Arteta: We were nowhere near the level we needed to be

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Mikel Arteta didn’t hide his frustration as Arsenal relied on their first-leg 3-1 advantage to secure a place in the Europa League quarter-finals at the expense of Olympiacos.

For the second season in succession, the Greeks beat the Gunners at the Emirates but on this occasion, Youssef El-Arabi’s strike wasn’t enough to make us pay for a number of missed opportunities.

After the game, Arteta faced the BT Sport cameras. Here’s what he had to say…

On what it means to go through…

Obviously, we’re really happy to go through. We had a tough opponent. We knew that. We knew that they weren’t going to give up. I’m happy to be through. At the same time, we have to be fair with ourselves and today we were nowhere near the levels we set ourselves.

On the performance…

We weren’t stable on the ball. We gave so many easy balls away and had transition moments. It’s impossible when you give the ball away to have any structure and discipline in your shape. It’s true that we missed a lot of chances. We conceded one chance, I think with the long ball from the keeper in the first half. We created enough chances to win the game but we were nowhere near the level we should be.

On why his players underperformed…

It has been a demanding week but I don’t think we have to use any excuses. We have refreshed the team, we had players who were fresh and we know the importance of the competition. We started the game really well actually but then we started to give balls away and that creates insecurity and a lack of stability. It’s something we have to do much better.

On why he sent on Partey and Odegaard…

We needed to keep the ball. At least keep the ball in the right areas and play some passes together and get together as a team and not keep giving the ball away with transitions and defending open spaces. Physically as well, after the effort we made a few days ago, it becomes difficult to handle.

On how frustrating it was to watch…

When we conceded 1-0, to be fair, we got better. We got more control and I can’t think of any chances that we conceded. But we put ourselves in a difficult position because we give them some belief. It’s something you can’t give to the opponent.

On letting themselves down in moments…

Yes and that’s where everything started in the first half. We had four or five situations where we were completely open to make the next pass and we’re through in one-on-one situations and we didn’t. That led to counter-attack situations and it breaks the team completely. Again, we’ll get better.

On if he can teach that out of the players…

I don’t know. When it comes to decision making and execution it becomes a little bit more difficult but we have to find a way.

On ending the pre-Interlull period with a win on Sunday…

We need a win in the Premier League to give ourselves a much bigger chance after the break to put a run together. We’ll try to go there and win the game.

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Johnny 4 Hats

Mikel – “You lot were… Oh, sorry Martin, could you put your fingers in your ears babe. Thanks. Right, you lot were fucking shite!”

JeremyDG

I mean I could go on about how annoying it was that we made hard work of one of the most terrible European teams I have seen play at the Emirates but then I remembered:

1) We are through, pretty comfortably if truth be told
2) We never looked like exerting too much energy into this one (understandable) and we were still the better team.
3) Spurs lost a 2-0 lead to a bunch of Croatian nobodies. Every year that lot do something so magnificent it just makes all of our flaws melt away. Beautiful. Poetry. Thank you.

Johnny 4 Hats

Im not a spiritual or a religious guy. But this is pure karma for Jose. He was so disrespectful to so many, especially Arsene who is a thousand times the man Jose is. He even had another dig after Wenger released his book so it wasn’t just mind games to get a sporting edge. Life has a wonderful way of balancing things out. And if you act badly on the way up, you’re going to get the shit kicked out of you on the down. This is karma. This is what being humbled is, if a mind like Jose can… Read more »

Var Will Solve The Problem

Amen to that! Don’t think I ever laughed so hard after a 1-0 defeat!
What was it that Blogs said…a “Cocktail of Glee”…well this was downright a feast!
He deserves what he got and more…TottenCunts and Mourinho…a match made in the most slimiest sewer! And that’s where they belong forever.

Urs Seiler

You take the words right out of my mind …

John

I thought it was pure karma already when he took the job of managing a team with a toilet bowl stadium. I got a bit worried for a minute that I might have been wrong, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that Mourinho is being thoroughly sp*rsed, and sp*rs is being thoroughly Mourinhoed.

Twatsloch

Sunday we beat them and saw off one of their cunt players with a 3 match ban. Today they send themselves out of the EL against a team way beneath their level. My former boss who is a Thunder Spud and a massive arsehole is going to have a fit. Almost makes we wish I still worked for him just so I could see his sour face tomorrow.

Maxcat

Hallmark pick me up bouquet.

Winterburns right wand

Sp*rs fans must be feeling pretty unwell right now. Oršić at least!

DublinGooner

Chapeau

Hurensohn

“We needed to keep the ball. At least keep the ball in the right areas and play some passes together and get together as a team and not keep giving the ball away with transitions and defending open spaces. Physically as well, after the effort we made a few days ago, it becomes difficult to handle.” – So why take Elneny off? He’s the only player we have that reliably keeps his composure and he didn’t play at the weekend.

btw

Agree, Partey was arguably worse -giving the ball away and committing fouls on the edge of our box, and not just this game.

Charles

He’s been genuinely bad since his last spell out. We just keep getting less and less out of senior players, but they’re about the only ones Mikel seems to want or trust.

Var Will Solve The Problem

Mo made some bad passes too. So i wanted Arteta to make the exact two subs that he made. The thing is one would have no idea that Partey would be playing bad too. By that time it was too late. I think Luis and Xhaka needs to calm things down when passes go wrong not yell and shout about it too much. You could see it made few players even more jittery. Sometimes just taking things normally calms everything down. It shows confidence whereas yelling only leads to more nerveousness.

Russ

I think some of them looked knackered. Louis and Tierney certainly did and it’s to be expected a bit really

Jonny 3 Hats

Elneny turned over the ball repeatedly tonight. Typically he does have composure but I clearly remember yelling at the Egyptian King several times for losing the ball. We are through.

Chippy Brady

Haha it’s funny the way anybody talking about football now has to say the word “transitions” at least 4 times to sound intelligent. Even bloody Sidwell was at it on commentary.

Charles

We often aren’t Mikel. What’s your plan?

SB Still

We really need to get much tougher mentally.

We so nervous once they scored and again couldn’t take advantage when the opponents were a man down.

Ozzie

Just stop moaning everyone, how can you not enjoy tonight’s events? 🙂

Canmore Gunner

It was very boring, no real passion or inspired play. And far too much yelling at teammates. Other than the remnants of last week’s games, this was nothing to cheer about.

Gunner08

He was talking about sp*rs gettin eliminated

afl

Unfortunatelly our manager is also nowhere near the level we need him to be.

Matthinc

???

George

The decision-making in possession was dreadful last night. That is the reason we picked up when Partey and Odegaard came on – they respect possession and look after the ball. Ceballos in particular tries hard, is capable of flashes of brilliance and competent spells but does not have top level concentration or decision making. It’s not really fair to pick out Ceballos, because that summary can apply to so many of them. It’s very frustrating when they are all so technically gifted. The thing that worries me, is that after a sustained period of attempted education, the messages around decision… Read more »

Gunner08

Arteta arteta just watch sp*rs vs Zagreb highlights and you’ll be fine in no time chap