Friday, September 30, 2022

Arteta on a slow start, City’s quality, a big week & Holding’s injury

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal paid the price for their slow start against Manchester City as Raheem Sterling headed home inside two minutes to seal a 1-0 win at the Emirates.

The boss bemoaned his players’ failure to cope with overloads on Kieran Tierney’s flank and a lack of quality in the final third on an afternoon when Pep Guardiola’s side kept us at arm’s length with ease.

Here’s what he had to say when he faced the Sky Sports cameras…

On a bad start being costly…

Absolutely, the way we conceded the first goal put us in a really difficult situation. After one or two minutes, to concede against them is tough. It put the game exactly where they wanted it and even more with the formation and the players that they used, with the false 9 they are really comfortable and want to drag you out, to start to jump on them and create the spaces. When you are one-nil down you start to do that. After that the team reacted really well, we were on top of the game, we started to generate chances, to generate momentum in the opponent’s half but we lacked the quality when we got in those situations to score a goal. 

On whether his player’s made a slow start or if City were excellent…

We got something wrong. We talked about something and we didn’t do it in the first five to 10 minutes; the overloads on one of the sides. And still, it’s a cross from Mahrez – you know it’s coming – and Sterling cannot head that ball. He’s clever and it’s really good execution but if you want to win against them you cannot concede that goal. 

On what they did wrong…

It was a tactical thing that we prepared but we weren’t able to read it in the game. That costs us because we are disorganised every time we want to be aggressive in the high press. 

On how they grew into the match…

The moment we clicked it, we started to do what we prepared and they found it difficult to beat that. We got momentum, we felt more comfortable because things were going [our way]. I think we were really good on the ball against their pressing and we could find really good spaces. When we were there at the end, around the box, in the final third, we lacked picking the right pass for a goal. 

On creating space down the left with Tierney and Saka…

We tried to use some weaknesses that we thought we could exploit. There are not many because they are a fantastic team. When you see that ability, you see why they are top of the league. Every single player, the organisation they have, the spirit they have, how they compete when they had to in the final few minutes, they are a top side. 

On how good City are…

I don’t know. Today, they played a little bit different because they played without a striker. But within their organisation, they can do so many things, they are really, really good, they’ve had five years together so there’s a big understanding of what they have to do. They manage the situations really well. 

On a big week ahead…

We have a final on Thursday because we want to continue in the competition, we need to recover. It was a really demanding game for both teams today, a really intense game. We need to sleep well, eat, we’re not going to have much time to train and then we have to travel to Greece to play. 

On Rob Holding’s head injury…

He’s fine, it will take him a few days probably [to recover] but he seems ok.

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Two finals I would say. Leicester is a big game for us. So much depends on Partey being back we’re so much weaker without him.

Glen Helders left foot

We’re weak full stop, we’re in 10th and fully deserve to be there bang average. I do believe we’ve taken a step forward this season but other teams,villa,Everton,hammers, have all taken 3 or 4 steps forward. Arteta is an average to poor coach from what I’ve seen real pity we didn’t get anchelotti when we had the chance, he’s got a worse squad and less money than us but is clearly out performing us


Less money 😂😂😂

Glen Helders left foot

We spend a fortune on shite, check out their wage bill compared to us, they’ve never spent 72,50 million on players, they’re not an overpaid retirement home for Chelsea rejects

A Different George

No Chelsea rejects for them; they chose to go for ours instead (Theo and Iwobi).

The Arsenal

Its been this way for a long time also. It began under Wenger. Selling our best players and shit recruitment/replacements. A slow decline at first but then the nails in the coffin was purchasing Xhaxa and Mustafi which definitely expedited the process to where we are now.

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Kroenke can probably buy belarus

Johnny 4 Hats

Wouldn’t that be a great way to get Hleb in an Arsenal shirt again…

Quentin Quarantino

I think Arteta should get another couple of windows to finish his squad rebuild, but agree that we were bang average today… no better than Brighton.

Glen Helders left foot

I’m not trying to be reactionary but do you think Arteta will do anything with us? I feel he’s a poor manager, his team selections and substitutions are baffling, he has clear favourites in the squad (Willian,bellerin,Auba)whilst others get little to no chances(Martinelli,AMN, Pepe) and his man management has to be questioned(Saliba,nelson) . Honest question, what do people see in him that makes you think he’ll be a success?

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Outside of top 6 (😭) after a full season should mean we move on. Lets see if we sneak into Europe, hard to defend his case if we don’t.

Glen Helders left foot

Just wondering why the 2 people voted down? All I did was ask a question, would it not be better to give an answer and your view

Johnny 4 Hats

We don’t take kindly to questions round here.

But we are partial to a bit of good ol’ fashioned thumb tappin’.

Quentin Quarantino

Correct Johnny. Can’t say anything negative. People on here only like Unicorns and puppies ..


Not to be pedantic, but it is not true that all you did was ask a question. You gave your opinion on Arteta as a manager (that he is poor) so it seems reasonable to down vote to show disagreement with your comment. And in answer to your question, I would say results (in terms of an FA cup win), a turn around in form, an improved defense, an increase in shot creation over the past few weeks, an increase in attacking fluidity and still being in the europa league are all reasons to think Arteta can be a success… Read more »


what turn around in form?


Well, it is was a pretty low bar, and one it appears we will not recover from as far as league position, but we are playing miles better than when people were talking about possible relegation. But I believe that the team and Arteta has learned and grown from that time and has shown an upward trajectory in terms of form. I think we have something to build on and it is reasonable to hold out hope fora europa league win and an improvement in league position. I guess time will tell.


Exactly this!

The Arsenal

Not allowed to criticise Arteta here. Gotten us to the lofty heights of 10th. Cant criticise Bellerin hes been here since he was 15 years old he gets the club. Cant criticise Xhaxa, he had 4 good games in a row. It makes up for the 4 seasons of absolute shite and its no coincidence that we fell out of the top 6 and continue to fall with him an ever present.


For me our problems go way beyond Arteta, and in my opinion he is kinda destined to fail — no matter how talented he is. At the moment the huge disparity between us and City boils down to these two main facets; 1) they have a proper footballing structure in place comprised of senior executives with years of experience that are further reinforced by a solid robust governance framework put in place at boardroom level that runs right the way up to the ownership. 2) that efficiency in the boardroom is then able to manage and deliver on an effective… Read more »


I said all of this in the summer and was escorted from the building for Kroenke bashing.

I also said it was folly to sign Willian and omit Ozil – we then make our worst start to a league campaign for four decades – and people still refuse to face facts.

Most people on this site live in a mid table mediocrity dream world.

Quentin Quarantino

We are 10th in the league with a pretty good squad of players. Look at the teams ahead of us with the same or lesser squads. Something is wrong !

The Arsenal

They play better football than us.

The Arsenal

I think Arteta is an incredible coach but a poor/new manager.


ELEVEN Premier League defeats now for Mikel Arteta this season and only one win in the last six games too. Yet some Arsenal fans will call you crazy for even considering the fact that Arteta should be sacked.

Something major has to happen for the club to justify keeping him in.

Naked Cygan

We can’t even beat Villa. What are you chasing the League? top 4? top 6? top 8? only reason we are in Europe is that we won the FA Cup. After Leicester, we got Burnley, Spurs, West Ham, and Liverpool.

The Arsenal

This is Artetas time.



Cobbbler No1

I’m quite looking forward to that 6 pointer against Liverpool though.

The Arsenal

Our next 6 games..ooof.


Odegaar kept us ticking but didn’t influence the game. …


The players look exhausted, I think we did quite well to nullify city after the goal. Sterling showed good movement to score despite the fact the the back line were clearly not fully switched on.


I just can’t understand how we were on top of our game. What is he talking about?


I know. I can’t watch the post match interviews any more.


feels like the end of days of emery


He talks complete rubbish hes like a robot that just spouts out cliches.
He seems happy to lose games by the odd goal rather than take a risk to get back into the game why leave on both xhaka and elneny when we needed a goal both offer nothing going forward.
even at 1-0 down we show no urgency to attack and never build any pressure on teams we spend all game going backwards and sideways then playing balls into the channels or aimless crosses.
So negative and boring to watch i can hardly be bothered watching the games anymore


I think, and that in no way should be taken as an insult to Mikel, but at the best he still is an assistant coach. I think it is way too early for him. I don’t say I’m right but that’s just my opinion. You can’t simply partner two similar (if not the same) players (Xhaka and Elneny). On the defensive note might have logic but things complicate here. You can have them both but if you have a team that is well trained to play lighting fast counter attacks. Or play long balls. Or maybe use the wings and… Read more »

The Arsenal

Think he was saving the legs for the Benfica game and he was scared to rile city incase they came out of 1st gear


I had that impression when we played Benfica, saving legs for City at the weekend. Is that becoming an excuse?


ELEVEN Premier League defeats now for Mikel Arteta this season and only one win in the last six games too. Yet some Arsenal fans will call you crazy for even considering the fact that Arteta should be sacked.

Something major has to happen for the club to justify keeping him in.

The Arsenal

Only way I could explain the performance. Why are we starting slow and switched off against city. The more I see Sterlings goal the angrier I get.


Elneny doubled up as extra defender, and can. Never be expected to make a difference going forward, more deal with the massive threat city caused our back line. While that threat could have killed the game early on, I agree we should have done our substitutes minimum 20 mins earlier.


I must say Xhaka did fairly well, he both tried and succeeded a handful of line cutting through passes, to me he was with Saka the 2 most productive players on the night. tierney tried really well but clearly lacks a few % of match fitness, Odegard looked shocked, and didn’t play with the confidence required to make a real difference, mostly opting for safe simple solutions Elneny style.


Tactically I agree odegard made a lot of sense as starter, but this game probably came a few weeks to early for a such a tough test


And also I could do without seeing the Arsenal and City players getting all chummy in their nationality groups after the game. Save that for the tunnel when the cameras are off.

A Different George

Thanks, Roy.

Naked Cygan

“We need to sleep well, eat, we’re not going to have much time to train and then we have to travel to Greece to play.”

So why the fk did you not rest the first team? Did he really think he could beat city today? Leno, Bellerin, Xhaka, Tierney, Saka, and Auba should have been rested today. Maybe give Tierney 45 min game time max. Very poor game management. Laca and Martinelli have been sitting on the bench for what?


This is the worry part




Disagree. If your players are fit and focused. You play your strongest team. We were playing Man City, the best team in the league. The players wouldn’t want to be dropped for this game. 4 days is a good amount of time to recover and prepare for the Benfica match.


They made us dizzy in the first 30 minutes, and were never really troubled after that

Hopefully our players can make it through the next 2 games without doing anything erratic….

sore eyes

aubas first touch today, criminal, thought Ceballos should of come half time, another early sloppy goal giveaway just like at villa, need Partey fit asap


I agree ceballos should have been give more time, but not already at halftime, we needed a controlled start, our confidence and subsequent quality rate in passing was to low going into half time, we had ensure we started 2nd half defensively solid, but yes 5 mins from time is way to late, 20-30 mins and he we would have a chance to get into the game and make an impact.

Ray Middleton

I was an insipid performance, with Tierney coming out as the only one trying. Saka should have been on the right and Pepe left because that is where our best performances have been. We are miles behind City but we could have hurt them if we were more adventurous. Try to make a forward pass instead of looking for the easy pass. We need a complete overhaul of our midfield and ship out some more players. Ceballos isn’t worth buying and what I saw of Odergaard, he was weak. We should be able to play better football and someone pointed… Read more »


Disagree with most points, the poor defending at their goal was indeed uninspiring, given the mission impossible it left us with against a super in form and for years fine tuned and complete Corey team, we did pretty ok, we did lack the confidence to convert promising situations, but we showed spine and tactical prominence to limit city to fairly few chances. It’s not a step forward to celebrate but it certainly wasn’t a step backwards.

The Arsenal

So mediocre in the middle of the park..So ill suited to what is needed nowadays. Mr mannequin and Mr sideways. Does not matter which Cms play they are all average accept Partey Kills our entire team. When Auba plays he is isolated when Laca plays he comes way to deep to either collect or give the option on the half way. That happens when your midfield is so poor. Cant pass forward with any intent or speed, cant dribble or travel with the ball. Got me crying out for Alex Song let alone any of the greats we had.

Cobbler No1

Far and away the worst thing about that defeat was that city came dressed as spu*s. Why would they do that? It’s not effing halloween.


Maybe he should have played Holding and Martí in the week to get their match tempo checked, and Certainly got Laca in as no9 in 2nd half, it puzzles me why he waited so long considering how bleak Auba was. But overall Arteta did a lot of things right, with Saka and Xhaka both playing with bravery and intent some of the others looked a bit to shocked by City’s monstrous performance and confidence to apply.


Arteta is well worth our trust gentlemen, it doesn’t mean he is destined to make us invincibles again, but if he manages to set sail again on this for to long dysfunctional ship he will have done wonders. Can’t expect full speed against city, it’s a balance act of survive with chance to win it, we have probably never met a more inform City before, and yet did better then most times.

Cliff Bastin

I’m actually okay with city winning the league because they don’t have fans in my country.


Arteta needs time. We’re headed in the right direction. Squad clear out is almost complete, and now he’ll have the chance to bring in his players.

The performances have vastly improved since the start of the season, despite results not going our way. His substitutions are questionable, but he’ll figure that out. Give the man time.

Maxin In The Shade

Exactly this.

Did people just expect him to come in and, just like that, make us a dominant force? I’m not even too fussed about not making Europe for next season.

I think he’s laid a good foundation to build on, the performances overall have definitely gotten better, but he also needs some more time.

The whole ‘Arteta Out!’ brigade after every loss is nauseating.

Spanish Gooner

Nobody has expected him to turn us into a dominant force, but we’re 10th. We’ll be the underdogs against West Ham next week, and we could well go out (again) at the last 32 of the Europa. Arteta is essentially arguing that he can’t do anything with our players, but we’re NEVER going to spend £200m and have 25 world class players, so he needs to learn how to find a system that is accesible for Nelson, Lacazette, Pepe etc.

Gudang Bedil

Another early goal. We should just park the bus for the first ten minutes and play normally after.

I don’t get why Arteta would put Pepe on the right again, he’s not on the same wavelength with Bellerin and vice versa. It seems like they never train together.


Imagine if Partey was there in all those situations instead of Elneny.. Imagine if Zaha was there in all those places instead of Pepe.. Pepe makes me lose all the enthusiasm I have about the match.. so underwhelming..

Murphy was an Arsenal Fan

Imagine nobody’s injured It’s easy if you try Sixteen teams below us And then pigs will fly Imagine all he Gooners, agreeing for a day Imagine all fair referees, VAR’s all good too Nothing to groan or cry ’bout No bad decision too Imagine, all the Gooners, living life in peace, oh You may say, I am a dreamer, Y’know Partey is the One I hope some day Zaha joins us And the League will be won Imagine substitutions Well done, and on time Saving leads, no hand-wringers Not Willy, that’s a crime Imagine all the Gooners, sharing in the… Read more »


We are exactly where our play can get us to. We hardly make teams suffer even if we were going to loose. We have been like this for long, no spine and grit, no real number 10. No much creatively going forward. The city team is beatable, we just made thing easier for them.


The goal looked silly but it was really good work from Sterling


Won 10, Lost 11, Drawn 4, 13 games left.
Kroenke FC 2021: pure mediocrity.

Murphy was an Arsenal Fan

It is tough to state how much the absence of a proper ball-winner has hurt us over the years. Even now, the absence of Partey is like a hole in the team. As for Arteta, there has been some improvement, but there has definitely not been any consistency. Without consistency, it leaves Arsenal in the exact position we deserve at this point, notwithstanding some pretty harsh, game-turning decisions in some matches. Not losing badly seems creditable, honestly, and that is bad. Not on the #ArtetaOut bandwagon, doubt I will ever be, but one has to admit that he didn’t raise… Read more »

Murphy was an Arsenal Fan

Tough to understate*


A mental blunder in the first 5 minutes and then the team switched on and played an even competitive match with the best team in the league by far—small margins. Pep’s glowing praise of Arteta afterword is testament to the quality of his his management. Something is brewing at this club. Yes, more quality players are needed and yes, the team is still learning to play Arteta’s way but we are progressing. I believe Arteta’s out man long term.


There comes a time/week/weekend every season where things really really really fall apart, i think this is that time/week/weekend…


It’s like City is cryptonite to our players sapping them of all physichal and mental powers. Playing City we look like a team doing the motions, but have no hope of victory.» If we don’t bother them, we might get away with a decent loss».. . We should go out there, do the rotating foul routine as City does, and let each tackle be a little more brutal than necessary. Would perhaps lost anyway, but with more pride.


Benfica is the more important game. We need to win bc if we are out of Europe, it will be highly problematic in the summer. The next game against Leicester is an opportunity. That is also a must win bc as much as we have flattered to deceive and are still in 10th, we are 6 points adrift of 40 and should we put in a decent run of 4 or 5 matches can still close the gap. Of course, standing in the way are several teams with games in hand. But whilst City maybe a bridge too far for… Read more »


To be honest i think a season out of europe will do us good we wont spend big whatever happens and we arent at the top table to recruit the best anyway.
Arsenal is still a big club and players come to the premier league mainly due to the high wages.
Other teams that arent in europe buy good players and improve.
we could do better in the league with a smaller squad and less games.
Im bored of the europa league now anyway its so dull and so many games.

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