Monday, May 20, 2024

Arteta pleased with Arsenal’s reaction and bigs up ‘terrific’ Smith Rowe

Arsenal’s unbeaten run stretched to seven games as Aston Villa were swatted away with ease at the Emirates.

First half goals from Thomas Partey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put the Gunners in a commanding position before Emile Smith Rowe rounded off a sweeping counter-attack (with the aid of a deflection) to make sure of the three points.

While Jacob Murphy did pull a goal back for the visitors, they never looked like adding to their winning run against the Gunners.

Unsurprisingly, Mikel Arteta was in a buoyant mood in his post-game press conference. Asked if this was a performance where everything came together, he said:

“Yeah, very close to it. What I like the most is the way the team reacted to Monday evening, how we finished the game and how they were in the dressing room, accepting that it wasn’t good enough.

“We played to a really good level in some parts [on Monday] but to a level that is not acceptable in others.

“We are the youngest team in the league but that’s not an excuse because we can change the age. We cannot find these kind of excuses.

“We have to find why those things happen in the game, find the right solution and then put them right and believe that they can play at that level because they can.”

Asked about the VAR awarded penalty – given for a foul on Alex Lacazette – which was given after first half stoppage time had been played out, the Spaniard said:

“VAR obviously didn’t give us anything against Palace. I think it’s a penalty, the timing, yeah, you can discuss whether or not the time is right but if you ask me to have a judgement on the action, it’s a penalty.”

On moving into the top half of the table – at the time of writing, the Gunners sit ninth – Arteta added: “Yes, it’s nice. We had a tough start and we’ve been more consistent with results. With performances, there are things that we must do better. But today I’m very satisfied with the performance and the result.”

There was also praise for a number of starters, including Premier Leagued debutant Nuno Tavares who filled in for Kieran Tierney.

“I think the [man of the match] could have been anybody. I think individually, they were all terrific.

“If you ask me about Thomas, about Sambi, about Nuno as well, the two central defenders, anybody. I think the way they played was at a high, high level.

“Emile was terrific. He’s scoring goals, which we’re demanding him to do, because he’s capable of doing it. I think it’s more about the team today.”

Smith Rowe scoring against a side who twice attempted to lure him away from the Emirates was particularly satisfying for supporters.

“That should be a habit and he should demand that in his game, because he’s capable of doing it,” said Arteta.

“I’m pleased he’s developing that. He still needs to develop more in other areas. The other night he wasn’t 100 per cent fit but he made a step forward and wanted to play with a difficult injury that he had.

“He wasn’t complaining, he was just looking forward. He’s changed the way he’s living a little bit as well, and some habits that he had. He’s been superb.

He added: “It’s a perfect example of why we want to keep him, why we are giving him the opportunity to do what he can do for our club and that we are happy with him.”

The games keep coming thick and fast for the Gunners. Leeds visit the Emirates in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday as we look to maintain momentum.

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I was there! Very impressed with us. Villa were nowhere most of the match.We

Great given our youth, we can keep imroving…


I wasn’t anywhere unfortunately. Was in a restaurant with no connectivity to celebrate a birthday. Given all the negativity before the game, was expecting to spanked by Villa and Arteta to get sacked by the time I got home 😉


Great atmosphere tonight. Great performance. Hope everyone can now let go of the notion sambi isn’t ready. He fucking dominated. Traveres was amazing. Smith rowe and Saka. Amazing. Laca, difference maker. Défense was stellar. Credit arteta. Found a much better balance. Great win. And needed.


Fan from India. Told my brother who’s a recent supporter about how this is the type of game which used to be a typical day in office for the gunrrers. For sure a treat for spectators at the Emirates!

Wonder what he meant about ESR when he said “He’s changed the way he’s living a little bit as well, and some habits that he had.”

Party animal? Poor diet?


Picking his nose and eating it?

Rams dale's door down

FIFA, pizza and chill all nighter?


I should really stop that too


Pretty sure it was Ramsey who scored for them, not Murphy

Viju Jacob

Was about to say the same.


The stadium announcer got confused and said Jacob Murphy so I think blogs is making a joke about it


Since Gabriel and Party returned… HALF EMPTY: Two lackluster 1-0 wins against Norwich/Burnley, good performance against Sp*rs followed by drill draw at Brighton and another lackluster draw at home to Palace before a solid performance today. Still no real identity to the team and repeated disappointing loss of momentum in matches. HALF FULL: 14 points from 18, unbeaten in six (4 wins and 2 draws) since Gabriel and Partey returned to the side. Defense has conceded 4 times in that six match run. Young team learning in tough situations but not losing matches. Is the glass half empty or half… Read more »

Wrighty's hats

Half full for me!


What glass?

The one in Squid Game?


Half full for me at present. Like a few others I think, given the number of new players being integrated, we should be able to assess our progress better around Christmas /new year.

I think most of us would have taken 14 from 18 in advance. Funny thing is probably (secretly) we thought dropped points would have been against Spuds and Villa. The frustration comes from inconsistencies, and dropped points from the ‘easier’ games.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Half full for me.

Yesterday we started with 5 players who only joined the club a couple of months ago.


50% capacity


…Yea, I get it. But I think I’m in the half full group with others above. Just impressed that while we have had ups and downs, mental lapses and so forth, we’re not losing. Defense is increasingly more convincing. In the end it’s all about gaining points and moving up the table; 14 from 18 from a young side that hasn’t played together much yet…that tips the scales toward the positive for me…


Yeah totally, there are some really positive signs. Consistency is going to take a while, I just hope Partey and Sambi are given a run of games together, because the upside of that partnership is huge!!
Defense was impressive yesterday. Easily White’s best game. I wish he’d just continue on into the box when he makes those runs through the middle though. It was weird watching him power through the villa midfield get to within 30 yards of goal, make a great pass and then turn around and run back. I kinda laughed when that happened.


Agreed. Needs to be more aggressive/greedy when he makes those runs but really impressed when he did it yesterday. Didn’t know he had that in his game. He was excellent yesterday. He and Gabriel could develop into top CB pair in the Prem. But, like with the rest of this young team, they need time…


Yeah, they need time. The last two games are a great example of that. Both were poor against Palace as they were way too indecisive with Benteke in particular, but they owned Watkins. I loved that early on where Gabriel just got real physical and then stood up to Watkins cheap shot, but also kept a level head and didn’t do anything stupid. I can think of another player that has been in such a situation several time and let down his teammates badly…several times. There is a fine line between physicality and over aggression and it seems our recent… Read more »

Brady’s bunch

Agree with sambi/partey combo it’s probably our future pairing so may as well blood it now

Brady’s bunch

As a scientist might say the glass is always full of something


Full is definitely not a scientific term. Think of pressure. If you put a cap on a glass without liquid or solid in it. It’s it full of gas? No, because you could seal the glass and compress the gas inside under pressure and fit more in…


I enjoyed the rarting game! Where is Arteta’s rating I give him 2!

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Arteta finally has a team with who he wants.

6 games he’s had to work with this team, 5 new signings started yesterday. For a young team that’s learning to play with each other, Arteta is doing well. With time they will only get better.


You guys are delusional, we could have easily drawn that game if not for the penalty at the end of first half. Arteta is not that great tactically, poor subs, game mgt.

Wrighty's hats

I disagree with you. Sambi had a great game but started to tire, so it was a good decision to bring him off at that time. It made sense to me to bring on MO and AMN given how the game was going (though they could have done a little better in tightening up the midfield towards the end of the game). Auba had run himself ragged, it was good to give Gabi a chance to do his Gabi thing without pressure. I would argue that it was the tactics combined with great individual performances that gave us a great… Read more »


He does need to work on his subs, but jeez, enjoy the good times mate

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

14/18 points and no losses, in the 6 games he’s had the team that he wants.
The players are still getting to know each other. If you can’t see any positives in that, that’s fine.


Not to be negative as I loved the performance, but it felt like Arteta was pressured into NOT playing the way he always has them play by all the articles pointing out how we don’t score goals, how poor of a pressing team we are and how we’re worse than the sum of our parts.

This felt completely different from almost every other performance under Arteta (NLD is always different), so I’m not sure it means anything in isolation.

But if he can keep this up, count me in.

Wrighty's hats

Interesting perspective, and I’m happy that you loved the performance! My thoughts are that the way we played against Villa was what MA has wanted this whole time, and the kind of performance he’s been trying to get out of the players, but it’s taken a while to get all of the moving pieces to fit together right and in a way that gets the players to sustain that style for the whole game. (Granted, they all looked like they’d completely run out of gas in the last 10 minutes, so they haven’t shown us that they can keep it… Read more »


Young, exciting team. Still a bit of fat to trim in the squad next summer but going in the right direction (sorry haters).

Young team will be inconsistent but I thought White, Tavares and Lokonga were all excellent…


I mentioned sambi and tavares earlier.,but this was a blinder from white. He was excellent.


Yep, great partnership growing with Gabriel. The trouble is when one of them gets injured/suspended we then fall back on Holding and Mari, who are not that standard….


They’re fine players as backups. I have no problem with either stepping in. Just better they are backups and not first choice.


To be elite, we need players of the same standard….i.e. Saliba. Holding & Mari (bless ’em) are not up to standard to keep White/Gabi on their toes…..


So interesting that you mention them. I literally haven’t thought about them in weed.


FFS. In weeks, not weed. FFS again.


😂 oops !


Who is Jacob Murphy, its Ramsey no? How does this get published


Isn’t it a running joke, like getting the name of someone you don’t like wrong on purpose? Surprised it’s not reported that we beat Birmingham!

Where’s the reporting on Laca having a right laugh when Emi Martinez tried his penalty shenanigans tho, that’s what I loved!

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Think it’s a joke, like how Josie Morino got spanked in the Europa League this week.


ESR defo the catalyst in the squad along with Saka. He simply goes for the jugular. Playing inside left blatantly not an issue with Laca creating mayhem in the hole behind Auba. Partey and Sambi behind, it created a good balance against Villa and their back 3 which they abandoned second half. Tavares and Tomiyasu also decent today with lots of room first half to push forward There is no reason not to start Laca AND Auba (something I’ve been mentioning all last season). We should not need to have to play BOTH ESR and Odegaard. Back line defense generally… Read more »


Great performance, really enjoyed watching it. Hope we can keep that up!

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