Fine goals from Emile Smith Rowe, Nicolas Pepe and Willian put West Bromwich Albion to the sword as Arsenal ran out 3-1 winners at the Emirates.
After the game, Mikel Arteta faced the BT Sport cameras. Here’s what he had to say…
On the win…
We needed that win. It’s been a while since we won at home so obviously, it was really important to get the three points. We scored three fantastic goals and we had spells in the game; some brilliant spells where we could have scored many more. Then when we conceded the goal, we looked nervy.
On his side’s nervousness…
We knew the necessity to win the game. We wanted to put that right today. The moment they scored on the counter-attack – that we didn’t defend well – they went man-to-man and they started to throw everything at us, obviously, they know the situation they are in, we struggled to play that kind of game. After we got some control when we got Thomas [Partey] on the pitch and then we scored the winner.
On the goals…
They were fantastic goals and we could have scored some more. We missed some big chances as well.
On scoring tonight when we didn’t on Thursday…
Yes, but Europe is a completely different game, a different context. An inch in football decides whether you’re in a final or not and we needed a little bit of luck and it didn’t happen. Obviously, there were things we could have done much better. It was a really tough one.
On goals from Smith Rowe, Pepe and Willian…
It’s the first Premier League goal for Emile. We’re demanding from him standards her [lifts hand high] and what he’s done is still here [lowers hand]. What he’s done is at a top club and he’s done well but when you look at his numbers, he hasn’t done that enough. We cannot put those demands on him. With Willian, we have to because he’s done it in the past and we have to demand it much more. The same with Nico [Pepe], he needs to do that in a more consistent way. With the young kids, patience.
On Saka at left-back…
Going forward, we know he’s a real threat and gives us something unique, the same as KT. Defensively, there is a lot of things to work on with him, but he adapted. We knew we were going to attack against them, the way they set up and to be fair, it gave us a lot of joy.
Why is he still manager?
Odegaard out of the side and Smith Rowe has a great game, coincidence perhaps?
Smith Rowe will be a bigger star than Saka
Not sure about the thought process behind your comment, both are destined to become mega stars
The dude’s just a wind up merchant; a troll.
What a crass remark. They clearly could both become world class players. It’s also clear for one and all to see that Saka probably has the edge on ESR in terms of development, but so what? They’re both great lads. The more pressing issue for this club – and us as it’s fans – is making sure we can hang on to them. Such is the downward trajectory we’re currently in – we’re in fucking free fall if you ask me – that already I’m concerned about whether they’ll both want to remain Arsenal players if the current regime is… Read more »
Unlikely to stay with us so no real point of playing him at this stage. Same should apply for Ceballos but clearly thought to be only cover for Xhaka though youd like tosee Aziz given some time to lay his mark, or experiment with Chambers in defensive midfield
At the moment ESR is in great form and Saka seems to lack freshness. But when he’s back he’s definitely better than ESR
Even his comments are starting to annoy me. He just does not like the young players.
That’s why he started with two teenagers, and a 20yr old?
Arsenal have given more minutes to under 21 player than any other team in the PL this season
Stop using the bullshit stat, most of those minutes went to Saka and ESR while the rest barely get a look.
How many youngsters do you want us to put in at once? Throwing young players in before they’re ready, causes more harm than good Take Martinelli who’s 19, he’s a talented young player, but there’s a reason we’re using his sparingly, I like him a lot, but teenagers are generally inconsistent, and he’s still raw in many aspects of his game Saka is the exception, not the general rule, but even Saka isn’t quite at the level we need him to be at, and he’s not supposed to be, this is his first full season, and he’s a teenager We… Read more »
Tell this Jesse to shut up and leave already. Seen enough bs
“With Willian, we have to because he’s done it in the past and we have to demand it much more…”
Or just stop flogging a dead horse and admit you made a mistake.
Agreed, we all would love to see him score 1-2 of those every game, scoring once when season is over is the opposite of what we demand
Willian has been well short of expectations, but 1-2 every game? You thought it realistic he’d have a 38-76 goal season? Being so OTT in your criticism it devalues it
There are a couple of things that stood off from a managerial point. Arteta wants to clean the team from deadwood but gives 90 minutes to a deadwood. And I dont accept any kind of “oh Willian was good tonight”. He is a veteran player and cant accept one or two good games in a whole season. That is my dear Arteta, unnegotiable. Instead of giving young players a chance to grab some minutes (cause the future lies there) he accomodates Willian in order to put two of our best players out of position (Martinelli and Saka). What needs to… Read more »
I understand this week sucked but we can still use our brains. Why now is everyone calling Arteta out for not using Nelson? Plenty of sticks to beat him with but hard to see what Nelson has brought to the team when played. Fact is that we have played a lot of young guys a lot of minutes (positive!). Martinelli has played a lot recently so we can all drop the “grudge” theory. Our squad is just fairly average. We don’t have a lot of players that would no question make it into other europa challenger teams squads. Was thinking… Read more »
I don’t know how much truth was in the Ozil, Mustafi, Kola group and their disruption in the team. But getting rid of them and still becoming worse and worse with players like Willian and Cebellos does ring of a non-negotiable manager
People who thought that Arteta getting rid of Ozil would somehow turn us into Invincibles II, have been duly proved wrong.
The incontestable fact is that without Mesut Ozil this season, we have suffered from a severe lack of creativity and been worse, far worse – as 13 defeats and 9th in the Premiership have testified.
Maybe Willian is getting time on the pitch to showcase his ‘talents’ before he gets booted – at least that’s what I hope for!
Eddie and Reese were given plenty of game-time earlier in the season and delivered little.
The only one I have issue with is Balogun, but again, we aren’t privy to what was going on behind the scenes with his contract discussions, etc.
Martinelli could yet end up as a #9 so I wouldn’t say he was out of position. Arteta spoke within the last week about developing him as a central striker as well as on the left, something a few Arsenal players of note have done…
Literally couldn’t care less what Mikel has to say at this point. We got the win today but we were still fairly bad, we finished the game with 0.98 xG to West Broms 1.86 — and that has been happening all season. The underlying metrics have been very poor throughout the entire campaign, they’ve been as bad if not worse than Emery’s. I think going into the game today we had only scored two goals at home in the last 9 hours of football. That is a truly shocking statistic. Quite literally everything is telling us that Mikel is not… Read more »
Relatively happy for the win, but feel like crying of sheer emotional distress imagining another full season of on and off pitch incompetence under Vinai, Edu and (more heavy-heartedly) Arteta.
Can’t shake the impression that they are clueless and way out of their depths anymore.
About ESR, “ when you look at his numbers, he hasn’t done that enough “.
Is it just me or does that comment annoy others here?
It’s a fucking insult
That comment is surreal mate.
Excuse me Blogs. I previuoslu wrote a comment and it still awaits for approval. But when I reply to a post then it’s ok? Why’s that?
Putting Pepe in the same bracket as Willian as senior players who need to contribute more often also. What Pepe has contributed this season is incomparable to what Willian has
The problem is, Willian hasn’t done anything at all. Not to mention his wage bill.
That was actually an insult to Pepe, bracketing him with Willian in terms of production…shameful. And right after he insults ESR’s production?!
Publicly criticising a young player who has carried his failing team all season? Yeh. I didn’t hear it but I like to give to think it was a “he can get even better”, “we all need to raise the bar” sort of comment. Otherwise it’s a bit of an odd one.
Quite sad that ESR pretty much saved his job back in Christmas and he says this. Quite disappointing.
Like I said, the man has no shame.
Publicly backs a slime ball like Kroenke and then publicly bollocks one of his best young players.
The comment is right, he wants Emile to demand more from himself, he sees he can become even more, unlike other clubs where senior players actually top performers, Emile has a real chance here, Arteta doesn’t want him to settle with being a starter
I was a bit perturbed at it myself at first, but reading the rest of the answer, where he stresses patience with Emile and the kids, I think the intent was initially lost a bit in the language he used. He clearly is trying to protect the kids like Emile, keep expectations realistic for now. Plus it would just straight-up be mental to critique Emile today.
In isolation sure, but if you actually read the line immediately after that Arteta says its too soon to place those demands on ESR and expresses patience in his development. Everyone is acting like Arteta said he’s shit when all he did was give him something to aim for (adding end product to his game) in the future.
You’re living up to the “cranky” nametag on this one
I know the season is over but we can still catch spurs.
Can you see us beating Chelsea on Wednesday night?
It’s not a European semi final. Its just a fight for the big top 8.
because how arsenal will that be.
Yes butnits alsonthe history of the Tottinghamh
seeing that we have nothing to play for and Chelsea will be under more pressure than us, I do think we could get a result 😉
I have a funny feeling – Kanu’s hat-trick keeps appearing in my mind. Anything’s possible with this bunch of rollercoaster-merchants!
Chelsea will rotate heavily but, in a word – no.
That comment on Thursday night is complete and utter bollocks. Having tactics more conservative than Hartlepool over the two legs and being rigormortisly rigid in our gameplay cost us a Europa league final appearance. Throw in the comments on Smith Rowe and on willian and he’s lost any gloss from that victory tonight.
If anyones struggling with the paragraph about ESR, pepe and willian just imagine emery said it instead.
Mikel should unretire and start playing midfield again he’ll probably be more stable in midfield than ceballos
Good win, but this team looks irritatingly fragile when under any kind of pressure!
The ten minutes after conceding was painful to watch.
We were an accurate header away from conceding the equaliser!
Lots of work for Arteta and co.
I’m of the opinion that Thursday was bad cause Arteta made bad team selections, Elneny as bad as he is going forward is better at ball retention and quicker passes, without Xhaka and Ceballos he was the best option for us. To control the midfield. There by giving a chance to those ahead to create chances. In happy for the win today but think how the fuck did we not show up on Thursday. Congrats to Willian, great free kick, too bad that is his only highlight all season. We play better with Chambers at RB too. Hopefully he plays… Read more »
Chambers should be defensive midfield. Was mvp for Fulham ?!? last
year – can tackle/pass forward, and is tall – his lack of pace not so
important in that position.
Chambers and Partey midfield … would that be interesting. Industrious, hard working… may be a good platform for the front 4 and a solid midfield in front of the back 2?
Look so unconvincing. We were lucky it was West Brom. Perplexing selection – 1) Willian. Sure he scored but frankly we should be playing younger players and trying them out. Willian if anyone in China or US is interested in a free kick specialist, he’s yours. Why Edu is even still in charge is beyond me. 2) Midfield – WBA are a huge squad. Would have thought Partey would be useful. The Ghanaian flatters to deceive (contrary to some people thinking he’s the dog’s bollocks) but still, his long pass would have been useful for us and again he is… Read more »
Sounds like he’s the one putting more pressure on ESR.
Now that Arsenal sre no more in Europe,Arteta shd be able to focus on the epl.If he cant get the gunners challenging ,he will be shown the exit
It’s like closing the door after the horse has bolted, This is not the arsenal I use to know. Major problems a head.
Did he really call kieren Tierney as “KT”?
He is too concerned with his training loads to effectively manage both tactical loading vs physical loading.
This season with 2 weeks pre season is difficult to balance.
But then the decision to let some players go out on loan in stead of allowing them as cover has come back to bite us.
Amn could and has done a Sterling job for us. And same with midfield, we could do with Joe.
But those decisions are also on Edu…
And the fact that our squad is malnourished is on Kroenke again.. for the tenth year running