Friday, February 23, 2024

Arteta on lacking control, cheap goals, the Saka incident & Laca’s cameo

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal should have pushed for a second goal after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s early opener and lacked the maturity to wrestle momentum back from Crystal Palace on a night when Alex Lacazette came off the bench to rescue a point in stoppage time at the Emirates.

The Gunners went into the break with a one-goal advantage but the visitors were already starting to dominate proceedings and were good value for their equaliser, scored by Christian Benteke on 50 minutes. Odsonne Edouard took advantage of more lax Arsenal defending with 17 minutes remaining to lash home a second for Patrick Vieira’s side before Lacazette rescued a point with a close-range strike after the Eagles failed to clear a corner.

Here’s what the boss had to say when he faced the Sky Sports cameras…

On the game…

It was a strange game. I thought we started really well were very dominant, very fluent, playing a lot in the final third, we scored the goal and deserved the goal. We were in total control. After that, we lacked composure, belief and maturity probably to manage that situation better. We gave a lot of balls away, we didn’t have any sequences of passes and then the team is stretched. We had no control, we had to defend deeper because we cannot press the distances when you lose the ball and we didn’t enjoy at all that period. After half time, we changed a couple of things, we got better, we were more dominant again. When we had control, we gave the ball away, in this league, in areas you cannot do because it causes goals. After that, it’s a difficult mountain to climb. Credit to the team, they never gave up and the subs, I think they were magnificent. We created two or three big chances and right at the end, scored the goal that I think we deserved.

On what was causing Arsenal such problems…

My perception is that we got something and we wanted to protect something instead of going for the second one and playing with that fluidity, that maturity and rate what they were trying to do and keep doing what we were doing. We were really good the way we started. Then we put ourselves under difficulty, we weren’t comfortable and we lacked game confidence to overturn that situation. After half time, I must say we improved things but when there was purpose to play more forward, to take more risks and to take the ball in other areas, it wasn’t still there. When you lose balls, it’s because of that.

On losing Saka…

We had to take him off because he could not continue. He was very sore in the area [the back of his right leg]. When I look at the action, I cannot understand how the player can continue.

On whether McArthur should have been sent off…


On Lacazette’s impressive cameo…

Absolutely. Anyone doubting his commitment, we are with him every single day and that’s what he does. He comes in, he fights for every ball, he wants to contribute and he transmitted some different belief and energy to the crowd and we got some real momentum. We created chances and I think he was involved in many of those.

On Arsenal’s defending…

The way we conceded to goals, in this league, is too cheap. We’ve been really good at keeping clean sheets and today we gave away really cheap goals away.

On continuing an unbeaten run…

It’s positive because I know the group is never going to give up. It doesn’t matter what. Today it was a disappointment, individual disappointment when you lose those types of goals but the team kept trying and in the end we got that little reward which was the minimum that we deserved.

On his side’s age and inexperience playing a part in the poor parts of the game…

It can be, yes.

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*McArthur was the absolute 💩who booted Saka up the arse


Criminal, and I mean that literally, that shit was actual assault on Saka.


I agree boss, now let’s make us better!


Yeah. Pick up your P45 on your way out.


I think he’s absolutely right about maturity and experience playing a role in this game. But in that case… simplify the game for the youngsters! Coach more direct and less complicated football.

Yes, we’d still have some bad performances because of being so young, but at least players would be gaining confidence in what they need to do.

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Absolutely! He seems to be overthinking too often.


So he chooses youth – and now it’s their age and inexperience that’s the problem. Not his coaching.

Yet. Another. Excuse.


The theory that having a young squad is the reason why the performance last night was so bad has one major hole in it.. We’ve basically played like that every single game bar the odd outlier (Spurs at Home, West Brom Away) for the entirety of Arteta’s time in charge. It doesn’t matter what players are in the starting 11, or what formation he uses, the performances still end up being so poor. Mikel’s Arsenal has been pumping out really awful performance data since he’s been in charge — our xG is consistently abysmal, touches in the opposition box is… Read more »

Bleeding gums murphy

Well said sir. I find it impossible to argue or even debate your statement. I said before game it’s make or break for me. He has to getting us scoring and creating chances. He doesn’t seem capable of doing it. Dominate for ten minutes score a goal and then start trying to play on the counter against Crystal Palace at hone for fuck sake. He’s saying he recognises it and is constantly micro managing from side so why doesn’t he move the defence up, press as a team, move the ball faster and move it forward, he has to go… Read more »


What I found most bizarre about last night was how panicky we seemed in possession, and I cant recall ever seeing an Arsenal side like that before. I lost count of how many times we just launched the ball away to absolutely nobody. It was so strange to see. Its not like we were playing Bayern Munich, it was Crystal Palace at home without their two best players.


Most of the game we looked subpar to Crystal Palace. We are accepting nediocrity without even realizing it. We’re going on 3 years and I don’t really see the process anymore. We’ve brought in good players but the style, system is non existent. Bar the first 20 minutes of games were are a snoozefest to watch.




Sadly, I agree. Arteta has failed. Project youth needs an adult manager.

Morrisey fan #1

I agree but the players also have to take some of the blame. Based on his answers it appears that the players weren’t instructed to sit back after the goal, the players took it upon themselves to do that and then make no attempt at controlling possession.


Arteta out!

With the players we have we should be doing much better than this. Arteta’s football is boring, negative and insipid. He is not a top-four manager.

Stan won’t boot him out because Stan doesn’t give a fig about football and what Arsenal stands for. If Arteta is still manager in May then we’ll finish about 10th

I’ve followed this club for 45 years: it’s incredibly sad to see what we’ve become.


He’s holding these players back. I’m starting to think we’d play better with no manager and just let these boys play.


We’ve scored just 7 goals in 8 PL games. If you look at the way we played today then it’s no surprise. Arteta is far too cautious and defensive. We need a manager who’ll let these players off the leash and allow them to do damage.

We don’t score or create enough and we’ve got a bad defensive error in every game. That’s a recipe for failure.

Hank Scorpio

A number of these payers are being lauded individually. Their collective performances do not align with those views. That’s on the manager

The Arsenal

Stats are so depressing.

Arsenal have failed to win 25 of their last 46 Premier League games under Mikel Arteta

Arsenal have failed to win 15 of their last 23 Premier home League games under Mikel Arteta!


And yet people are only just beginning to wake up to this shit….

Frank Bascombe

Every manager we’ve had, you’ve slagged off. Funny that.

Naked Cygan

The sad part is he won’t get sacked and the fans love him no matter what. If his name was Emery he would be crusified by now. Very sad how much he gets away with when others wouldn’t.


When you think of the bile and hatred Wenger had to endure, just for having the temerity to finish just outside of the top four for the first time in two decades – whilst this idiot has us mid table.

That’s when we’re not either flirting with the relegation places or propping up the rest of the table.

Hail Gus!

The rot started on Wenger’s watch. Ten years of treading water just to get CL revenue. And for what?



3 FA Cups in 4 seasons…….?

Anyone at home?


45 years takes us to 1976-77 when Arsenal finished… 8th.

Frank Bascombe

Don’t let the facts get in the way.


Fact: Last season, under Arteta’s watch, we made our worst start to a league campaign since the mid 1975/76 – 46 years ago.

Fact: Last season, on Arteta’s watch, we finished 8th. The season before, also on Arteta’s watch, we finished 8th – our worst finish for 25 years and that was under a caretaker boss (Stuart Housten) in 1994/95.

Fact: Under Arteta’s watch this club have failed to make the top four twice in two years. Under Arsene Wenger, we never failed to make the top four in two decades.

Don’t let the facts get in the way now……..

Frank Bascombe

You could follow them for another 45, you still wouldn’t have a clue.


You could follow Arteta to non league football and you’d still be singing his praises.

Matt P

He’s a negative control freak. Definitely a poor man’s Pep.
I was giving him the benefit of the doubt until this game. No more – Arteta out!


Arteta is a yes man to the board so they will keep him as long as possible!


One thing that has caught my eye is how poor the passes and the composure when receiving the pass has been this season. A lot of passes stronger than they need to be, players having to stretch their bodies to receive a pass… I don’t know, something feels odd about the training, as if the players are getting worse at connecting at the expense of getting more coordinated at defending. I don’t know if this is a step foward from when we only managed to keep the ball in that “dreaded U-shape” or a step backwards from a team that… Read more »


YouTube highlights can be deceiving. Our young talent can have more off nights than anyone would like from a player in the starting eleven. For example, anyone thinking Saka has made it because he is in the England squad is looking through rose tinted glasses. Lokonga is far from the finished article. ESR can suffer a bit from a tendency to keep dribbling a beat too long.

The Arsenal

Rigid overly coached football. No surprise when both Partey and Sanbi got caught on the ball they were both looking for sideways.backwards passes.


Can I add to my previous comments on the rating article… 1. I blame Wenger for a lot of thing, but Wenger would be going absolute ballistic on the referee, with a decision like this, even name checking them. He needs to create a bit more a fuss, we are not MC. 2. Today he is indirectly blaming the bad performance on the team, never claimed direct responsibility for what is a very bad result. I still think, he should be judged post December 2021…really hope he sorts it out. If we are not in top 6 by Dec 2021,… Read more »

Public Elneny

Why do we have to wait that long to remove him? By December if we continue along the same trajectory our season will be unsalvageable. Right now we’re still only 4 pts from the CL spots Honestly, just the balance of probability that the manager isn’t up to the task should be reason enough to sack them, it’s reckless to play out the remaining 5% of doubt that he could turn it around. Chances are between now and December, he’ll find another couple of excellent results and performances out of nowhere – just enough to convince the board that he… Read more »


Fair point and nowadays clubs dont have much patience. At the same time, I feel there is a very good manager in him as long as he is quick enough to learn. Even the red nose did very bad for a season or two before he came good for manures and the upshot of that was he stuck with the club and no doubt it was partly due to the support he got in his early years. At the end of the day, you need stalwarts as a manager or players, we have none in my view at present and… Read more »

Spanish Gooner

I’m not trying to argue your point but I genuinely want to understand – what have you seen that makes you sure there is a good manager in there? From my point of view I’ve seen a manager who has finished 8th in successive seasons, performed awfully in key European games, and won an FA cup playing a system that relied on Aubameyang (and Pepe in the final) playing out their skin and putting everybody else behind the ball. It’s not that I don’t want Arteta to succeed, I just genuinely don’t get where the faith in him is coming… Read more »


I appreciate that. But can I just politely point out that at no point I used the words ‘faith’ or ‘sure’ in my comment because I am with you in the sense that I dont have faith and I am not absolutely sure either if Arteta will work out. I am just trying to come at from the angle of us replacing him now and then how feasible or practical it looks(again just my views and I might be wrong) in some respects its a cost/benefit analysis(with my own very narrow parameters) No one we can feasibly hire next will… Read more »


We’ll get to Christmas, we’ll still be scratching around midfield, Johnny 4 Heads will still be umming and ahhring and his adoring disciples will still be giving him 100+ thumbs up and nothing will have changed a jot.

8th at best next May. That’s being very kind and assuming Arteta is still (God forbid) in charge.




If McArthur’s name was Granit, he would’ve seen red for just looking at Saka funny let alone fouling him

Naked Cygan

Someone should seriously ask the questions of his inexperience. How much longer are we going to put up with this BS? At this rate we won’t finish 8th. Every week there is an excuse. Also if Partey is our main man in the middle the god fking help us. He is way over rated.

The Arsenal

Thought Gabriel and White were mostly solid then they both got done 1v1. Frustrating. Saka gets kicked up in the air..Nobody tries to equalise on the guy who did it. Im not saying go get sent off or do anything stupid. Seeing Vieira just reminded how he above all else used to protect the team. You couldn’t fuck with our players like that sometimes he went overboard but that’s a real midfielder. We have to many faffers. Odegaard is absolutely useless if the game is going well for him with the ball. Lightweight all over the park. Still think Arteta… Read more »

Christopher Loum

The substitute Arteta made was absolutely wrong, you can’t substitute an attacker with a midfielder when you want to win, that is only done when you are already winning with a good mergine of goals, he would have brought in straight Martineli.

Christopher Loum

Or even bringing Niles was more of attacking as compared to Lokonga who is a bit slow in the game.


Why should Milivojevic have been sent off?


Why do I have this feeling the team play better when they ignore the managers micromanaging and just go for it. The crowd seems to refocus them. Think about Tottenham, and when Laca came on. They played with more edge when I’m sure arteta was getting drowned out.


It was McArthur who assaulted Saka, not Milivojevic. The latter would probably feel pretty hard done by if he got sent off just because his name also started with M; the linguistic version of when Kieran Gibbs got sent off instead of the Ox, if you will.


I am surprised that Arteta didn’t start off with another of his strawman arguments “I am sure that the fans would like us to win 10-0 every game but honestly, which team has ever done that…”

Maybe he will use it in the next interview.


As per usual. Not a surprise. Between Edu’s odd decisions in market and Arteta, we are not a big team anymore. Midtable about right if we are even there. Palace who have struggled all season put two past us. Buying white for 50m doesn’t change much. Midfield again neglected. Once Saka went off, Partey struggled. He’s decent not the player many prefer to big him up as in their imagination. If anything we and Partey missed Xhaka. Back to side to side passing. Fortunately Laca came on but why are we not starting both Laca and Auba. I mentioned before… Read more »

Disarmed Gunner

Arteta and his obvious shortcomings aside, what struck me is what the hell has happened to Partey since we signed him? He doesn’t look anywhere near a 50 million rated player. More like 20, at best. Partey, under the right manager, can be excellent. He needs to be disciplined and given a clear role but a manger with a pair of balls. Under Arteta, Partey just runs around free to take wayward shots and is passing far more than someone in his position should be. Also, Viera has a clear style of play that his players follow. Us? Two years… Read more »


Partey came to Arsenal because he wanted more freedom than he got at Atleti. He’s clearly not performing well with that new freedom and I agree that he should be given a rollocking and put back in the defensive midfielder role, He’s a very expensive senior player and he’s clearly not a leader, he’s been poor value for money so far.


What ‘new freedom’….?

Fitness wise, he’s been off the pace and slow in the last couple of games, but make no mistake, in terms of gameplay and tactics, he’s been micromanaged to within an inch of his life the same as all the others.

Blame the players if you must. Just be aware that you’ll still be blaming them, no matter who comes and goes, whilst Arteta is still around.


excuse me, but doesnt that palace team also have lots of youngsters.
another non performance by Arteta’s team. One of many we have witnessed so far.
Disjointed, sub-par, without heart. Truly woeful and embarassing.


“On his side playing a part in the poor parts of the game…” I read it first.


Arteta Auba Partey = OUT


Arteta – yes.

Auba and Partey – playing in a team taking instructions from Arteta. You do the maths.

Matt P

Sack him now, seeing no signs of meaningful or consistent progress. Yes our recent results have been ok but the opposition has been lower table fodder.


For me, these matches are won or lost in preparation. A team that thinks it needs to protect a 1-nil lead to Palace at home on 30 minutes is not prepared to win, to be confident in their ability to score. We play afraid to concede rather than looking to dominate. It’s the Manager’s task to instill that mindset, so at what point do we agree he’s not anywhere close to getting us there?


ARTETA is the problem! He is absolutely useless at rotating players! (Did he not learn from Guardiolla)! He buys players to create competition but does not play them all! I guess they compete at his training sessions! He says Martinelli has to learn by watching experienced players, then says Patrtey after an injury, needs playing time to sharpen his game, and continually speaks out of both sides of his mouth never ever taking any responsibility for the disaster happening in front of our eyes! Those two points from. Brighton and Palace may save us from relegation but they will NOT… Read more »


More ‘round in circles meaningless crap that detracts from the main issue.

It’s this sort of thing that keeps poor managers in work, bullshitting a desperate captive audience ready to cling on to anything to keep their highly commendable but ultimately foolish hopes alive and all the while formerly great football clubs become entrenched in mid table – if they’re lucky.

That’s where we are folks. Downvote this post all you want. Go ahead. It won’t make a blind bit of notice to the league table.

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