Monday, July 22, 2024

Arteta: We’ll get better playing out from the back

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal are committed to playing out from the back but admits his players still have room for improvement when it comes to their decision making on the ball in and around their own box.

Under the Spaniard’s watch, the Gunners have looked increasingly confident retaining possession in deep areas, implementing the tactic to great effect, even against top-quality opposition. However, last night’s 2-1 win over Rapid Vienna offered a timely reminder of the work that still needs to be done.

With the scores at 0-0, Bernd Leno, receiving a ball from David Luiz close to goal, attempted a risky pass to Gabriel that was intercepted and the home side promptly buried the ball in the back of the net.

Given we ground out a win, it didn’t matter too much and meant Arteta wasn’t overly critical of the mistake.

“It is part of our game,” the boss said of the tactic. “We need [to learn] where we can do it and when we should kick the ball to the stand, which is a big part of what we are trying to do, but to recognise that from the outside is much easier than from the inside.

“He (Leno) has the courage to do that, we have been very successful at doing it as well with the amount of goals we have scored even in important games, so we have to find the right balance but I will keep encouraging them to do it in the right moments.

On whether last night’s error was a result of playing such a high-risk game, he added: “Yes, absolutely but they will understand better and better the type of balls that we have to play in those areas and in relation to where the pressure is coming, and the distances that you can manage from the opponent.

“After that everything will be better, but obviously in a split second you have to make a decision, you have to get the right touch, the right pass and as well the opponent is waiting for that so again it is something we have to keep working on because if we want to play in the way that I want to, it is necessary that we keep doing nit in our build up play.”

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Can we stop playing timid football. It’s beginning to grind


Can you stop complaining? Its a process and will take time.


This whole disagreement reads like a poem. True gooners indeed, bringing beauty to where others tend to bring brawn. Well done, you two. COYG


Fucking hell, it’s The Two Ronnies.

Reality check

We needed a culture change my friend, defensive discipline doesn’t just come by defensive tactics or a formation change, its a habit you build over time by regular practice. That’s the phase we are in atm, so be patient, give him this season. At least, we are not being humiliated on a regular basis, that is a big plus for me, attacking will come, in time.


Petr was not the best keeper with the ball and now Leno got serious problems with the playing from the back system. One solution is changing tactics, the other, change the player is not an option now but with hard work on the training ground maybe we can solve it.


Leno’s passing is absolutely miles ahead of Cech


Need to go easy with the over the top post-match reaction. Arteta obviously think he is good enough with the ball and let’s wait at least until mid-season and see if he made many more similar errors before passing judgement.

Dave Roberts

I thought they should’ve kept Emi. But maybe he could be sold for a better price than Leno?


That’s fine, but can we also get better at playing flowing attacking football too Mikel?

Merlin’s Panini

I’m assuming others have seen the news of us currently having Bergkamp Jr on trial? The son of God on trial.
Oh… no it’s Mitchel.


I say play Leno as an outfield player in training sessions to get his awareness of the goings on there up to par


Better yet. Do pressure drills on all keepers on pressing scenarios.


I’m going to hazard a wild guess here:
I reckon they do this already…just a hunch I have.


Hahaha.. you have to love the modern football fan. Everyone thinks they know better than the manager and coaches.. now we get suggestions on what to coach and practice, fabulous gems like ‘pressure the goalie in training’ as that may make him better at it in the games.. if only someone from the club had thought of this! Hopefully one of the Arsenal staff is reading this, some of the contributors here would be offered a job in coaching right away. Why don’t people at football clubs think of these things?? Thank god for the comments sections, the true root… Read more »


If they do and he’s regarded a ball playing keeper why is he poor at it? There is a common misconception because we fans are not professional cannot discern basic and complex stuff. How long has Arsenal needed Partey? A decade or more? So the pressing drills may or may not be done. Or maybe not even being done right? What makes you think others are perfect? How long does auba have to play in the wings? Or Pepe used far from where he can be dangerous? You can mock but I’m sure you are the same person who will… Read more »


I guess then Liverpool must have neglect to do the pressure drills in their last 10 league games….Both Allison and Adrian have been guilty of misplacing passes that resulted in goals against them recently.

Merlin’s Panini

I know it was crap from Leno but Luiz had Cedric outside him and chose to put his keeper under pressure instead. It was a very slack attempt at a pass by Leno though. Hopefully a lesson learned to have more conviction in the passing.


Leno had a tonne of time and space when he received the ball, he just made a shit pass and probably the wrong pass too – he should have hoofed this one (As Mikel is hinting at: “We need [to learn] where we can do it and when we should kick the ball to the stand“). Blaming Luiz is rubbish IMO. Cedric also has a player about 5m from him ready to close him down in the corner. Dealing with this situation is part and parcel of this system playing it out from the back. Hopefully Leno learns from this… Read more »


Later, after the goal, Leno came out to meet the ball and in trying to clear it belted it right into Luiz, creating another dangerous situation. I noted that he hit this with his left foot, not his right. To me poor decision making is partially linked to confidence, messing up for the first goal won’t have helped and probably contributed to bad decisions afterwards. I dont think this is a serious issue, Leno will get better and cut out the mistakes, he just needs to train for pressure situations to get that split second decision making. Luckily he is… Read more »


It’s become apparent that Arteta needs to turn up the style. One comment I haven’t seen on this in the last few weeks is if we are feeling it as fans imagine the players. Part of setting standards is getting us there gradually. Line up I’d like to see is Bellerin Chambers (luiz) Gabriel Tierney Partey el neny (xhaka) Ceballos Pepe. Auba. Saka/Willian I’ve seen suggestions he should try Saka as the playmaker and agreed with it but someone also pointed out it may stunt his growth and I agree with that plus he can always slightly roam in the… Read more »


Play Saka as the #10 in a 4-3-3 and Willian on the LW and allow them to play interchangeably – swapping positions. Both can play both roles, it makes marking assignments more confusing for opponents and gives us the link between mids and forwards we so desperately need. I just don’t see Ceballos as an attacking mid. He comes deep for most of his possession pick ups, but in a 4-3-3 as a double pivot him and partey still have the chance to interchangeably join the attack. Why would playing Saka a bit more through the middle stunt his growth?… Read more »


Saka is an excellent, excellent crosser of the football. He is excellent at taking the defender on and gliding past his man with an incredible burst of pace. He works incredibly well with Tierney on the left side and is very responsible in covering the left flank deep in our own territory — he is good at challenges out wide. All of this seems to come naturally to Saka, or at least he’s made his excellent coaching and desire to perform look easy and natural. He was one of our best players last season, playing on the left, where he… Read more »


I agree about the style point. We need a “showcase” performance (and win) – something that will get the fans excited and enthused. We’re not scoring enough and we’re conceding too regularly. A confident, free wheeling, 4:0 win against, say, Leicester would do everyone the world of good. No, I don’t see it happening but we can hope.

Dave cee

That is the team I would like to see too. But Calum is still injured and Gabriel has about 6 games under his belt. If it went badly that would be counter productive. I t will take time to get there


Early days and we’re very (very) much work in progress but if you exclude the opening game against Fulham – seems years ago now doesn’t it – all the rest has been mediocre. It’s not that we’re playing a solid, boring, defensive game either as we concede regularly . OK, Auba got a goal yesterday but that was the first in a while and I don’t see anyone providing the goals should he be injured/suspended. I think it just underlines the huge task Arteta has on his hands. All the earlier talk of top four finishes, perhaps even winning the… Read more »


It’s a long term project for sure. Alas, this is how a lot of people think in 2020 – miracle turnarounds, huge expectations (sounds like a bad sequel) and no patience. I actually think things are going very well, we definitely are more solid than before Arteta arrived, and of course have a long way to go still in that department, but you can see the slow progress.. in terms of things like top 4, you never know in that regards because any team can go on a good run, it could be a more even league table than previous… Read more »


It will require a top class attacking midfielder. I really don’t know why everyone is skirting around the issue.

Oh, wait………..🤣


Nothing against Leno, but I have a feeling he’s starting to feel the pressure to be compared to Emi.


to who?


Whom not who. Object of the preposition required. Just in case that helps in the future.


Whom on earth would be helped by that?


I don’t have a problem with playing out from the back. If you kick it downfield, you have a 30% chance of winning it, plus we don’t have a Giroud-type player to fight for it. If you kick it into the stands, you’ve got a 10% chance of winning it off their throw-in.


60% of stats are wrong 100% of the time


Pretty sure that stat about throws is totally wrong.

Naked Cygan

We really need to beat more aggressive going forward with weaker teams. We are paying them too much respect. Attacks are very slow, passing is too predictable, too many back and side to side passes, too many pointless long balls. We need to mix up our game with some quick, short pass attacks from the middle too.


Agreed. We need more speed of thought and movement in the midfield. Especially between the lines. Green shoots were there in the second half though. With Partey groing in confidence and influence as the game wore on I feel we played a bit more front-foot-football. Furthermore what the ten minute cameo of Willock showed me, is that I would have liked to see more of him. Think he has a great chance of starting the next Europa league game. I think he is the only (playing) player we have that operates between the lines in the final third, or at… Read more »


Agreed on Willock – he’s got shades of Aaron Ramsey to him – Mostly the good parts: playing between lines, driving forward, late arrivals and driving runs into the box, makes some decisive passes, able to get physical and tackle when he has the mind to. Having a consistent impact is the next step in front of him that will make him a starter.


@RSA Gooner & Mpls …..IMO he needs to link play in tight spaces around the final third better and improve his finishing but yeah he definitely make good runs into the box. I do hope to see more of him going forward because I agree with both of you on all your points….


Not convinced by Arteta’a approach here. Over intricate and dogmatic. Constantly playing out from the back kicking around the 6 yard box is both predictable and a recipe for a mistake to happen. Not Leno’s fault if we play to his weakness. Plus we tend to be overly cautious and negative when receiving the ball further up. I like to call third man principal where by instead of us looking for least risky option available to pass to when receiving, we need to be working on when receiving the ball the second man has to create the opportunity for the… Read more »

Watch videos from last season of Arsenal’s defensive mistakes in our defensive third last and you’ll see that Guendouzi and Sokratis were involved in about half of those errors. Surprisingly even more than Mustafi.

Dave Roberts

Doing our “nit” in the build up play? That’s the problem right there. Mikel telling the guys to play like nits. That’s never gonna work.

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