Thursday, December 7, 2023

Arteta: We have a long way to go but I’m pleased we competed

Mikel Arteta says he was happy with the way Arsenal competed against Liverpool but admits his side have much to improve after watching them go down 3-1 at Anfield. 

The Spaniard was left to rue a gilt-edged opportunity missed by striker Alex Lacazette. The Frenchman, who’d put the Gunners ahead against the run of play, was denied by Alisson as he looked to level things up midway through the second half.

Goals from Sadio Mane and Andy Robertson had put the Reds in charge at the break and debutant Diogo Jota came off the bench to put a gloss on proceedings for the champions late on.

After the game, the boss faced the Sky Sports cameras. Here’s what he had to say…

On the performance…

A really tough place to come for anybody in the world. They set incredible standards. They dominate every aspect of the game. We took the lead in a really good pattern put us in a really strong position to believe more that we could get something out of the game. We conceded too early with a mistake and then in the second half, we corrected a few things, we were much better. We still have some problems with the ball but we had the best chance of the game and when it comes to Anfield, you’re not going to get ten chances. When you get through one against one with the keeper you have to take one to get something out of the game.

On trying to play on the break…

They didn’t want to let us play out from the back and put us under pressure with the high press. We had our moments. They have different weapons. They’ve been together five years, we’re in a different moment of our journey. They weren’t able to do that three or four years ago or two years ago. But you can see, these are the standards, this is what we have to reach. We have a long way to improve but I’m really pleased with the way we competed, we stayed in the game for 85 or 90 minutes and this is not easy to do here.

On sticking to their playing philosophy throughout…

Yes, we could have got out much better in some circumstances. We have to read the game better sometimes when we’re struggling to do something different. But when you go to the opposite side and you do the high press, probably perfect, they have Van Dijk and he plays a sixty-yard pass into Salah’s chest and they are out [of trouble] and that’s quality.

On conceding so soon after scoring…

Yeah, too early. We needed a longer period [ahead] after the goal to settle ourselves because the last ten to fifteen minutes of the first half we looked much better, we were much more composed on the ball, we were more relaxed, we took better positions, but after [conceding] you are chasing. They can handle [the game], they can provoke you to be a little bit higher in the pitch and use the spaces behind you and they did it well.

On transfers…

We’re trying to improve the team, there’s a week to go. There’s a lot of things happening, in and out, we don’t know what will happen.


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In Arteta we trust

Var Will Solve The Problem

He is gonna retire all the post match analysts if he keeps giving interviews like that. That pretty much summed up how the match was won and lost.
They say identifying the problem is half the solution. Lets try to fix the other half by giving him time and resources please.


Well said.

God is a Gooner

Klopp couldn’t believe his luck at the final whistle. They barely had to break sweat.
Don’t be fooled, that was as weak and dysfunctional a performance as they come. This isn’t just one game either, this team has gone backwards since Ceballos Pepe, Gabriel were dropped and Martinez left.


Well, that’s not what Klopp said in his post-game MNF interview.

He said they did well to disrupt our strategy in the first half but that pressing high exposed them to our counters and we had some good chances to score.


Despite all the down votes you got, I must say I agree. But I can’t blame Leno for any of their goals though his passing from the back was poor.


Leno is a good keeper but Martinez looked world class at the end of last season.

Time will tell if the right decision was made.

Baffling that Gabriel was dropped. Perhaps a slight injury? Or owing to the fact that Arteta wanted to play Tierney’s hybrid LB/LCB role? Either way seems like the wrong choice in hindsight, especially with AMN’s wastefulness tonight.

Pepe isn’t exactly looking like he deserves to start. Where’s Saka? Because Willian isn’t either.


With AMN this is what you get. Really good defensively and worked his socks off, but man his end product is lacking. Funny a few weeks ago I was being slammed for suggesting we should sell high on AMN. He is a good player, but he still has a long long way to go the be a really good full-back and I have no-idea why people are still clamouring for him in midfield. We need investment in midfield much much more than we need excessive depth at fullback. Between Tierney, Saka (Kola…gulp – perhaps even Gabriel at a stretch) on… Read more »


Lenobhas some blame. he seems unable/unwilling to catch balls, so he just parties them out into the danger zone, which just keeps the opponent coming straight back at you. Martinez was a great catcher, and that ends the opponent’s attack straight away. That is, for me, the reason we made a huge mistake keeping Leno over Martinez. Leno definitely makes us weaker

The Swede

Martinez made a terrible mistake today but was saved by a Mitrovic foul. Stop pretending that he is some kind of super goalie. It wasnt Lenos fault that we lost this game.


Yeah but his passing from back is up a level than leno. I missed that today. His dinks above opponents attackers to our attackers is also better


That was not a mistake. If you take a closer look, you will see that Mings touched the ball and it changed direction hence the mishandling of the ball


I AGREE we didnt play well at all we did all the basics wrong. WE barely connected 8 passes together in a single sequence before the got the ball. AND like he said when we saw they were very high ups the pitch to press us and we were struggling someone should;dve changed the strategy and do something different add variables. THIS IS WHERE I BLAME LENO. Martinez would’ve gone long a few times like he did in the games he played agains Liverpool. HE’ll set up like he wants to play short but if he sees the opposition so… Read more »


Leno is a poor mans ferrari
Just shows the gulf in the two teams welcome to a decade of excuses
Bring back arsene


Exactly, the way he breaks down how VVD pings the ball forward to break the press just shows he knows what’s he’s talking about. Not just blabbing about hard work and what not. On that note TAA can also ping those long balls with accuracy and speed, which is a big thing to have for Liverpool. Still the team to beat in my opinion.

Onto other news, though still early days I’m loving how the Chelsea new signings are flopping, and how they really have no defense. After all that title challenge talk.


Normally I’m always vitriolic after a loss, but today….. I’m ok. If someone said 12 months ago we’d be in the game in 80th minute against Liverpool at Anfield with an Elneny/Xhaka midfield and a Luiz/Holding defence I’d have taken that. Kudos to Arteta for making me not cringe at every line up.

Hail Gus!

Rather begs the question why we went with a Xhaka/Elneny midfield in the first place?!


Yeah, until further signings come (fingers crossed) Ceballos is the first midfielder in the team sheet without any question, especially against a team who play with such a high press as Liverpool do. Astounded Arteta left him out…..hopefully big lesson learned for him.


Arteta has not learnt anything tonight he didn’t know already.


Maybe he watched the match we played against Liverpool last season where Ceballos did not play well and didn’t want to risk him or perhaps he feels Ceballos is a better impact sub. If Laca takes his chances then it’s a different ball game.


The problem is that we only underscored our xG by 0.5 or so. Liverpool also did the same. Don’t blame Laca, he scored one and had another great chance. Blame the lack of creativity across the board. We deserved to lose.


I think you are grasping at straws there to he honest. I really like Arteta but let’s not get ho the point where we fall over ourselves making excuses when he gets something wrong


Well said. I’m disappointed but not bereft. People expect instant fixes and that isn’t going to happen with this team and a lot of the personnel it currently has in it. The worse part for me this evening was my son stomping around angrily and shouting “Don’t talk to me about this game!”

I really wish he would chill as such negative vibes are bad for the team lol


Regarding this season, I think top four is there for the taking despite how competitive the league is. All our rivals have vulnerabilities, and look far from consistent, but if we don’t get two midfielders in we will really struggle to make it. A choice of Xhaka, Elneny, Ceballos and Willock ain’t getting you top 4, no sir.

I don’t understand why cheaper but high potential midfielders don’t seem to be looked at. Besides Auba and Sanchez, our last batch of expensive signings have been lacklustre.

I genuinely don’t get it. If Aouar is too expensive just end the pursuit and go for someone cheaper.


This is a really good point. If we are so strapped for cash why aren’t we looking for some energetic, dynamic rough diamonds that cost less than Aour or Partey. There must be plenty available and other top clubs seem able to find them!


Cause we sacked our scouts.


True enough! Outsmarting that market hardcore.


Certainly wasn’t expecting a repeat of the Community Shield or the last league match knowing it is early in the season and Liverpool doesn’t have things essentially locked up yet. We certainly don’t have the midfield to compete with them, but they will set the standard again in the league this year and we can chalk this one up as a learning experience.


Kopp learnt from his previous 2 defeats and didn’t press high. His plan worked out today. Pretty sure Arteta will come up with a plan to counter liverpool tactics. Wish dani and pepe would have started it would different. Hopefully let’s get our revenge back on thursday

Papa Large, big shot in North London

Pepe? His corners were abysmal and he is so ridiculously one footed a halfway intelligent defender knows exactly where he is going.

Not his fault but 70m is a criminal waste of money for a club pleading limited resources.


Pepe isn’t gonna cut it. Raul did us bad.

Swap with zaha? ?


It was a genuinely poor performance from us, and a very good Liverpool performance. We deserved no points from this game, and it wasn’t a tight game what so ever. Only the score line made it feel tight but Liverpool would only be disappointed they didn’t smash us. I don’t expect us to change in a span of a few months, and I expected no points from this fixture, but what I was looking for was dogged energy, a belief that we can equal them, a fight and defensive solidity. We did not get that. Arteta should be disappointed in… Read more »


We should be disappointed in the team and arteta? Did you watch any of our last dozen or so trips to Anfield?

Sorry but that’s the most competitive we’ve been there for years. Don’t get me wrong, that’s not saying much, but if you’re disappointed that the team that finished 8th last year didn’t match the champions away, and can’t see a clear difference in performance quality from what we’ve witnessed the past few years, then you’re in for a disappointing season I think. season I think.


We are way further ahead than what Liverpool were after a year of Klopp and he’d been a manager for years, I’m telling you Arteta is going to be an absolute beast of a manager in a couple of years. He’s already won 2 trophies, so what if they were better than us today, Arteta said it himself they are together years and we are just starting, it took Klopp years to win anything at Liverpool and we’re already 2 up in Artetas first 9 months with 6 of those being in the middle of a pandemic….relax man, everything is… Read more »


I think that was the worst I have seen arsenal perform in a long time. We couldn’t even get the ball out of defence. Holding, mainland and lacazette are not good enough.


I’m always amazed by these ‘worst I have seen Arsenal perform in a long time’ comments. People have short memories ?


Who the hell is Mainland? No wonder we were rubbish with an imposter in the team!

Also you haven’t been watching long enough if you think this was a bad performanc.


Their front 3 also missed chances but amn was abysmal. his passing sucks man


Disappointing result, but we have to acknowledge the gulf in quality between the two squads.

I am happy with the way we played in the 2nd half, we were harder to break down, created chances. It’s certainly an improvement compared to the times we were steamrolled there in seasons past.

And Ceballos was so good when he came on. There’s so much potential for us under Arteta.


I’d expect to see nearly eleven different players on Wednesday


nearly 22 different players probably, i think with second string teams we probably have a better chance than we did today


I guess I’m a perv I always see ‘Hentai’ when I skim read your name…


I want to give you a downvote for being a perv (there by preserving a holier-than-thou image), and an upvote out of sheer empathy.


But, honestly, why stick to 3-4-3 that is not working when we need an extra man in midfield? That’s where they dominated us. Substitute one of those 3 defenders and bring in an additional midfielder. Change the game, Arteta. For not be conservative


Why stop there? Throw in a couple more midfielders.

That was Wenger’s ultimate dream! A team of 11 midfielders.

Yellow Ribbon

The head says it all. The fact that we didn’t look shambolic and with only those small mistakes that lead to their goals. I think we can definitely take some heart and move on. I think the reason Arteta set up the team the way he did clearly shows the quality difference. We need them creativity and a midfield shield to protect our back line. Klopp is a class apart as a manager but he was ably backed by the board. Arteta looks class but there has been no backing so far. Arteta literally kick above his weights if we… Read more »

Crash Fistfight

We need to be as good as teams like Everton are at getting these brilliant commercial deals that allow them to buy all those new players.


I was really hoping Gabriel’s arrival would mean Tierney could play LWB in this formation. It seems Arteta doesn’t feel he’s ready yet for Liverpool away, but I feel like AMN struggled at times today where Tierney might not have. It’s just frustrating to have exciting new CB’s arrive and still have to play Tierney there. Laca looks like he’s stuck inside his own head again like last season, his goals so far have all been a little fortunate. I fear today’s big missed chance will weigh on him even more. I also wish we could sometimes use Saka as… Read more »


Definitely are hardest league fixture of the season. The players tried but ultimately the gap is what it is.


There speaks a wise man.

We are so lucky to have him.


Ceballos Elneny Xhaka
Willian Auba Saka


Can’t fault The managers words after the match.We still have a lot of catching up to do. Hopefully Arteta will learn a few lessons from this game and move on.

Welsh Gooner

I wasn’t even angry watching the game. Liverpool were far better than us and nullified a lot of our game. I thought we did well do stay in the game for as long as we did, but in the end we were just simply outclassed. I think we can dust ourselves off pretty quickly and bounce back Sunday. A lot of positives we can take from this and I think we can all see the resilience we are showing under Arteta. Under Wenger/Emery we probably would have capitulated. We can only keep improving. COYG


What do you mean “we probably would have capitulated”? We DID capitulate; just not in terms of the scoreline, but certainly in terms of how quickly and easily we lost our lead. Under Wenger, we’d have held on longer than that, and created more chances to score. We certainly wouldn’t have been scared to try and get back into the game (assuming we had gone behind in the first place), in case of being thrashed.

Agreed with you until you said under Wenger we’d have held on. The latter half of his tenure was littered with capitulation.

6-0 Chelsea
3-4 Liverpool
4-4 Newcastle
5-1 Liverpool
4-0 Liverpool
8-2 United
1-5 Bayern
5-1 Bayern
5-1 Bayern
4-1 Barcelona


I guesstimate that Arteta intentionally didn’t play all of our key players to save their stamina for the next matches. He knows what he’s doing, and I trust him very much.


Don’t forget that we had great chances to change momentum to our advantage. We just missed them.


As much as I thank my lucky stars and am willing to sacrifice daily to the gods for having Arteta, I do wish he’d stop saying that our aim is to emulate Liverpool. They’ve done well but we can, and should, try to build a winning team using a different formula that would suit us. Arsenal are different in so many levels and so should plow our own path.

The Swede

I guess he really mean that we should aim for their quality level, in other words: become one of the best teams in the world.


I truly love what these comments say abt the man and his approach. Not an iota of “if Laca has scored and Jota’s handball had been called… we were very close” nonsense. Doesn’t slag our players. Liverpool are streets ahead, they play as we aspire to, and Arteta says that plainly. He has clear-eyed vision (he can see what is actually happening) and he has a Vision (a destiny he is trying to take the team towards).


Arteta keeps talking about how far Liverpool is time and time again… (Ignoring we have bet them twice this year.)…I think that fear/ inferiority has seeped into the arsenal players for this game. They were much more assured in the previous two games. Mane, Salah, Arnold, Robertson were allowed to play freely. Liverpool won most 1-1 and even 2-1 situations

Fireman Sam

There’s an element of gamesmanship about it too though. Put some expectation on the opposition, in a way it frees up the underdog players psychologically.


I do wish Ceballos was played sooner. He was the only one who knew how to turn with the ball or drop a shoulder and get past the press.


Liverpool are the Champions. They were also at home. They haven’t lost a home match since fuck knows when.

We finished 8th and are a team in transition.

So I don’t quite know what you were expecting mate – but hey, let’s not worry. Arteta’s in charge; you aren’t.


Sorry Hopeful Gooner, that message was for Viju Jacob’s above post. Not you. ??

Viju Jacob

What are you pleased about, Mikel? It was a crappy “no fight” football from our team.


Im enraged with the uality of thr display.. lacas finishing.. but i calmed down a bit after reading this.. Arteta really knows how to address the fans.. i cant imagine unai talking after this


Basically a bad day at the office, against a well drilled, well organised team who will probably win the Prem for the next couple of seasons. If chances had fallen to Auba instead of Laca, it could’ve been different but that’s football. Surprised Gabriel didn’t start and he didn’t bring on Pepe or Saka for Willian earlier, however we go again on Thursday night….keep the faith and COYGs…


That’s the spirit.

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