Mikel Arteta says he saw two different Arsenal teams on the Emirates pitch tonight, insisting he’s learned a lot about his players this week.
The manager was clearly unhappy with the first half performance, making sure he let them know at half-time he wanted more from them.
It worked, the Gunners were much improved in the second 45, and he spoke to the BBC afterwards to give his reaction to the 1-0 win.
Mikel, we’ve heard from your players, they said you shouted a lot at half-time, but what’s your emotion at full-time?
Now I’m really pleased but I think we’ve seen two different teams. One in the first 30 minutes, and another 30 minutes in the first half. I tried to give them advice to tell them exactly what they were gonna face, and after 32 minutes we won one duel, I think.
Against this team it’s impossible, they make you look like a small team. When we changed our attitude and our desire, and we changed a few things at half-time in organisation, we were completely different.
Why didn’t they carry out the game plan?
I think sometimes on the pitch they have to experience it themselves. How tough and how difficult it’s gonna be. I’ve watched a lot of games of Leeds and they battle every team every three days. It’s good for us to learn at that level to look how you suffer on the pitch, and when it you do it together and with that intensity it’s completely different.
How much have you learned about the players this week?
It’s good because I saw them react when they lost against Chelsea, and I saw them react when they won just one game.
I have to be on them.