Arteta: We have to stop giving sides goals


Arsenal will take a two-goal advantage back to the Emirates after securing a creditable 3-1 win against Olympiacos in Athens.

Martin Odegaard’s first half rocket broke the deadlock before Youssef El Arabi took advantage of another defensive lapse at the back to level on 58 minutes. After riding out a nervy spell, the Gunners finally sealed the win courtesy of late goals by Gabriel and Mohamed Elneny

After the game, Mikel Arteta answered questions from BT Sport. Here’s what he had to say…

On the performance…

I think we started the game really well, very dominant, creating a lot of chances. We should have scored at least two or three in the first half but as well, we gave them two chances. After that, we started well again and we give them the goal trying to play out from the back and then we reacted really well to score two more goals. We probably should have scored one more. Overall, a lot of positive things. The result is positive, the performance as well, but we have to stop making the errors that are costing goals. You cannot sustain that at this level.

On how he stops the lapses in concentration…

It’s not concentration. It’s about when you play the ball. It’s not about the structure or the decision-making, it’s about when you play the ball, it makes all the difference. It’s not about stopping the way we play, because this is us. And we get a lot of rewards from it. It’s about identifying when we can do it and how we have to do it.

On whether that’s work that needs to happen in training or in games…

It’s reading the situations, training it when we have more time, which we don’t have because we play every three days, and keep consistent. The worst thing we can do is get the structure to play and then not be willing to play. That’s a big mistake. You do that and then it’s better to play long.

On his favourite goal…

We were really solid, really dominant. We showed real personality to come here and dominate like what we did. The next step is to do that for 96 minutes and give absolutely nothing to the opponent. We’re not there yet.

On the job only being half done…

Yeah, this is half time. In Europe, anything can happen, you’re playing some really good opponents. You know the moment they have anything, they have the ability to create and score goals. Full focus, we start nil-nil in the second leg and we try to win the game again.

On being encouraged by the attacking performance…

Yes, it’s true. We’ve had some of the best moments we’ve played this season, understanding the spaces, the quality, the rhythm, the way we attack the spaces, how we link with each other. It was great. We need to do it for longer periods in the game.

On Thomas Partey being subbed…

It was a tactical decision.

On a good result ahead of the North London derby…

Yeah, of course when you come here and win the game it gives you confidence. It will be a completely different game against our rivals but I’m very excited to play against them.

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How on earth is that gift of a goal not about the decision making?

The Arsenal

How long you take to pass is a decision.


I’m glad we stuffed them in the end. Let’s do the same to them at our place!

The Arsenal

7 of our last 14 goals conceded have been from a major individual error. Sometimes multiple errors like the Tielemans goal.

Var Will Solve The Problem

Tactical decision to sub Partey? While Willian ambling around contributing nothing in 2nd half ? And why does he have this unwillingness to make a sub early? Willian, Oddegaard both had a drop in performance in the 2nd half…could he not bring Pepe and ESR or Laca for those two earlier?….i was pulling my hair out during 70 minutes…like wtf! I love Arteta but this kind of stubbornness with Willian and not playing Pepe will cost him his job in the end. I cant understand it. I know Willian delivered the cross for the 2nd goal…but this was Olympiakos…much more… Read more »


WIllian’s last 4 assists have been ultimate lightweight. Leaves the assistee with all to do. Misleading in what he contributes. He’s a chelski @unt. And he’s largely still a passenger. But we’re stuck w/him. Hes had a season w/o injury and is just crap. Slow, lazy, disinterested. Is on big wages and we’re basically stuck w/him. But here we are. (That’s my positive spin on it!)

MA is going nowhere. He’s the gaffer this term and next.

All in all, its a good win. 3 away goals. Finish the job next week Gunners.

Var Will Solve The Problem

MA is taking this team to the right direction but he needs to learn from his mistakes. If they can shut out Ozil who was on a bigger salary, why not Willian? Willian is trying but i dont think he has the legs to play as a winger or to even tracking back, specially in 2nd half. Pepe is contributing in pressing, also have started tracking back as well as creating goal scoring situations. And he is way faster. I can’t understand why he is not starting or at least getting minimum of 30 mins a game. Sometimes I feel… Read more »

Reality check

Ozil, like pepe, wasn’t Arteta’s player whereas he vouched for Willian. If Pepe had played as much and as regularly as Willian, I am sure he would’ve looked much closer to a 72mil player that he is.

No foot Norbert

Willian was decent today and I’m not his biggest fan. He had some really nice moments of interplay.


Decent, sure. 6/10. His final ball was poor most of the night (good cross for the assit, but still that is 90% just down to Gabriel being a beast – all Willian did was hang the ball up into a decent area). He is a very conservative possession holder on the team. It doesn’t hurt us much having him out there, but he contributes very little to creating or scoring goals. His assist numbers definitely inflate his contributions.


He does a lot of standing around as well.

Timorous Me

I don’t think Willian was particularly good today, but I don’t get the sense that he’s ambling about much anymore. In fact, I thought he had some quietly effective moments in his own half tonight in tracking back or clearing the ball from some mildly dangerous situations. (I still only rated him a 6, but even that is an improvement.)

The Arsenal

If Partey has a blinder against spuds Arteta is a Genius. If he doesn’t he is the dumbest manager ever. Thats the margins he is playing with.
Agree with the Willian and Odegaard subs.. Again maybe he was saving the others for Spuds.


Yeah, I thought the same thing. If it was only tactical (and not fitness related) then it was a mistake. The game turned COMPLETELY when Partey went off. While he wasn’t great in this one, he coughed the ball up a bit too often, his abilities draw so much cover from the opposition. With that cover Xhaka is always in space in his deeper role. Xhaka in space is a danger for the opposition. As soon as Partey went off the Greeks pressed Xhaka because they didn’t fear Dani. We lost momentum, we lost drive, we lost possession and we… Read more »


We won’t be making so many mistakes if he did not insist on playing this way. Its become dogmatic that we play out from the back. Other teams do it but not as deep or as rigidly enforced as us. And today we almost Saw Luiz repeat what Xhaka did again with another suicide pass unnecessarily across the 6 yard box. Then Ceballos comes on and attempts to dribble in that central area just ahead of the box with little cover if things go wrong. This has happen before not just with Ceballos but even Partey. These are mistakes waiting… Read more »


Yup, we’re playing with fire with Luiz. Also a little with Xhaka, but the alternative aren’t great and Xhaka is actually very well suited to partnering Partey due to the latter’s ability to draw midfield defensive cover away from Xhaka. Luiz, there really isn’t much excuse for him playing – Holding and Mari are sitting there waiting to play. Luiz is a great defender 95% of the time and an absolute disaster 5% of the time. Why gamble with that?


Cmon, it won’t hurt to tell your favorite goal.


Can we do a Top 10 of brainfart goals we’ve conceded this season? Xhaka, Luiz, and Ceballos competing for topfarter I think?

  1. Xhaka fake tough guy red-card
  2. Pepe head-butttouch
  3. Ceballos header benfica
  4. Xhaka pass to Chris Wood
  5. Luiz red against Wolves (why run behind the strikers legs)
  6. Leno red against Wolves…
  7. Leno pass to Ceballos against Olympiacos (Leno’s way more to blame)

Top 7 is all I got off the top of my head.


It’s a good list but I’d take out Luiz vs Wolves. It was heinous officiating which I am still furious about and it cost us the game. The striker kicked luiz while pulling back his foot to shoot and VAR took 5 seconds to not overturn what was an obvious, costly error after taking ages to try and overturn our goal. It was disgusting. I don’t get as emotional about Arsenal as I used to (age/I’ve taken enough beatings) but this was as angry as I’ve been since that disgusting game against Shearer’s Newcastle all those years ago which convinced… Read more »


Was that the 4-4 draw?


Gabriel’s 2nd yellow 3 minutes after his first? The Luiz one was the worst card /call ever. I know every team has some luck / decisions go against them but man these red cards have cost us what 7-10 points.