Arteta questions fitness levels after Chelsea defeat

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Mikel Arteta has questioned the fitness levels of his squad after the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea at the Emirates this afternoon.

More than once he suggested that physical issues were at play as the Gunners fell to their London rivals late in the game.

Acknowledging that he is looking for more from them, his comments suggest that this current crop of players aren’t yet fit enough to do what he wants them to over the course of 90 minutes.

“Physically it was tough to maintain the level Chelsea play at at the moment,” he said.

“We are asking them to do something different, to play at a different pace, much more aggressive and at the moment they suffered.

“We had a lot of injuries, we’re putting demands on young players. I don’t think that they didn’t want to do it or that they were scared, I think it was just too physical for them in the end.

“I’m disappointed to lose the game obviously. We had to sustain that level for longer periods against a very, very physical team like Chelsea.”

It’s going to be a long process to get back to where we need to, we all understand that, but it’s a slightly damning indictment of previous regimes that our fitness is not up to scratch.

Just another thing to add to the very long list of things to do.

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Devlin

What did Emery actually do that can be seen as a positive?

Gooner.r

Led to Arteta being manager…? That’s all I can think of.

Jordan

And Raul wanted to give him a new contract. Scary…

THE ARSENAL

Should have been gone at the end of last season.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Close to 20 games undefeated. Gave opportunities to young players.
I know he failed to achieve top four with presumably easy games and plenty of gifts from other clubs but your said positives.

Bendtnerschristmastree

Young players need structure and very clear instructions. Emery did play the youngsters, but then threw them under the bus for his own failings as a coach.
AMN for an example, looks so much more confident in his actions now with Arteta. Nelson too.

Arsenonymous

He actually largely improved our record against the big teams last year, got us very close to a top four finish, and seemed to help some players making big progress at the time (Bulletin, Iwobi).

But from the moment we started that dreadful run last spring, it does seem that everything went wrong indeed.

thw14

This Emery bashing is a sickness. Arteta hasn’t indicted anyone. A pressing game is always going to be a physical challenge, which is why teams that win with it generally have a deep bench. An option is to not rely so much on pressing – you can disagree, but the pretense that Emery didn’t know what he was doing is just clueless. I enjoyed yesterday’s game. Lot of the passing was sharp, alert, creative stuff, defensive effort was not missing. Most frustrating moment was losing Chambers, even their goals weren’t particularly disappointing, and the fatigue was expected. Arteta’s doing decently,… Read more »

Rich

No team covered more ground in the PL Last season than Unai Emery’s Arsenal.

Spurs were second, but covered just under 12km less.

But never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

Highbury

Saka a good example of that for their second goal. The guy looked exhausted. Not trying to pick on him, just it was quite clear when he has trying to get back.

HelderHughes

I don’t want to sound sour but in both the Man City and Chelsea games we were fucked in transition after transition by cynical fouls that interrupted our fluency.

People will call it game management or intelligent fouling but it’s cheating and every single one needs to be a yellow card minimum. For a team that thrive on attempting to play attractive, attacking football it’s an absolute killer and makes for crap games for the spectators and a danger for players.

Fucking cunts.

Gooner.r

As blogs brought up in a podcast, Arteta wants us doing the exact same, though. If you watched the documentary about City on Amazon, Arteta is instructing people to make those kinds of fouls. I want us to do it because it shows intensity. It may be cynical, but it’s the way the game is played now, and you can see the results for teams (like Arsenal) that don’t interrupt on the counter.

Longbow

It’s the way it has always been played. I remember Gilberto making those fouls all the time, same goes for 07/08 Flamini.

Hiiiii guys

Hooked.r can you remember what episode Arteta instructs players to make certain fouls mate ?

Tasmanian God

Yep, even spotted Özil doing one yesterday.
I have to say, I was a little proud.

Joe

If Mustafi had the brain power to step out and foul Abraham in the buildup to their second goal rather than retreating like a headless chicken, we wouldn’t have lost that game.

Like it or not, tactical fouling is an extremely effective tactic.

Tasmanian God

Yeah he was like when a player has 0% left on fifa there.

Hass

It was crazy to me during the game how knackered our boys looked compared to the Chelsea side. The pressing in the 1st half especially was as intense as I’ve seen in ages from an Arsenal side and was a joy to watch. Hopefully with a bit more time and some additions in the transfer windows to come we can start to perfect what Arteta is trying to get out of the team.

Right across Sunderland!

He’s right. Some of them looked like they were 10 stone overweight, smoking 60 a day and running up a flight of stairs in that second half.

I’m not overly concerned though. You can see the style of play and intensity Arteta is after. Those that cannot adapt will leave.

GMR

This all goes back to the days of Wenger. I remember Klopp saying how Chamberlain needed to have another pre season once he signed for Liverpool as he wasn’t for enough. It appears Emery continued that theme. Hopefully it will now change under Arteta.

James

Didn’t we have two specialist fitness coaches bought in over the last few years at very high cost?!

What’s Shad been doing?

VZ1

You mean those who left before this season?

Luther

Why not blame Wenger for everything?! You WOBs will say anything to seek vindication. How do you know Oxlade’s lack of fitness was down to Wenger’s training regime? Maybe he ate loads of KFC in private, and became unfit that way.

tajay

No team ran more than us in the epl last season, this can be easily verified by doing a bit of research. People seem quick to forget certain games likes spurs and napoli away where we drew 1-1 and won 1-0 – games where we had to really grind wins.

VZ1

Fans usually have a very short memory….

Gooner.r

It was nice to see the energy in the first half. And even though we were tired by the end, we didn’t look scared. Such a frustrating game to lose, but it’s massively positive to be able to actually see a plan.

Pete

Can I just underline how impressive Aubameyang’s performance was? He seemed to do the work of several men all across the pitch and, as well as Luis played today, Auba was our best defender!

Fred Garvin

The man was a beast today in his defensive duties. Could have had an assist along with his goal if Laca had delivered.

Spectator

Guendouzi had no legs to track back on the second goal (not picking on him either just noticed he couldn’t make a run to cover the breakaway). Lacazette looked like he was going to pass out after a run upfield in the second half. If nothing else the rest of the season might get our team into playing condition, which yes that’s how low things have got.

Mekus

Laca obviously have fitness issue. But I think he’s professional enough to find a way (with the fitness team) to get himself back to top fitness. So long he doesn’t get injured, I’m sure that he will get there eventually.

Cultured determination

Yup i remember laca ran on the counter down the rightcthen made a shit weak ball to nelson

Chip

Listen, we have hit rock bottom, the injury gods are picking on us again, but we now have a manger who has coached the Champions and worked with one of the best coaches in the world. He knows what he is talking about and we are already seeing Red shoots. I’m more than happy to give him time to see who is up for it and who needs kicking in the ball balls and sent packing! I also know that we have no chance of reaching the top 4 this season, so unless we smash it in the Europa Lge… Read more »

Chip

*Manager!! Ffs…

A P

How do you think we will compete for Wednesday/Saturday football if we do not have the resources from playing Thursday/Sunday football?

The (financial) gap is widening. We cannot afford to worsen it.

Mark

Exactly my stand now. Who needs Thursday nights?

Kelvim

Can this season end already…

Naked Cygan

We are also too soft. We get bullied physically every game. The team needs a few Gilberto, Petit, or Vieira type players. When you play Nelson, Saka, and Ozil you will probably win 15-20% of the challenges. There needs to be a balance of soft skillfull players, and dirty solid players who win 80% of challenges.

THE ARSENAL

Dont know why this is downvoted. We are the weakest and most unathletic side not just in the top 6 but the whole league. We have been soft for years just had top notch ballers like Cazorla Fabregas Rosicky who could offset the diffence. Between 2007 and 2012 for instance we would routinely play chelsea off the park only to have drogba just beast through us at some point. This is a problem we never rectorfied after Gilberto and Vieira. I mean Alex Song has been our best player in that position since. Make of that whay you will.

Alex

Ah, Fabregas… always Fabregas. Some keep on forgetting that Arsenal won nothing with him.

The Arsenal

Where did I say we won anything with him. To my point that we have always had weak and unathletic players just that they were incredibly good footballers. Fabregas being a prime example.

yen

Safe to say Arteta doesn’t get to repair this until the pre-season. We really need some more legs as well. Wouldn’t let Xhaka go until the summer.

Dave cee

Yeah, in the search for legs, Xhaka is right up there, in the sense that he has two and can kick a ball with the left one

Santa's Better Foot

I was mighty impressed by Auba today. Closed down almost everything in front of him and showed incredible defensive awareness as well. Even the Willock chance came because he was nipping the ball in the Chelsea box.
Helps that gree scored his customary goal per game as well.

Jht

We just need to be patient, as we are clearly on a healing path now. 1st half was best in ages and the fact we run compöetely out of gas just underlined all the bad physio work in this great organization for too long. Standards have been too low for way too long. We need to find players who got what it takes to compete with these physical demands of modern day premier league. Fact is that this team has played lazy backpassing footy for so long that we just are not competitive. We are more like a resthouse for… Read more »

Marco

How on earth were the players going to be at the required fitness level when Emery had them sat in a room feeding them data on the opposition day after day and all the other BS they had to endure. Emery has left us in a mighty mess.

Dan Hunter

We looked worse under Wenger tbf

Fred Garvin

Highly debatable at best. Wengerball was a joy to watch most of the time. Emeryball was just … well, sad.

Teez

In Arteta I trust.

SantaClausola

Got many down votes for pointing this out vs Bournemouth but that’s now, 7 shots on target in our last 4 prem games. Chelsea had 5 on target in today’s game alone. We are doing the right thing in reducing the amount of shots we get against us, but don’t challenge the opposition keeper enough. You don’t score unless a shot goes on target. This is in no way slating Arteta, who we can see has helped the players put in hugely better performances, just wonder what we can do to change this too.

sami

I think a lot of that also has to do with the fact we do not really have any high volume shooters(someone like Kane). We often get into good positions, but not many of our players think to test the keeper.

The Arsenal

No goals in our midfield and our other goalscorer is wretched right now

J E Cashy

Laca’s link play, or the lack thereof, is the main reason this is. IMO this was the main reason he could not dislodge Giroud from the French team. There were at least two occasions – one when Auba gave that lovely cutback and Laca’s first touch ballooned and gave Kante(?) the few seconds needed to clear it off the tip of Laca’s boot. He should have first-timed but he was at least a half-step slower than he should be all game and had to take that first touch. The second was he was played through on the left and he… Read more »

Rich

Ornstein said there was a disagreement within our technical team about Pepe’s running stats when we signed him. Emery did an interview at the end of last season, saying exactly the same things regarding adding aggression, energy and dynamism to the team, which he felt we lacked, and probably the reason he wanted Zaha. In the summer we signed: Tierney: injured, coming back off a double hernia, who we knew wouldn’t be fit until November, and wouldn’t have had a pre-season. We knew Bellerin was injured until November, wouldn’t have had a pre-season, and players pick up nigglesafter being out… Read more »

A P

A right to buy clause for a loan player doesn’t happen just because Arsenal wants it. Real Madrid has to agree as well.

I don’t see you insisting on right to buy clauses for our players out on loan?

Rich

Arsenal are just nominating themselves as a feeder club. If Ceballos has a blinder? He either goes back to Madrid, or moves out of our price range. If he starts slowly, but then settles later? another PL club can come in and out bid us, meaning we’ve taken him through an adaption, just for another club to benefit from the education we provided. If our scouting department thought he’d be a success? Then they don’t understand the concept of supply + demand. If they didn’t think he could be an instant success? Then why did we loan him to replace… Read more »

truj

I partly blame Arteta and his staff. He says after the game our fitness level is not good enough. But it was, it has to be known before. There are lots of methods, technology to help the teams and to measure even every heartbeat, the level and the changing of the player’s condition. Ok, you got the perfect battle plan, but mon général you need the right soldiers too. So before the battle you have to adapt the plan for the living force. The intense, high pressing game needs the abundance of energy. We realized the plan in the first… Read more »

Ealing

Arteta is forcing them to dive off the deep end. There will be casualties and misfortunes, but the message needs to get through.

J E Cashy

I don’t quite understand why this got downvoted because it is a good question to ask. While there are many methods of measuring fitness etc, I believe they have their limits. They are super-fit by our layman standards but not quite up to super-elite levels required … ie Fit, Very Fit, Match Fit, In Form, Top Level sort of categories thing. Putting that aside, I suspect Arteta and his team knows about the “below par conditioning work” – remember the mention of “not just the playing staff but everyone ..” when he first arrived? But he has no choice –… Read more »

Mark

Maybe it was a message to the management from Arteta who expect him to work with the current lot of players to qualify for the European competitions next year.

Santori

We definitely dropped in effort second half. First half after Chambers went off and Mustafi came on, no visible difference. We were energetic and on top. Second half some of the front players were slower, chiefly IMO Ozil and Nelson. Not really saying they were lazy either bc Ozil had in general a great first half but he rarely sustains past 50minutes. Nelson look out of puff. BUT that’s where subs come in and I did not think Arteta’s substitutions were particularly inspiring. Willock coming on last number of games completely baffles me. We need a bit of experience and… Read more »

Snc

During Arsene last few seasons, we were alrd in decline… it was just a very slow decline that cant be seen in one season. Under Emery, that decline was like a bullet train going down south in just matter of months. It will take awhile to undo, re train, regroup and getting the right players into the club again. I don’t expect anything much this season anyway. Arteta has a huge job to fill but We have seen what the team is capable of doing esp in the first half yest, slowly and surely we will get up again. I… Read more »

Alex

This is a relegation team.Stop deluding yourself there is nothing in that Midfield.Absolutely nothing.

The Kronke’s if they do not buy 3 or 4 pkayers in that midfield as it stands is straight relegation battle.

Will the Kronkes look at the severity of the issue and invest seriously now ?

I really doubt but one thing i am sure they are absolutely very very bad managers in football.

Tasmanian God

What did they do the last 6-10 months under Emery?
In the beginning it was all over the news how much he was making them run, because he wanted a high pressing game for 90 mins.
And they were pressing for the whole game for a while…but then just stopped.

Qwaliteee

I’m liking this from Arteta. He wants a stronger work ethic – everyone working hard for the team -not just themselves. We haven’t had this in the side since the days of George Graham. It all goes to prove just what an incredible freak of nature Wenger’s invincibles were. Players such as Henry, Vieira and Bergkamp were able to combine world class skills with a natural athleticism and a physicality that meant they could look after themselves no matter how tough the opponents were. This current squad are nowhere near that, but it’s clear that it’s that blueprint that he… Read more »