Arteta: Gunners must learn from Sunday to avoid Greek tragedy

12

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal must learn from the final 15 minutes of Sunday’s derby victory against Sp*rs warning a repeat of the collywobbles could prove costly when Olympiacos visit the Emirates on Thursday. 

The Greeks are well versed in overturning first-leg deficits – they did it at the Emirates last season – and while the circumstances are different – we have a two-goal advantage and three away goals to our name – this Arsenal team like nothing more than self-destructing at inopportune moments. 

While we just about clung onto the three points at the weekend, the fact the players’ legs collectively turned to jelly after Erik Lamela’s red card was a clear demonstration of how our self-belief constantly teeters on a knife-edge. 

Asked what his side need to do differently to manage a lead for 90 minutes, Arteta said: “Everything different from what we did on Sunday against 10 men. 

“We have to stop giving simple balls away, stop putting ourselves in trouble, give a clear direction of where we want to have the ball in those minutes. And play simple. And be sure that we win and manage the situation much better than we did.”

He added: “Sometimes, it happens. Sometimes, one or two actions leads to momentum for the opponent, you get a little bit more tense and you start to have the fear of losing something. 

“It’s much better to have the energy to win and not think about maintaining [what you have] or not losing because then you start to play much more restricted. You lose the flow of the game and your confidence. It’s something we cannot do.”

He was also asked what he’s learned from last year’s painfully late exit at the hands of tomorrow’s opponents. 

“We went out because the tie was open,” he said. “We had to manage the game in the last few minutes. We conceded two set pieces on the day and we missed some big chances. 

“When you do that, these are defining things in both boxes and we didn’t define the tie when we had the opportunities. Tomorrow we know we need to do that better.”

The Gunners are expected to field a strong lineup for the game. The only doubt is Bukayo Saka who is facing a late fitness test. 

guest
12 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Var Will Solve The Problem

Last year was completely different. This team is much more cohesive and have finally found their identity. Arteta finally have found the formula to win with style where his team can express them selves without sacrificing the defensive solidity. Those results before the Chelsea game are already a distant memorry to me…and board should deserve some credit for sticking with him despite those results. Had there been crowd in the stadium, i think those results would have been enough to get him the sack (pre-Chelsea). I dont think there is any better candidate to manage Arsenal at this time. Only… Read more »

Johnny 4 Hats

I can’t quite work out why a season with Emery where we finished 5th filled me with despair. But a season with Arteta where we are tenth and I’m quietly optimistic.

Funny ol’ game.

EmileSmithWhoa

Perhaps…Clear expectations, consistent individual rectifications, tactical realizations, lack of fan antagonizations.

Duno

Thank you for sharing my exact same thoughts.

Guns Up

Agree with basically all of this. The notable absence (or at least diminishing volume) of comments from the “Arteta out” brigade in the comments lately has been a breath of fresh air. They still have a few straws at which they clutch, but as you say, even Willian’s mystifying presence in the side is far more tolerable when results are going our way.

Doghouse

I can only guess what Miki said when he decided to put on Elneny & Willian ” ok guys we are under pressure what I need from you is to retain the ball, no giving away silly free kicks, keep the ball in their half, run down the clock ” yet they did the opposite, our sports psychologists at the club really need to start earning their bread, how many times this season we look good go a goal up then that headless chicken syndrome slowly starts to creep in, the only time i can relax a bit is when… Read more »

Var Will Solve The Problem

I am sure someone as intelligent as Arteta will get to the bottom of it. It is obviously a problem and starts a snowball effect on the entire team. It was so bad that I almost resigned myself to the inevitability of Harry Cunt scoring the equalizer…that way I would at least be prepared for the agony, despair and the bitter taste that comes from conceeding a last minute equalizer, specially to that lot. And it would have been crushing to the players as well….who knows what would have been the long term effect of that. But I have faith… Read more »

Rich

I like Arteta, but it’s the players on the pitch who win and lose football games What’s changed since Xmas is Smith-Rowe returning to fitness and taking his chance And loaning Odegaard from Real Madrid in January It’s allowed us to move to a back 4, and exert more control in the final third Going into the season without a fit or registered attacking midfielder was negligent, and poor squad planning It did workout well though, through more luck than judgment, because getting a player of the quality of Odegaard on loan in January, almost never happens, hopefully we can… Read more »

Duno

Oh. He’s a Real player alright.

Steve Vallins

No preseason and fatigue were the problems on Sunday in the last 10 minutes , the players legs weren’t working .

Gunner08

I don’t think saka will play I just pray to god we give the start to martenelli. If I see Willian playing in the starting lineup I will freak

Matthinc

Get ready to freak