Saturday, November 27, 2021

“You have to believe” – Arteta bullish ahead of Anfield trip

A win against Liverpool on Saturday would see Arsenal climb above Jurgen Klopp’s side in the Premier League standings and stretch our unbeaten run to 12 games.

As controversial as it sounds, it’s something we’d support. Winning is good and makes us happy. Losing is bad and makes us sad.

Unfortunately, history is against us. League trips to Anfield have been unrelentingly painful in recent years with Liverpool regularly paddlin’ us to the point our collective bottoms are red raw.

While the boss acknowledges that his players’ recent development will be under the microscope, he’s up for the challenge of securing three points – something we’ve not achieved at Anfield since 2013 when he was on the pitch.

“That [a win] would be the objective,” he told his pre-game press conference.

“The standards that we have at the club, the objective is always to win the game – it doesn’t matter where you play, you always have to prepare the game to win it, and that is the way we will do it to go to Anfield to get the result.”

He added: “It is always a test, it is a fascinating stadium to play football in.

“You have to be at your best, and raise the level to your maximum standards, emotionally, physically, tactically, because if you don’t you will be exposed.

“Going to Anfield is always a test, but if you are able to do that, there are not many grounds as good as there to feel that you are a proper footballer.”

In our last seven league trips at Anfield, we’ve lost five games and conceded 23 goals. We’ve veered from annoyingly bad to incomprehensibly sh*t.

Arteta says it’s hard to say definitively why the recent record is so bad but he thinks the mindset of previous squads has had something to do with it.

“I don’t know [why we haven’t won there more], obviously the quality of the opponent has a big say.

“It’s not a coincidence that last year as well before we went to Old Trafford, it was I don’t know how many years before we won at Stamford Bridge the same, but first of all you have to believe that you go there and that you can beat them, that’s the first thing.

“If somebody is not with that mindset, they should not put the shirt on and go to Anfield tomorrow and then as I said you have to raise individually your game to your best, emotionally, physically, technically and tactically you have to be able to suffer in the right moments, because there’s going to be moments where you’re going to have to do that and then as a team you have to have very clear ideas of what you’re going to do on that pitch to beat that side.”

If there’s a plus this time around, it’s that Arsenal have strung a run of results together and, according to the boss, are confident.

“They [his players] are confident they are in good form, but they know that every game is different and we have to go game by game,” he said.

“It is a long run, the Premier League is such a long competition and you will have different moments, but obviously we want to maintain the moment, maintain the form and to do that just perform at the highest level, which is what you have to do in the Premier League, and for sure at Anfield, to go there and win the game.”

As 2021 edges towards its conclusion, the calendar-year-league-table-enthusiasts have once again been tapping away at their calculators to figure out which teams are quite good across a period that doesn’t come with any prizes.

As it turns out, since Boxing Day last year – regularly pinpointed as our ‘Eureka’ moment – we’ve accumulated the fourth-most points.

Asked whether that makes him reassess his ambitions for the campaign, Arteta said: “The targets are always linked to the expectations of this club, which is always to be the best, it doesn’t matter where you compete, [it doesn’t matter] in what moment or project you are, it is always that demand.

“That should not change because it is attached to our culture, our ambition and every player here has to be thinking that tomorrow is the most important day, and we have to win the game. The rest will take care of itself.”

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C.B.

Big test of our new team. The early matches of the season we only had 4 team mebers of the current team.

Hope Ramsdale keeps his record of not losing going.

TUMANG

I believe we can win. I believe club we can win, I rather much Liverpool don’t belive they can win.

Johnny 4 Hats

I think we can too. But I think Arteta’s biggest enemy might just be himself. If we see very clever tactical moves – false nines, naked fours, floating luxury interchangeable full backs… then I don’t think we will win. I think how we win is by playing our game. Being tight. Making the most of our counters. Using our speed and quick transitions to full effect. I just worry Mikel will overthink this one and will devise a weird system that no one understands. Let’s keep it simple. 442. Laca behind Auba. Odegaard on after 60. Partey and Sambi in… Read more »

UGooner

Fair. But I’m actually quite sure Arteta will be his usual stubborn self and play it tight as you are suggesting, to the point that if we lose, some will again say he has no tactics and invites pressure. Pool are quite dangerous when given space so I just hope the press will be on, and stay on. No need for 3 at the back, since with Tomi, we already have 3 at the back option at some points in the game, as Saka and ESR (I couldnt type this without singing it in my head) can always fill in… Read more »

DPK

100% Johnny. Just put your best team out & play them in the way that they are most comfortable with this will be a massive step backwards for Arteta if he tries some ‘clever’ nonsense like he did in the Europa semi last season. Have faith in yourself & your team !

Johnny 4 Hats

As long as our playmakers are able to allay it at the feet of Auba, we’ll be fine.

In other news, I’m using my new word and it’s going great.

DPK

Allay Les Rouges !

A Different George

Jurgen Klopp’s assessment, which sounds pretty fair to me: “we are not surprised that Arsenal are a really good football team, but we are a really good football team as well.”

Blaise

COYG!!!

Nostalgic Gooner

Let’s do to them what they did to United at Old Trafford. Get in there!

thankyou22

Easy there, mate.

Nostalgic Gooner
Mario

I am loving the optimism and positivity from the fans these days!!!COYG!!!!

Dennis Elbow

Wait until we lose again.

Goonerink

I am for once more confident after this press conference than before, they usually don’t affect me much but something about the old Trafford and Stamford bridge facts has me a little hopeful.

If we lose, no one will bat an eye, if we draw people might start thinking ooh arsenal are quite good/bad day at the office for Liverpool.

But what a boost a win will give this team and this club.

Up4GrabsNow!

Fairly sure he said we can be the Smashers of Mugs. Or was it Mashers of Smugs?

DPK

Splitters!

Goodlord

For the first time in a decade im not going to be peering at this game through my fingers . Believe in our defence and hopeful we can nick a point at least if we can contain them and catch them on the break. Hope i’m right #COYG

Paul

I think the worst case scenario is us winning by 5 goals.

Everyone’s attention would be on us until the season ends.

I’d rather we won by 2 goals only.

Safe Hans

A cunning plan, Baldrick

Jelvis

Pauldrick

Teryima Adi

😃

loose_cannon

We’ve definitely got a chance, should be going into this with confidence. Liverpool have been deadly going forwards but their defence has been naff and that’s been a drag on their results lately. They also have important personnel injured. ESR vs TAA will be a key battle.

Doghouse

we’ve been comprehensively rolled over so many times at Anfield a draw would be a pleasing result, obviously keeping things tight at the back will be key, our distribution from there has majorly improved with the introduction of Ramsdale & his performances between the sticks has installed a belief in back 4 you will need to do something special to beat him, alas Liverpool’s forwards are very good at scoring against most teams, would like to see Tavares keeping his place on left as we need his positional sense/pace/ going forward v Salah, we have enough quality through mid to… Read more »

Matthinc

Tavares is super fun but Tierney has way more nous defensively so I’d go with him every time. A loose pass or turn over in the wrong area can get punished by Sarah and Mane pretty ruthlessly

Goonshow

Turning this one over and over in my head – it suddenly occurred to me:

If I were a Scouse fan – or player – would I rather have played us 8 weeks ago, or tomorrow?
YEAH!!! For the first time in a number of seasons, those mugsmashers will be just a littttttle more nervous at the prospects of some cannons rolling into town.

Teryima Adi

Cannons out and blazing.

Dodgem

I think I really like Arteta.

Nikolaj

This will surely be a very interesting game. We’ve come a long way in the last few months. Defensively we are looking really solid. While I still think there is big risk of us loosing, I don’t think we will get smashed. We might very well get a draw and who knows, maybe even a win.
My boss, who is a Liverpool fan has already said to me, that I shouldn’t bother showing up on Monday if we do 😀

Teryima Adi

I love Arteta’s mindset about winning at Anfield and anywhere for that matter. The Liverpool players are men not spirits. COYG!!!

Trusting the process

Whatever the outcome, let’s stay together and let’s trust the process. COYG!

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