Arteta: Patient wins build belief in our structure


Mikel Arteta believes last night’s 3-0 win over Newcastle serves as a timely reminder to his players that patience is important when trying to breakdown stubborn opponents.

The Gunners dominated possession from start to finish at the Emirates and sealed the win in a devastating 17-minute spell in the second half when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang helped himself to a brace either side of Bukayo Saka’s strike.

Having dropped points at home in the Premier League against Crystal Palace, Southampton, Burnley, Wolves, Aston Villa and Leicester – games that saw the Gunners fashion just one first half goal – the boss was pleased with the way his players learnt from previous mistakes.

In his post-game press conference, Arteta said: “It is part of understanding these types of games, and when the team is able to come out of these games with this result and confidence, it helps a lot for the next one because they know that the moment is going to come, that we cannot lose our structure, our organisation.

“Of course there were things, that at half time, we had to improve and do better, to be more consistent, quicker, more efficient in certain moments to attack.

“This is great information for us and for them, it is great to believe against these structures we can outplay them, we can nullify them to do very little in our own box and we can come out and score three, four or five goals.”

Last night’s win saw the Gunners climb to 10th in the table and extended the club’s unbeaten run to six games in all competitions stretching back to the Boxing Day win over Chelsea. The real challenge will be maintaining the streak through a daunting upcoming fixture list.

“We always say that winning is the best thing for any collective team or any individual as well,” said Arteta.

“But for us to get in the momentum that we are with the clean sheets – that was our fifth one in a row – we have managed to do that, the fact that we are scoring goals and everything is more fluent.

“The energy, the cohesion around the team and the spirit is better. So I’m glad, but we have to maintain that run and keep going. There are still a lot of things that we have to do better and improve but overall, I’m really pleased with how we’re playing at the moment.”

Arsenal’s next game will be in the FA Cup on Saturday morning. In a sign of the times, we still don’t know who our opponents will be. Southampton face Shrewsbury tonight – a game previously postponed due to a Covid outbreak – for the right to host us.

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Jordan Tan

Partly kinda reminds me of Cazorla in the way he works the ball. It’s almost as if when he has the ball, the ball suddenly has a brain of its own and knows how to be useful. Haha.


I agree, our best performances since 2010/11, came in the first half’s of the 2015/16 + 2016/17 seasons Cazorla got injured in both those seasons, and our performances nose dived He was a joy to watch, and a nightmare for opponents If they pressed, he’d beat the press If they stood off, he’d run the whole game Ozil’s best form for Arsenal was with Cazorla at the base of our midfield We’re so one paced in the way we move the ball, I think Pepe was brought into counter that But where Pepe is great in transition, he’s not effective… Read more »


At this point winning is more important than Pepe’s value. We’ve got a better option on the right.

If he can force his way into the team, then great. If not, then results are more important. Forcing him into the team because we spent £72m on him is a paradigmatic sunk cost fallacy.


Thumbed you down cos you partly didn’t make sense.

Charles MMM

With this current level of confidence within the team, either of the football club can do.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Overconfidence, even Arteta is saying we could score four or five against such structures. Never happened. We usually score zero like in the game before.

Old Bloke.

Very good second half performance, the team seem to be gelling together nicely. The result is great for our goal difference and hopefully we can carry some momentum into the next run of fixtures. Where we are at the end of February will tell us a lot more about future prospects.


And we have some better players to come in or come on as substitutes, either Gabriel or Mari, Bellerin, Martinelli, possibly Ceballos (though Xhaka has improved recently).

And I’m forgetting the fan’s favourite, Willian.

Cranky Colin

No your not!

Heavenly Chapecoense

In terms of talent not form, Willian in second or third in our entire squad.


We are only 10 points away from the top with many more games to play. Hope we can remain consistent.


Not sure why this comment is getting thumbed down. There’s no suggestion we’re winning the League…just an acknowledgement that despite our horrible form for weeks we’re still only 10 pts from the Leaders.

Heavenly Chapecoense

We are potentially 14 points away. City has two games in hand.

Adams Jnr

I bet you’re fun at parties


Have a right flank, and incisiveness through the middle and in the areas around the top of the attacking box is a complete difference maker. Cannot stress enough how big of an influence Cedric had in this game. Bellerin has been solid, but he has just lacked spark in attack. Cedric combined beautifully with Saka and ESR and made us so much more creative down the right, which balances our attacks, creates more space through the middle and even on the left for Tierney to be even more dangerous. Add to that Partey’s mobility that allows him to recover and… Read more »

No foot Norbert

100% this I said bellerin wasn’t good enough and had one brilliant game every 10 and got downvoted to hell and back. He makes our team so imbalanced at the moment, it’s so frustrating to see him get into attacking areas and pass backwards. Cedric yesterday attempted to beat his man, made overlapping runs to open up space and put in first time crosses, these are standard things we should expect from a right back. I still think we should sell bellerin in the summer and get a real quality right back in and have Cedric as decent back up.… Read more »


Yeah, it was striking to see the contrast of a real attacking performance from a right back compared to what Bellerin has been offering going forward. He has been solid, and even quite good defensively, but he has lost his attacking spark. We have been so subdued attacking down the right. Then last night we looked completely different. It was from poor defense either, Cedric and Saka (with help from ESR) just tore them to shreds on the left with creative runs, one touch passing, back heels, dinks, overlaps, we got treated to the works. IMO, after seeing that Cedric… Read more »


Partly agree with this Bellerin issue, however at the same time it’s so hard to reveal the truth (mental – self-confidence) behind a poor/mediocre performance by his standards especially when considering the fact what sort of injury he had been recovering from. The Spaniard should definitely get some more minutes because we all know what he is capable for, but the spark and sharpness in his attacking performance is lacking for sure. Thanks god Cedric opened our eyes yesterday to what sort of standards should we stick to… COYG!

No foot Norbert

I get the injury etc but it’s been a while since then, we might have to accept that he might never be the same again (personally I remember even before his injury he was inconsistent – does anyone else remember that awful run he had under Wenger). I just think he’s not arsenal standard and would get found out in a ‘weaker’ team, kind of similar to how Gibbs has been.


He’s not as bad as you are stating and his defense has actually be pretty dam good this season (and last). But, it does seem like he has plateaued in attack, and with FBs playing such an essential role in creativity in modern football, it may be time to move on if the right offer comes in. I mean if Farcelona or P$G coming in with a big money offer, I’m not sure how we could turn it down. We have a reported interest Lamptey, who looks quality, but he signed a new long-term contract yesterday. If we did cash… Read more »

Heavenly Chapecoense

Whenever the team has a very bad run, Bellerin is the underperformer in chief. That’s the problem. For some fans, he has a video diary on youtube thetefore he is a legend. He gets people plant trees thetefore he is a legend. Come on.


Maybe you are right. Maybe it’s just his bright personality that prevents us from seeing his weekly performance through a more objective lens. He is a good lad Hector, he loves the club and he is a popular guy in the dressing room as well. Emotions should be secondary. Should play him for the rest of the season letting them fighting for the no1 position with Cedric and we will see how the big boys feel about him in the summer

Give youth a chance

I think at least part of the problem with Bellerin’s attacking play recently is that he has had Pepe in front of him and they want to play in the same space when attacking


I totally accept that Cedric had a very good game last night (albeit with no defending required). I also accept that Bellerin was poor in his last outing. But this is one game each and is no indicator of their overall value. Hector has been a fantastic servant for this club and will continue to be so. He is Arsenal through and through, and I wouldn’t swap him for any other EPL right back.

No foot Norbert

It’s not just been one game with him though for me this is built up frustration with him not just a knee jerk reaction, I know he’s been with us a long time and yes he’s been better defensively but he isn’t a young player anymore, he’ll be hitting his prime soon and he hasn’t improved if anything he’s regressed. I’ll be glad if he proves me wrong though.


You would have Bellerin over Alexander-Arnold? I get he’s been at Arsenal for a long time and all and he’s a great character, but I’d swap him for Alexander-Arnold in a heartbeat. He’s leagues ahead of hector and arguably the best fullback on the planet.


Trent is truly fantastic attacking wise, but he is also the weak spot in Pool defence.

Reality check

IMO, Willian saved our season and probably Arteta’s job too by going to that party. Formation switch, Saka moving to the right wing and ESR breaking into the first team, all in one go.. Martinelli’s energy setting the momentum against Chelsea is what kicked it off..


Saka was amazing on the left, but he is even better on the right. He is so dangerous cutting in on his left (his slightly stronger foot), but opposition can’t cut off that move because he is still so effective going around them and using his right. That is the issue with Pepe, he’s so easy to control by just forcing him wide and sending an extra defender to close off his cut-backs. And of course ESR roaming all over the attacking third is wrecking havoc. What a player he is turning into too!

Reality check

I rate Pepe but he’ll have to be better than a 72mil player to dislodge Saka now.

Billy bob

Make you wonder what the plan will be in the summer regarding Pepe – I doubt we’ll be able to shift Willian (he’ll probably be back-up to Saka) which makes me wonder whether we’ll be looking to cut our losses and sell Pepe? Not saying that will definitely happen or that I want it to, but you can’t help but wonder!!

Cranky Colin

Buy him another ticket to Dubai


Slow and steady wins the race, I think considering it has been the ‘lesser’ teams with really struggled with, I think we can continue this run, and hopefully everyone else continues to take points off each other.

Mhizta Ralph

To be honest I was happy when we nabbed partey on deadline day instead of Houssem Aouar. He is a player we are going to enjoy for a long time. The kind of authority he possess is top-notch. He’s more of Patrick Viera and carzola combined. Watching him plays makes me wonder if he’s a defensive, attacking or a central midfielder. The guy is just too good👌

Three Steps Sideways

Looks like Xhaka just won the ‘One potato, two potato’ game.


Why can’t we exchange Pepe with Wolves’s Neto?