Monday, May 20, 2024

Arteta: I told them they had to go to war

Mikel Arteta was full of praise for the players who stayed on the pitch as Arsenal came away from Anfield with a 0-0 draw in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg.

Reduced to 10 men after 24 minutes when Granit Xhaka was sent off for a foul on Divejogo Jota, the Gunners game-plan was in disarray, but a super rearguard effort kept the Mugsmashers at bay, and the draw was no less than we deserved.

Speaking about how it impacted his preparations, Arteta said, “I’m extremely proud of what the boys did today in an extremely difficult stadium against a great opponent, and playing 70 minutes with 10 men.

“It was about fight, spirit, commitment and as well the quality that they showed to play a game that is not in our strength and not in what we trained, but it was necessary to win.

“I want to see a team that plays with emotion and transmits everything that we talked about every day and I’ve seen that today, so I’m very happy.”

And on the battle you face when you go Anfield anyway, he continued, “I said to them, you have to pick players that you are happy to go to war because you’re gonna have a fight, you’re gonna have difficult moments, you’re gonna have moments where you have to suffer and it’s about how to approach those moments.

“If you are willing to help your team, if you are willing to accept that at some moments you are not going to play the game that you want and then good things are going to happen, so when you play with that spirit and fight and brotherhood around the team, at the end, you get rewarded and I think that’s what happened today.”

The defensive effort was incredible, Liverpool ended a game at home with just one shot on target despite playing for 70 minutes against 10 men, and the Arsenal players deserve huge credit for that.

How much that will cost us ahead of the derby on Sunday remains to be seen, but let’s enjoy it for what it is this morning.

Read today’s Arseblog: Liverpool 0-0 Arsenal: No false positives as 10 man Gunners earn a draw

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This image makes Mikel look like a faith healer.


I’d go with skull Crusher.

Vieira’s accent coach

VAR: what’s Arteta doing to Martinelli’s head there? That looks dangerous.. Red card..


Got a light?

Merlin’s Panini

This is the water. And this is the well. Drink full and descend. The horse is the white of the eyes and dark within

Bleeding gums murphy

I have this awful feeling it’s gonna be similar on Sunday against the scum. Backs against the wall and trying to counter attack. They are a poor team with a weak midfield and a weak defence. Without son their frontline is greatly weakened. Praying odegarrd Tommy and esr along with saka and any other concerns are available. It’s the poorest scum team for a few years.


Odegaard is out with Covid, so bar some Liverpool like ‘false positive’ I highlight expect he wont play. I kinda think a back 5 is all we can do really, I’d also argue that with the likes of Chambers and Holding available that’s how you get the best out of them. The elimination in the FA Cup, and countless other poor showings by Holding (and Chambers) prove they dont really suit any sort of expansive possession style game plan, especially away from home. But if you sit them in their shape, tell them to fuck balls out into touch, win… Read more »


If that’s what we have to do to get a result, so be it.

Sit deep and hit them on the counter. Even if Laca lacks a bit of pace, Saka and Martinelli are at their best in and behind the opposition’s defence.

I would rather we did that than play the never ending horse shoe and get caught on the break ourselves by Son and Co.


My bad; Son is out until February. Shows you how much attention I pay to those trophy dodging twats.

No Son; thank fuck for that.

White and Gabriel marking the lanky window licker and, fingers crossed, things shouldn’t be that bad.

David Hillier's luggage

Short back and sides please…

Cranky Colin

HE is the “restorer “ of Faith.


[pedantry] Surely, the draw was no MORE than we deserved, no? [/pedantry]


“No less” is the standard construction for that phrase, as in we did not get less than what we deserved, as in we got what we deserved. Although, thinking about it, that wording does leave room for getting more than we deserved, which is a different variety of not getting what we deserve. Although, maybe you’re from the US and it’s more commonly “no more than” there? Like “could care less” seems to be used there in place of “couldn’t care less” (even though the former doesn’t make sense, in the way it’s used). Basically English is silly and Ben… Read more »


I am a British variety of pedant, but I see it as we deserved at least a draw for our doggedness, and therefore getting one was not any more than we deserved, i.e. we were not merely lucky, we actually worked bloody hard for what we got. Phrasing might be different in Ireland but, as you say, who really cares anyway? 😁


Imo that game was one of the top 4 or 5 performances by an Arsenal team under Arteta.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Certainly one of the best – if not the best – defensive performances under Mikel.

I’m actually tempted to rewatch the entire game over the weekend. It really was such a disciplined and organized display.

No disrespect to Cedric but I think his injury was a blessing in disguise, as whilst Cedric may be better technically, Chambers is clearly better at actual defending. Hopefully him struggling at the end was just cramp.


The one caveat I have is that we were really, really poor for the first 25 minutes.

But after the sending off, they were magnificent.


Hard to go to war as one of your midfield generals is either sent back to the trenches or stepping on landmines in your own area.


“I’m extremely proud of what the boys did today in an extremely difficult stadium against a great opponent, and playing 70 minutes with 10 men.” This says it all here. “The boys” (the young core of this team) is committed, talented, and that’s who we the fans want to see. They are the ones that have driven this team back to respectability. So turn the team over to them. As always with the last decade, it the experienced “leaders” that have let this team down this season. Laca at least has earned his place and shown real leadership and we… Read more »


Theoden speech


“They may take our lives, but they’ll never take … three points!”
– George Washington


There will come a day where the hearts of Gunners will fail but today is not that day! Ride Gunners, to glory, to victory!


I was really proud of The Arsenal last night apart from the aberation that is Xhaka. I hope we give him away to the totts or some other deserving club so he can criple theor players instead./

Incredible performance by the squad.


What a fantastic result.

Do we now have enough ACTUAL injuries and suspensions to consider an NLD postponement? You know given several first team players really DO have covid… Rather than false positives…


Is it me or are we seeing Arteta’s ice-cold stare at the interviewers more and more now?

Santi's Thigh Grab

He smiled more initially but he’s past that now. Reporters do nothing to advance your career but they can harm it if your not careful with your words.


Phenomenal show of guts and spirit by the team yesterday. Been waiting for many years through the dog days of the Wenger era to believe in Arsenal’s team spirit as much as their technical ability. A few unfortunate stumbles here and there this season, largely due to inexperience, but we’re seeing a level of talent and a strength of character in this group that is unique for their age. Early days still in their evolution as a unit but hard not to feel positive about where this group can go…

Don Danbury

I guess we won’t be hearing the usual “men against boys” bullsh.t after performances like this


Let’s hope Xhaka isn’t shot for desertion.


And Xhaka took it literally.


So the Swiss Frank Spencer misses the Spuds and the Second Leg.

I’ve no problem with that whatsoever. Yes, we’re desperately short in midfield but I would rather have the Emirates tea lady in there rather than that nailed on liability.


I don’t think telling xhaka to “go to war” is a very good idea to be honest haha


The Swiss don’t go to war.

Jeremy DG

Come on, this comment deserves more love


Slow clap 👏👏👏

Cranky Colin

Azeez will chop Harry’s leg off


Would we have got the result with 11 players ?

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