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.