Arteta: I really liked the spirit and attitude of the team

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Mikel Arteta accepts that his side can improve in many areas but he paid tribute to the spirit of his players as they snatched a late victory against Sheffield United to secure safe passage to the FA Cup semi-finals.

The Gunners went into the break with a one-goal advantage courtesy of Nicolas Pepe’s penalty but we struggled in the second period as Chris Wilder’s men repeatedly tested our aerial ability. David McGoldrick’s equaliser with three minutes remaining looked to have sent the game to extra-time only for Dani Ceballos, on as a substitute, to send us to Wembley with a low shot inside Dean Henderson’s near post.

After the game, the boss spoke to BT Sport. Here’s what he had to say…

On the win…

I’m really pleased, we’re back to Wembley. This is a really tough place to come and we got the result we wanted. We fight right until the end and I really liked the spirit and the attitude of the team.

On Sheffield United looking the more likely winner at the end…

They are really good at what they do. They put you under pressure all the time with their direct play and how they approach the second phase. They are really good at what they do. They put you in trouble. We dealt with it really well for long periods of the game but you know at some stage that you’re going to suffer. We did but the reaction straight away from us was good as well.

On the young players…

They are evolving, they are really willing and they have a lot of personality to play. You can see the way they played today and Eddie, how he came on and fights for every ball, he doesn’t care. I really like that.

On a couple of wins making a big difference…

It does, we needed that. We’ve played four away games after the coronavirus which is not an easy thing to do in the Premier League. Hopefully we can get some momentum going now.

On the size of the job…

We still have a massive gap to fill in, we can improve a lot in many departments. We have to respect the process. It’s been really difficult, it’s been stop-start, stop-start. We’ll get it right, I’m convinced of that. We need a bit of time, that’s all.

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TorontoGunner

10/10 for the effort. After last game my Ex taunted when she saw Arsenal blew the lead, she said nothing new there. I had my doubts after 1-1 today but Ceballos said Nada Precupe and finally so relieved. Thank you Arsenal for making my Sunday amazon

MoosZ

Tell your Ex there’s a reason why you’re an Ex. And to never underestimate Arsenal

TorontoGunner

Seriously broski i left her ass on read

Managanese

Another ‘okay’ game against a seriously struggling Sheffield team that thought they had us for the taking barely 5 minutes to go. My issue is that this team is far from inspiring or convincing. The win feels very lucky and scrappy. I struggle to even understand if we can still create one-on-one scoring opportunities. It’s all sideways passing and waiting for the opposition to slip up. If this same Sheffield team played with the same confidence they had before the lockdown, we were definitely losing today. I don’t even enjoy watching Arsenal play anymore. Take it for what it is,… Read more »

Maul Person

Pray tell what were you imagining?!

Qwaliteee

I know what I was imagining. Getting knocked out of the cup due to this joke shop of a defence – and it was all set up to happen again, until our winner bailed out this central defence for about the billionth time. Until Mustafi and Co are replaced with decent defenders, this club will be forever scraping by or falling further behind.

Managanese

At least a philosophy behind our gameplay. Something you can see transitioning from shitty to slightly less shitty. Something you are excited that a few new players would take to the next stage.

Or, maybe expecting decent and tidy football with smart defending is too much to ask of Arsenal these days.

Sachin

Why not stay secure in your FM induced haze? You can come back to supporting the team when something of note happens.

Niall

A seriously struggling? There’s a reason why they are in Europe contention this season you know

Sachin

He wants us to beat Barcelona, Juventus and the French National Team all together in the next game with at least a 4-0 scoreline. Because he is an awesome fan and the club owe it to him.

The Spoon

A win, 2 in a row, momentum of sorts, confidence building, it’s what we need right now.

Chippy Brady

I thought the corona virus as well as our shit form had dampened my enthusiasm for football but I’m still obviously addicted to the Arsenal drug haha. Absolutely buzzing after this win and can’t wait for the semi final in Wembley. COYG 😀

OsloGooner

Bring this spirit and attitude in the semis, and we’ll hopefully go all the way.
It’s between ManU, Sp*rs, $itty and Chelski.
 
Have your pick.. but let’s save our season with a FA cup win!!

heihaci

good result but not confident when we play the bigger clubs

Santori

Rum thing…had we lost it in extra time, I don’t think we will see this ‘spirit’
 
A lot down to lady luck. Ceballos struck at the right time.

Santori

We had not enough effective control in second half. The goal was coming.
 
We lack midfield authority once again.
 
And our passing was poor throughout the game.
 
Attacking efficiency another issue good first half lacking second.
 
Too many young players being relied upon at the moment. Good to see some players back but frankly we need to also cycle in Torreira or Sokratis (never mind what outcome in transfer window with them)

Santori

AFTV such a laugh, now they trust Arteta again, come next game when we get dumped out by City, its knives out…

Sachin

Bro why you even go to those parasites, man. Why do we need jokers frustrated with their personal lives projecting it on Arsenal?

Sammy Nelsons Arse

This team is a work in progress, we have only 4 squad players in their 30s one being the invisible man. The vast majority of the others are very young. We have to believe in Arteta and give him time.

Sachin

Absolutely. We have to look beyond this season. Hopefully Arteta can build a team around a core bunch of players once we know who all are off. There’s no magic fix in the market. You can’t forge the mentality in one day.
 
I’m very hopeful for the next season when we’ll have Martinelli, Tierney, Saka, Pepe, Eddie, Nelson in the second seasons in the EPL and Willock, Matteo with more of an idea of how to cope and adapt to bullies in the middle- no better man than Arteta to teach them that.

Deep

I am equally excited about ESR in the middle as well.

Chris

Can I just give a shout out to Emi Martinez who I think has been solid in these last two games