Arteta takes positives but recognises room for improvement

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Mikel Arteta says he could see his hard work on the training ground bearing fruit in his first 90 minutes in charge of Arsenal although he accepts his players have much to improve after their 1-1 draw with Bournemouth at the Vitality.

Dan Gosling opened the scoring for the home side against the run of play and even though the Gunners equalised with plenty of time remaining, we couldn’t manufacture enough quality chances to edge in front.

With games coming thick and fast, Arteta doesn’t have much time to get his ideas across but he thinks he can see progress already.

“I’m very pleased with some of the things I’ve seen, in terms of attitude, character, the passion we showed, and the fight and spirit the team showed,” the Spaniard said.

“It was spot on. Probably better than I expected over 90 minutes. A lot of things that happened in the game, we prepared. They understood them and they tried to take them on board. We lacked the final product at the end.

He added: “It would’ve been great [if we’d won] because it would’ve given us a better lift in terms of the energy and confidence of the team, but we have to analyse the performance.

“There are positives to take and obviously is a lot of room for improvement in other areas.”

It’s been pretty obvious to anyone watching Arsenal this season that we’ve been performing at less than the sum of our parts. Rebuilding confidence is a core aim for the new boss who thinks it’ll require patience.

“It will be a process,” he said. “I was worried what would happen if we conceded a goal. We did and I was very pleased with the character they showed.

“They came in at half-time and their faces, their reactions [were spot on]. It was about how much they wanted it. Normally, when you are in this process and you concede a goal, the confidence goes down and a lot of things that have happened in the past can come back.

“It didn’t happen, it happened in the complete opposite sense and that’s a really positive thing to take on board.”

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Venga Bus

I’m seriously impressed and see fuck all negatives………roll on Sunday

Comedian
Comedian

Word of advice, just post your thoughts and not scroll around for others view. Like you for me it was pleasant, looking forward even more to match at home against Chelsea.

Reality check
Reality check

Angry comedians scare me

Comedian
Comedian

It would have easy for him to bin the seniors, but he chose to give everyone a clean chit. I am feeling confident with Arteta from the moment he walked in. I was fine with Freddie taking up the job, but Arteta looks like he knows what he is doing.

Lack of Perspective
Lack of Perspective

If he can get Ozil to do what he did today more often, and lacazette and the rest put away some of those chances. We might be alrite in the end.

Kaleja
Kaleja

I have to agree with him, we didn’t lose simple passes too often as much as we use to, plus toward the end you could see the team really wanted more, there is just some individual mistakes but I think in time will all be swell.

I was actually more impressed by Xhaka ability to take those long passes most of them reached a target, and that Luiz ball to Laca should have been goal.

I guess those lessons about space and teammate are about to pay off. Coz I can see with proper tools we will be unplayable 60+ possession today I really missed that even if Bournemouth are shit these days.

Fireman Sam
Fireman Sam

Luiz would make a good Xhaka replacement.

Gooner Sam
Gooner Sam

More a Toreira if injured, hasn’t got the passing ability of Xhaka

A Different George
A Different George

Of course, we all knew Xhaka can play those long passes and that Luiz is one of the best centre halfs in the world at that. What changed was the structure in which they were playing–Luiz stepping out didn’t immediately threaten chaos behind him; Xhaka’s lack of pace didn’t mean that every poor pass resulted in a chance for Bournemouth.

Naked Cygan
Naked Cygan

Behind closed doors he should be much harder on them. Some of the passing, shooting, crossing, defending, and decision making was just terrible. I feel we had the chances today to win and we blew it. Hope they step it up, or leave and let hungry players play for Arsenal.

BW9

He brought them in on a Christmas morning, think he’s being tough enough.

Goo-nerd
Goo-nerd

Nelson and Saka really need to learn to cross.
.

A Different George
A Different George

I forget, how old is Saka?

Henrik
Henrik

Chelsea is better at every position in the team than bornemouth. I say let Pepe play….

Artetas assistant
Artetas assistant

Does he presss from the front yet ?

gooner
gooner

our strength is in the final third. But today they let us down. It happened to me once in my college days. It took a lot of effort to rebuild and I had to win the ugly way. That on a minimum budget but once things clicked, well.

Point is Chelsea and the bunch in between aren’t too far away. 4 points from the next two games and we’ll be in with a shout

Artetas assistant
Artetas assistant

Are you the musician ?

Ashley
Ashley

Thought we played well, certainly the midfield had much more control than usual. Given it was a make-shift back 4 I thought they also did alright!

I think it is right that he is giving everyone a chance to prove themselves/enough rope to hang themselves with. I actually feel positive about it and my god it was good to see and hear Mikel directing and guiding them from the touchline.

Espen
Espen

I can just give my point of view. For me Arteta is not Arsenals head coach. He is already the manager. And he transmits what Arsenal is, and why I fell in love with this club. I will support him all the way, and I know that there is no quick fix. It’s been a long time since we have outshot an opponent.

SB Still
SB Still

Arteta, Freddie and even Edu and Per are all key people to bring back Arsenal. Hope they love the club and don’t just see this as a job alone. Neither Raul or Kroenkes give me much confidence and even less love for Arsenal.

As fans we need to be patient, as we lost quite a bit of ground and even performance to turn it around quickly.

Dave
Dave

We just need to lure Dennis back, bring Gilberto Silva a role, same to to Bobby, bring Santi and Rosicky as coaches, and I’ll be happy

Right across Sunderland!
Right across Sunderland!

He needs time. Not sure he’ll get it from some of our fanbase though.

Maul Person
Maul Person

He’ll get it from the rest…

Right across Sunderland!
Right across Sunderland!

I’m certainly backing him. I’ll be holding him to his word though about being ruthless. To be a CL team we need a fair amount of changes within the squad. It’s going to take time.

FrenchGunner
FrenchGunner

Merry Christmas all
I am usually the glass half empty kind of guy but I already see the blueprint of How we are going to be playing in the future and its pleasing on the eye
Our first choice wengers (Martinelli and Pepe) didn’t play , same with our left backs kolasinac and Tierney and bellerin were all missing through injury and yet we had 60 percent possession against a Bournemouth side that’s a complete possession team on their own turf is nothing to be sniffed at.
I am being cautiously optimistic, but if we had any of our first choice left backs and one of Pepe or Martinelli we would have comfortably won the game.
I thoroughly enjoyed the game, the high press, and general attitude of the team was impressive to watch, for crying out loud, when was the last time we outshot a team on their own turf?
For all the hatred xhaka has been getting, I think he played very well, he and torriera were tidy in midfield and completely dominated the Bournemouth players. There is a reason why Wenger, Emery, Freddie and now Arteta and wanted him on the starting eleven, he might be lousy in possession sometimes like most players but he showed his quality today.
Hope Martinelli and one kolasinac is fit for Sunday.
I have full confidence in Arteta to take us to the top once again.
Go Gunners

Right across Sunderland!
Right across Sunderland!

Defensively we looked more organised. People whinged about Nelson’s performance, but he was there over Pepe due to his improved work rate without the ball. Hardly any attacks against us came down our right. He doesn’t offer anything like the attacking threat Pepe does, but until Pepe is prepared to work harder without the ball..he’ll never make it at the very highest level.

Still, it’s likely of us can see the positives. Just a shame that a few loudmouths on YouTube are being totally negative as usual (for cash handouts from mugs). One from a former aftv regular (some on aftv are fine btw..nothing against them really) who rants about people being snowflakes if they dare disagree with him (who he then mocks with a silly voice)…and then acts like a total snowflake himself when others have different opinions lol. Not against me or anything (I just dropped in today and watched a few of his vids).I just find it sad to see some ‘fans,’ trying to make a living off negativity and refusing to get behind the new manager. Some fans literally expect him to win every game from now without buying anyone or having the time to fix our broken tactics/coaching/player power culture.

I’m not really judging Arteta until he’s had two transfer windows and at least 20 games in charge. And that’s just for me to see a style of play, improved defensive work as a team, the troublemakers and ‘wantawayers’ shown the exit and us moving up the table a little. How can anyone fix this mess overnight?

Anyway, rant over. Festive greetings.

Mjc

It’s obvious there is an improvement…good times ahead
COYG!

The Mighty Bun
The Mighty Bun

Feel very positive about the team. Loved the positioning of the fullbacks and the rotation of the midfield providing defence when they were up the pitch. Just a shame Laca didn’t bury his chances but it was absolutely pissing down, made a bit harder

Merlin's Panini
Merlin's Panini

We looked way more committed than we have for a long time. The pressing and positioning on the pitch was better, the passing was crisper. We dominated in every way and it’s great to see that, especially in an away game. There are green shoots appearing out of the manure.

optimist
optimist

A few good signs of improvement. I noticed in Freddie’s last game the triangular first-time passes were suddenly there. We need to be quicker, and take more risks with our build up play.
The lack of confidence is showing up front, we need to put these half chances away in a game like this to get the points.
Loving MA already though, fully behind him.

Santori
Santori

I mean nothing to get carried away about.

This was in context a very poor Bournemouth side with six recent defeats and many of their first team out. And we struggled to a draw.

In fact we have sunk so low that many fans prepared to celebrate another draw when we really needed to take all 3 points regardless if it was Arteta’s first match in charge (See Ancelotti)

A LOT of room for improvement.

As mentioned, positives in midfield with Granit and Torreira playing closer (to each other and defense) and to their strengths.

Also structural changes with Granit dropping deep left for a 3-2-5 and Saka pushed wide to his natural position balancing out nelson (or whoever on the right)

BOTH AMN and Torreira also a bit more restrained in forward movement.

Ozil playing to right channel, Auba tucked in left with Laca providing reference point for both albeit lacking sharpness from obvious lack of playing time.

Still issues of course at the back with or without Mustafi but I gather Arteta will work out (rightly) midfield first which is an area he is most familiar with and critical to the imbalance that has been pervasive over last several months.

Good to see Arteta pulling the team around. Unai was doing this and making timely subs last season. Somehow this season, he seemed to lose confidence in himself and stopped calling the shots from the sideline as much and the team looked lost, descended into chaos.

Its small steps and whether we can compete still with the likes of Klopp, Moanrinho , Pep (now Ancelotti albeit with handicap of Everton) remains to be seen and would seem unlikely.

But there’s no point looking into relegation zone. we should look upwards bc a good run of form and (Hopefully) 3 pointers will see us closer into the europa spots, thereafter we can set sights higher.

Chelsea (with another proverbial ex-player/legend now manager) struggled to a loss against Soton so if we apply ourselves, I don’t see why we can’t beat them.

United (and yet another ex-player now manager) also vulnerable.

I would think we should be aiming to take all 6 points without being unrealistic.

There are teams ahead of us with FAR less resource and talent in terms of players but they are grinding the results with hard work.

Off ball commitment and sustaining it over a run of games is key. That’s where the less intangible motivational/disciplinary part of management has to come in beyond just tactical changes.

We are likely more than NOT going to make wholesale changes in market so it is IMPERATIVE that Arteta gets as much out of current players and improve them as quickly as possible. The midfield duo with Granit-Torreira is a start. Laca-Auba another one to build on. Cback may also benefit from regular selection.

We need these players together regularly and finding some intuition between each other.

Santori
Santori

I think we also had better success finding passes (Granit) to players higher up the pitch. Where many of the front players tended to simply wait for the ball or get marked out before, the tactical switch dropping Granit into a back 3 to orchestrate allowed wide players like Saka forward and created five across the front which meant we gave Ozil and Auba better freedom to escape their markers with two more players to preoccupy the fullbacks.

We saw Granit (and on one occasion Luiz) put in a lot of long through balls picking pass thier midfield press or balls over the top to Saka.

I didn’t feel we played too much out of the back and the goal IMO was preventable even when we lost it quite high up near the centre line. Just a series of bad situational management overall.

but Bournemouth were cautious as well bc of their own wretched run of form and did not press as high. When they did, we managed fairly decently with Granit dropping into a back 3 as mentioned and our fullbacks providing extra targets further up.

Still not entirely moving the ball quick enough or using the flanks as we should. Nelson attempted some take ons and Pepe for a short spell when he came on looked lively emphasis on short spell.

Saka had some good opportunities, protected the ball but wayward crossing ditto Nelson on other flank. But that’s what happens with younger players (particularly nelson who has not played regularly)

One player I would like to see more of is Guendouzi. Again, did not feel Willock contributed much coming on beyond injection of energy. Would have preferred Guendouzi on higher up instead. We will also have Cebellos back and there is also Smith-Rowe so plenty of options.

Hopefully we do not do Too much experimenting/chop n change with Arteta to disrupt any positive understandings garnered from match against Bournemouth.

Arteta needs to settle on a number of key relationships very quickly not least in attack with Laca-Auba (Laca clearly needs a bit more playing time to sharpen up) but also midfield with Torreira-Granit and prob we will benefit if he finds the best possible Cback pairing quickly. These understandings down the spine need to be as intuitive as possible and can only come with regular selection playing these players together (with occasional swap outs of course)

If you ask me what our best front 3 is at the moment, still not convinced by Pepe. He can come on for impact and get more game time as and when he shows more sustain effectiveness.

Would prefer Auba-Laca-Martinelli at the moment. Ozil supporting. Granit-Torreira anchoring.

Kolasinac sorely missed and will be a step up to Saka without denying the young player credit for stepping in admirably into an unfamiliar circumstance and generally doing decent.

Bellerin also set to return will be further boost. We need to have IMMEDIATE impact.

There is no time for Arteta to slowly transition this team. He needs to bank points now and it starts with Chelsea and United. We need to and can win those games. We certainly should start to believe we can at very least with some hard work and better structure.