturday.”
Not up to par Arsenal was eliminated
In the sixteenth minute, Jarrod Bowen swung a corner in close to goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, but Ben White nodded it past him to give West Ham the lead through an own goal.
Although Ramsdale’s shirt was in Tomas Soucek’s possession, the England international’s complaints went unanswered because there is no video assistant refereeing at this stage of the League Cup. This was Ramsdale’s first club appearance since the previous round on September 27.
Arsenal had the better of the play but were unable to score, and five minutes into the second half, Mohammed Kudus punished them by brilliantly blocking Nayef Aguerd’s 50-yard cross-field pass and finishing low through Gabriel’s legs.
Just before the hour mark, Bowen secured West Ham’s victory by winning a poor defensive header from White and hitting a volley from the edge of the area that deflected off Gabriel’s thigh and caught Ramsdale off guard.
With the game’s last kick, Odegaard slotted into the bottom corner, but the Gunners’ thirty-year League Cup drought continues.
For the third year in a row, West Ham has advanced to the quarterfinals and will travel to face Liverpool.
Rice is not happy about West Ham’s return.
The main topic of discussion leading up to the game was Rice’s first visit back to West Ham after spending £105 million to join Arsenal in the summer.
Manager David Moyes urged Rice, a former West Ham midfielder, to be “welcomed back with open arms” after he made nearly 250 appearances and led the team to a June Europa Conference League victory.
The home crowd mostly listened to that call, as Rice received a standing ovation when he warmed up for the first time in the first half.
By then, his new team was already behind, and although Arsenal had gotten off to a strong start—West Ham had not had a shot in the first half despite taking the lead—they had not produced much.
After the second goal, Rice was substituted from the crowded bench to a cacophonous mix of jeers and cheers when his first pass into the goal was mishandled for a goal kick.
Arsenal lost 3-0 soon after, and not even the addition of Saka, Odegaard, or Gabriel Martinelli could salvage their cup hopes.
Meanwhile, West Ham had shown significant improvement from the team that had lost its previous three games and had been called a “shambles” by Michail Antonio, the forward for the team.
“We had to fight, we knew we were playing a top side, but it was a really good performance compared to the last few [games],” Bowen said to BBC Radio 5 Live.
“We have not been at the level, but we were always going to bounce back and tonight was the perfect way to do it.”