A thumping 4-0 defeat at Anfield may have derailed Arsenal’s unbeaten run but Mikel Arteta is taking heart from the reaction of his players in the immediate aftermath of the defeat and also in training.
The Gunners have the chance to get back to winning ways when bottom club Newcastle visit the Emirates in the early kick off on Saturday and know a win would temporarily lift us into the top four before some big clashes elsewhere.
Asked about the mood in the camp this week, Arteta made clear the recovery began before the players had even left Merseyside.
He said: “Not only there [in training], I really like the reaction that we already had in the dressing room at Anfield after the game and how some players showed leadership and described what happened in a really honest way and looked forward.
“This is something that in a season is never going to be like this [completely smooth], there are bumps in the road, [bad] results, injuries, issues that you have to deal with and I really like how the team has reacted.”
Pressed on the players speaking up, he added: “This is something that before, it didn’t happen. I’m really pleased that it’s happening at the moment.
“We have to put [it right] on Saturday in front of our people. After a defeat you need to win and get into that game with that mentality.
“The preparation is important but what is more important is peforming well, playing as good as we can and then we’ll be closer to winning the match.
On taking the positives from last weekend, he added: “Absolutely, there are a lot of things you can learn. You see the standards that they have to raise to compete with those teams in the league and how consistent they do it for every game and how consistently they do it throughout the game. They dominate every area and that’s why they are so successful.”
Despite an upturn in performances in recent weeks, Newcastle travel to London as the only club in the top four tiers of English football without a win this season. They also have a terrible record in N5 having not won at the Emirates since 2010.
It’s a record Arteta is keen to extend.
“Let’s keep going,” said the Spaniard. “It’s a new game, there are obviously some changes happening there, you can see the momentum is building.
“It’s different. You can see in the last game they played some different things – new manager, new coaching staff so let’s be prepared.
“I’m really looking forward to the game. After a defeat, you want to put it straightaway in a different context. We are in a good run. We play at home. We’re going to have our people right behind us and we’re going to perform well. First of all, [focus on] playing as well as we can and then we’ll be closer to winning the match.”