Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Arteta on defensive commitment, Auba’s penalties, Smith Rowe’s form & momentum

It might not have been pretty but a 1-0 win over Watford sends Arsenal into the November Interlull in pretty good shape.

On a day when VAR ruled out two goals and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed a penalty, the Gunners were thankful for Emile Smith Rowe’s second half strike to seal the points.

After the game, Mikel Arteta was clearly relieved. Here’s what he said in his post-game chat with Sky Sports

On the performance…

I’m really happy for the result and the performance we had for long periods in the match. We should have scored many more goals, we had two goals disallowed and a penalty that we missed but today was about being consistent in everything we wanted to do in the game against a team that has improved a lot in organisation and they are dangerous. If you don’t score the second goal in this league, you’re going to be impatient in the last few moments.

On Ranieri being frustrated that Arsenal didn’t give the ball back to Watford in the build-up to the goal…

He mentioned that to me after the match. What I would say is that I cannot think of another club or team that is more honest and sometimes naive as us. There is no bad intentions from us at all. If anything, I apologise. I haven’t seen the action, but if he has that feeling, I just apologise but we compete the right way all the time within and using the law. That’s it.

On whether there was also a foul in the build-up to the goal…

I focus on the performance and how well we did it. We won the match and we got a clean sheet. We’re happy.

On another clean sheet…

I start with the strikers and the rhythm and how they press and how they put the defenders under pressure and how compact we are and how little we concede. The merit is for the whole collective but it’s true that the defensive commitment in certain moments from our defenders has been exceptional.

On whether Auba will continue taking penalties…

No. We’ll review that and if anything, help him. He has the courage and the responsibility to take them, he’s been really successful. It’s part of football, if you take penalties at some point you’re going to miss them.

On Smith Rowe’s scoring streak and performance…

Terrific. We’re demanding that to get to another level he needs to start deciding games. He’s capable of doing that, he believes in that now, he’s confident and he needs to continue doing it.

On the importance of the win and what it does for momentum…

It’s great for any manager, any player, any club before an international break. Everybody is in a good mood, you can give them a few days off, you can reflect on the whole month and you can start to prepare for the next sequence of games which are going to be tough.

On the atmosphere at the Emirates…

Incredible. Honestly, I’m so grateful. We’ve turned around not only results but showing real unity around the club, with the players, staff and the most important thing, our supporters. The players last night, I asked them and they’re really looking forward to coming to the Emirates because they are enjoying playing together with them [the fans]. That makes a huge difference.

On having a better win ratio than Arsene Wenger after 100 games…

It’s just the start. I’m a baby compared to Arsene, for sure, with what he did and [today’s opponent] Claudio [Ranieri]. I’m just trying to do my best. I’m grateful for the opportunity that I’ve been given to be here and I’m enjoying the moment.

On whether he believed he could turn things around…

I always said that the thing that drive me in those moments, it was the unity and the sense of belonging in what we’re doing from the players and the staff next to me. If I didn’t see that, then probably I would have thought differently. That’s what was encouraging me every single day to bring the right energy to the place. And then lead them. It’s what I have to do.

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1-0, 3 points, 5th! I will take that every day of the week. Tavares is going to be a monster. Happy days


I am really impressed with our defence and believe Tavares will be a monster but I believe we already have a monster on our hands. Imo, he is the best defender in the league. He is Gabriel Magalhaes.
What a player


Ranieri a little desperate to shine the light on that passage of play. Conveniently being myopic to the fact that they were lucky not to pick up more cautions and have only 1 red card. The constant fouling to no action whilst our 1 foul = immediate yellow card thing has been going on for too long


I’m a little tired of opposition managers moaning after we beat them relatively comfortably – Smith, Rodgers now Ranieri. Their teams offered little to get a result so can’t really complain

Mike Stride

I’m not! Long may they complain as long as we win!


AMN got man of the match from Sky?? What did I miss? I was at the game. Felt he was completely anonymous to be honest. Happy to be corrected but I’m baffled.
If anyone deserved MOTM I thought Tavares or Laca


From watching on TV he played really well. Good general distribution, good closing down, good tackling, good concentration. Whether it was man of the match I’m not sure, but no one particularly stood out I guess. I’m really pleased for him though, and if things had happened slightly differently he might have had at least one assist.


Just shows how funny football is – people can watch the same thing & see things so differently😂 I thought AMN was excellent & Tavares (while a very exciting prospect) showed to me why any talk of him being more than a back up to KT is way off the mark for now. (gave up some very promising positions with terrible decisions….even the sending off, was a stupid tackle cos Tavaares had just run himself into trouble)
For me Gabriel for MOTM, but AMN was there or thereabouts. No problem with him getting it.

Tankard Gooner

Laca was an exceptionally bright today and yeah he wouldn’t be a bad choice for the MOTM. But AMN deserved it today for being so clinical with his passing and breaking up play when needed.


Ok… sounds like I got this badly wrong then 🤣 . Always liked AMN. Glad he’s stayed and showing his talent with AFC

Funsho Patrick

I’m as baffled as you are…I didn’t feel the control partey always gives… didn’t see the urgent forward passes best he filled in decently especially with the defensive side of things..I felt he should have come off rather than lacazette…at least we have able back up…he didn’t tear down any trees..


Well no, he didn’t give the control Partey did, nobody is saying he is suddenly top class…….but then none of our other midfielders can do what Partet can either. On a day when not many played well, he was one of our best though. On today’s performance if Partey is fit for Liverpool, AMN should feel very hard done by if not started ahead of Lokonga


Lokonga was sensational. Always looking to turn and move the ball forward, some crucial interventions. So composed for his age. We are looking at a star right there.


I agree he’s going to be great but I think he really struggled in this game


Fingers crossed for Partey back against Liverpool and a result.


Don’t now why everyone is upset about a shove before smith Rower’s goal. It didn’t stop from anyone stopping the goal and honestly wasn’t really dirty. Managers that we beat have gotta stop making excuses.


Tbh thought it was gonna be called and had to hold the celebration in. That long VAR made it even more tense.


Whu on earth should we give the ball back? Rose was under preassure and one of his cheating mates was crying on the ground so he put the ball out as the easy way out. The player gets up as soon as the ball was reaching the line. No way in hell should we give the ball back.


I especially love Arteta’s response to that. Perfect.


Invincibles Day today, Liverpool lost.

And only 3 points off 2nd place in the PL.


Always a happy day, but man, Liverpool are going to be in full blitz mode when we meet them after the break …

Hakuna Matata

I don’t think so. Their last game was a 2-2 draw against Brighton. Don’t forget westham also played midweek


Exactly my point — they are a blindingly good team (25-game unbeaten streak), and they won’t string together three not-good-enough performances. Expect Liverpool’s absolute best against us, which remains in another league from what we’re capable of right now.

I love what we’re building in here, but we aren’t ready to challenge what they’re doing over there.


Relax. They’re on a zero game unbeaten streak.

Wrighty’s hats

I agree, they’ll be wanting to prove a point against us and historically they’ve been able to…. but I still fancy our chances to give them a proper fight, our team has earned the confidence they’re playing with at the moment, and we’ve been solid at the back. If ever there was a time to play then it would be this fixture!

The Beast

I was thinking the same really. After the Brighton draw & yesterday’s loss, think they’re gonna want to get back on track as soon as possible, especially at home. I’m hoping the interlull will dull some of that intensity but win, lose or draw, if we play with the consistency we’ve been playing with recently, I’ll be happy.

Points are great but at this stage I’ll take consistency in performances.


They better because if not, this unbeaten streak isn’t going to stop itself! Let’s givem hell!! Let TAA taste a little of TAV-ESR double pen******tion!

VAR will solve all the problems

“It’s a good day, it’s a good day…yaaay!”
Channeling my inner Ian Wright right there 🤣


Just came here to say same:) roll on St. Totteringhams Day!


My fav invincibles day defo Newcastle vs Chelsea, was so so so happy moaner didn’t get that:)

Trusting the process

So we will be the ones to take Liverpool out of the top 4 on the 20th? Yes we can!

Teryima Adi

Thank God Auba is no longer going to the penalty kicks.


If the league started on the 1st September, we’d be top of it!


Not if we had to play City and Chelsea during that time.


I don’t want to criticise Auba because his commitment and work rate are amazing for 32. However, I always worry when he takes a penalty. Lacazette and Pepe are both better.


Pepe? He seems to be third choice now.


Starting to enjoy watching the team again, they look so much more together and have a little swagger at times which was lacking at the start of the season! I still wish we had more firepower up front. I was worried that Arteta was out of his depth but I’m happy to eat some humble pie. COYG.

Santi’s Thigh Grab

Good for you to have the stones to admit you may have been wrong. Too many Arteta-Out fellas on these comments have been absent during the last run of games. Weak mentality.


Oh boy..I have to repeat myself, but most of his answers are really classy.


Because he is a very very classy yet tough man/player/manager. Never forget he left Arsenal as a routine starter because HE felt his level had dropped a bit. That is class.


When Arteta said he cant think of a more honest team to the point of naivety, I felt that. That is so true. And we have suffered as a result of it. With not even a little recognition from these fucking refs, just shanking us more.

At that point I was saying, dont give it back. They were under enough pressure, and their player was pretty much up. As for the foul, we ve been on the other side of that sort of foul before a goal already.

The Beast

Agree 100%. Play on & let the ref/VAR sort it afterwards. That’s what they’re there for.

And if you have to scream at your player to stay down, he’s not injured, so stfu.


Come on you gooners

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