Despite the beauty of our first goal against Man City on Saturday, fashioned from keeping the ball at the back and working it forwards, there’s a nervousness among some fans about that style of football.
It wouldn’t have been helped by the incident a few minutes previously when Shkodran Mustafi was caught on the ball in our box, necessitating some last-ditch defending to prevent the opposition scoring.
Yet that is the way Mikel Arteta wants to play. He knows there’s a risk/reward balance to be had, and he is keen for his team do it more so they become more comfortable with it.
Asked if he got nervous when his team passed it around at the back, Arteta quipped, “No. I get nervous when we kick the ball long!
“The quicker it goes there, the quicker it comes back. I’d rather do that with the right structure, the right timing and using the right spaces.
“It’s something that we have to do more often.”
It will be interesting to see what kind of tactical approach Arteta deploys for tomorrow night’s game against Aston Villa. Containment against the likes of Liverpool and Man City is understandable, but Arsenal will need to be more proactive tomorrow, and the boss is expecting a tough clash with a team scrapping for their lives.
“They have a massive urgency because they probably have to win both games to have a chance to survive,” he said.
“When you are in that situation you are fighting for your life, so they are going to give absolutely everything. We have to be in the same mood.
“We still have to win both games and wait to have a chance to qualify for Europe and that’s the mood that I want from everybody involved.”