Arteta: We had total control

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Mikel Arteta was pleased with the attitude of his players as his much-rotated Arsenal overcame Newcastle 2-0 at St James’ Park.

An early strike from Mohamed Elneny – the Egyptian’s first Premier League goal since joining the club in 2016 – and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s close-range finish did the damage to end the week on a positive note after disappointment in Spain on Thursday.

Four points adrift of seventh-place Sp*rs and having played a game more, it looks unlikely that the Gunners will sneak into Europa via the league, but the boss refuses to give up on the situation.

“This game showed our focus is still there in the Premier League,” Arteta told Sky Sports.

“We believe that anything is possible if you’re picking up points and we wanted to put bad results out of the way.

“We had a great attitude from the beginning, some big moments of real quality and had total control from the start.”

Explaining the reason for rotating his starting lineup so much, he added: “We refreshed the team because we’ve played so many games.

“Thursday was very demanding – we played 40 minutes with 10 men – but the team was really committed and focussed on this game and that’s why we won.

“We controlled the game and we accelerated it when we needed to. The early goal gave us confidence which we needed after the defeat on Thursday.

“We have to do as well as we can and finish as high as we can.”

The only negative this afternoon was an injury to David Luiz. Just back from seven games on the sidelines, the Brazilian pulled up with a hamstring problem and had to be substituted just after half time. He limped off looking dejected.

“It’s incredible the amount of injuries we’ve had,” said Arteta. “We’re losing big players but there’s nothing we can do about it.

“It’s a shame because David had made a big effort to be available as quick as possible after surgery on his knee. Today, probably, we lose him again.”

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weebgooner

Hope we can continue to win away this Thursday vs Villareal

StockholmGooner

We’re at home…

K9ine

No Willock to bail them out so never in doubt

Marcus

This should be the new Arsenal strategy… loan decent players to other clubs in the league to improve those teams (so they can, for instance, find a draw against Liverpool) without really hurting us (since they cannot play against us).
Although I’d like to call this the “Willock strategy” I think it may more aptly be the “Jesse Lingard strategy” since he has probably been the most beneficial intra-league loanee and, as I recall, United spanked West Ham without him

Gunner08

Good solid win. Not much else to say. I would like to see us run up the score before a huge win but definitely not gonna say no to 2-0, and a nice well rounded performance. (Just praying arteta doesn’t think he should start willian after an ok performance from him)

IamaGoober

Did anyone else really struggle to care about this match at all? Or was it just me? Like I found myself not giving a single fuck about the outcome of this game one bit.

Cant wait for this season to be over.

Greenbeetle

Do you play for Newcastle?

Biggles

Yes, that’s true. The big question is can we do the same against Villareal? This is the problem with the side most of the season – we have good results and just when we think we can build on them, we mess things up. Clearly, we can’t afford to do that against the Spanish.

Qwaliteee

No one expects the Spanish Inquisition….

shokim

Unrelated but the Manure v Pool game has been postponed to another date to be confirmed. Those protesters really put themselves in a bad light.

Vonnie

Yes, they did, and if Arsenal supporters behave like that on Thursday we’ll probably be thrown out of the Europa League. Keep it classy, Arsenal fans, please, the team must come first. Protest outside the stadium, let all the players through, clap the busses and players, show people how it can and should be done.

Biggles

Let’s hope that nobody is thinking about doing anything like that against Villareal. Given that we’re not exactly flavour of the month with UEFA any similar incident could well have very serious consequences.

Magneto

The owners of Utd & Liverpool put themselves in a much worse light…making a very serious error of judgement in trying to form the european super league, with no regard for their fans whatsoever.

Make no mistake, that was a self inflicted public relations disaster of the very highest order, and won’t be forgotten anytime soon. KSE take note.

Tommmy

Nobody was harmed, they’ve caused maximum chaos for the club without any real damage and now highlights their cause even more. I like it

shokim

The protesters ran onto the pitch and even threw a flare into the media box – unacceptable behaviour.

Goonertic

Not entirely true. A police officer was hit by a flying bottle. A couple of inches higher and it probably blinds him. I absolutely agree with the protest but not at any cost.

TungorAdams

Protest outside the stadium is fine, but I agree, ensure players feel our support, ensure they walk into that pitch strengthened by our support, And focused on winning without zero concerns for game being cancelled.

No foot Norbert

Protests inside the stadium are more likely to have an impact though. What’s the point in protesting if it doesn’t cause some level of disruption. All successful protests have done so as it’s much harder to ignore.

Vonnie

So you think it would be successful to undermine the team and probably get them chucked out of the Europa League? Call yourself a fan? Fuck off.

Tommmy

He didn’t say that at all did he.
I agree thursdays protests need to be calm and kept outside. However, Man Utd fans are not wrong for what they did today in my opinion.

A P

Changing your avatar name to Dummmy would be more apt.

Man Manny

I wish you could say this ten matches ago; we would firmly in the European places.

Nostalgic Gooner

To be fair, Arteta looks very comfortable playing against the likes of Sheffield, Newcastle, Fulham etc. Maybe this is just his level.

Torterrier

Fulham almost beat us

Sauce

“This game showed our focus is still there in the Premier League,” …against a relegation fighting team ffs
Just play Martinelli, dafuq!

TungorAdams

Good game lads, now let’s get us into that EL final! – we are the better team, and have the better manager, we just need to start with same determination like today, massive difference to last Thursday game

John

To keep a clean sheet against a team spearheaded by danger man Joelinton really augurs well for Thursday night. *Cough.*

cranky colin

It’s very dangerous to start believing your own bullshit

bob

What the hell do you expect him to say, cranky colin? “We’re shit and low on confidence and will probably lose on Thursday?” No you expect the manager to build confidence at every opportunity and, especially at the top level, this is literally his main job.