Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Arteta: We played the game we had to play

Mikel Arteta praised the attitude of his Arsenal players after they held out for a 0-0 draw against Liverpool despite playing most of the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg with 10 men following Granit Xhaka’s first half red card.

Here’s what the Spaniard had to say when he faced the Sky Sports cameras…

On securing a draw in difficult circumstances…

I think they showed great fight, determination, attitude, brotherhood. You could see the emotion they were playing with, they never gave up. It’s exceptionally difficult to do it against this opponent. Credit to the boys. It’s just the first leg but to do what we’ve done today, they deserve a lot of credit for that.

On the red card inspiring his players…

I don’t know if it inspired them but we certainly took the fight. I said to them before the game, if you want to come here, you have to have a certain attitude to play in this ground. In difficult moments you have to act, you cannot be reacting because then it becomes really complicated. I think the boys did that extremely well in certain moments. We played the game that we had to play, it’s not our game but we managed to play the game we had to play.

On the red card…

I haven’t seen it back but if they checked it, it probably was a red card.

On the tactical decisions he made and whether he had a contingency plan…

To plan with the numbers we had, we don’t have any midfielders in the squad, it becomes really complicated because whatever we’re going to do is not going to be natural. We play with three midfield players which were Martinelli, Sambi Lokonga and Bukayo Saka. They never played there in their lives, they never played that formation but we believed that could help them and give them a threat in counter-attack moments to create some danger. They did really well.

On reverting to three centre-backs…

We believed it was the best way to do it with the players that we had, the changes and the solutions that they normally put in when they play against 10 players. Still, it doesn’t matter about the formation, it’s about the attitude the players showed, the quality, the decision making and to survive for that long here, it’s very difficult.

On Arsenal playing like this after losing on Sunday…

It’s really difficult to explain. You see the performance against Manchester City where we probably deserved much more than we got from the game, but again we played with 10 men. Then we went to play Forest away and it was a completely different one. Today, we got the level back and we did what we had to do. It’s an extremely young team and sometimes that inconsistency is going to happen.

On Sp*rs being happy with the effort Arsenal had to put in ahead of the north London derby…

Yes, but the motivation to play a derby brings the energy when you don’t have it. Again, no excuses, it is what it is. We have to play that game now, we’ll prepare in the best possible way.

On the second leg…

I’m expecting now that our fans are going to create an even better atmosphere than what we’ve seen today, which was already really good. We’re going to need them to beat a top side.

On injury news…

We had a few injuries, yes. That’s why we had to make the substitutions, that’s why Cedric has to come off, Calum was struggling at the end. Let’s see how we go.

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Alex Nagy

Proud of the manager and team tonight. COYG

Harding

Now let’s mash the spuds. COYG

Johnny 4 Hats

Three at the back at Anfield. George would’ve been proud.

Reiss Neverseen & the DicTeta

Would’ve??
He’s still alive, isn’t he?

Nainsley Aitland Miles

I have a vague memory of Wenger’s early days when he was trying to suss out his new players, he played 5 at the back in a few matches, one of them being at Anfield in a League Cup match.

Just checked the team that night, it was Lukic; Dixon, Keown, Bould, Adams, Winterburn; Platt, Merson, Vieira; Wright, Hartson.

We lost 4-2.

Naked Cygan

Who gives a fk if he didn’t see the red card. It was given and we played with 20 men when we shouldn’t have if Xhaka had a fking brain. Is he going to have a word with him? What is the punishment if Xhaka does it again? How much longer are we going to let this slide? We should have beaten city and Liverpool today if we were more disciplined and Xhaka was a Roma player.

Naked Cygan

10* ….

Matthinc

You really hate Arteta, don’t you? He just made genius tactical response to Xhaka’s stupidity. He’s the one whose brought an energy and spirit to this team that I’ve not seen in 10 years. There is no-one else to play in midfield!! I understand your fury at Xhaka, but stop letting it blind you.

Naked Cygan

If you don’t get it, then you won’t get it. Call his tactics master class based on where we finish in the league this season. Not in Europe, finished 8th twice, out of Fa cup by Nottingham Forest. Playing city and Liverpool with 10 men with stupid red cards…master class my a$$.

Alan Sunderland

Best thing arteta has done is not make excuses, he said after the game we play a derby next no excuses. I fucking loved that, telling the backup players they’re good enough to win next game. Fuck spurs they’re shit, whoever is available to play they should give it a rip. Fuck this crap every time the teams announced on here. We’re better than them, always have been.

MojoWillneny

Great spirit. Excellent heart, which is something we have lacked for years at the club. I worry that our core group is wearing thin. They are exerting so much physically and emotionally in this current run. There just aren’t enough quality players on this team yet. This young team has great spirit but it’s exactly these periods that eventually erode a young team’s ability to sustain results during the run-in of a top four race. We need more top players. I’m going to be proud of this group in May, no matter what happens, but this current period, what is… Read more »

Nainsley Aitland Miles

I think we have enough quality to finish 4th.

Really only Man City, Chelsea and maybe Liverpool have two world class players in every position. We’re not at that level yet.

We’re in a battle with Sp*ds, Man United, and West Ham for 4th, and I like the look of our squad more than those three.

A once in a generation pandemic has robbed us of 5 players at this moment (Odegaard this week, and Covid resulting in AFCON being moved to January instead of originally last summer) and AMN will almost certainly be replaced with a new signing shortly.

MojoWillneny

Great spirit. Excellent heart, which is something we have lacked for years at the club. I worry that our core group is wearing thin. They are exerting so much physically and emotionally in this current run. There just aren’t enough quality players on this team yet. This young team has great spirit but it’s exactly these periods that eventually erode a young team’s ability to sustain results during the run-in of a top four race. We need more top players. I’m going to be proud of this group in May, no matter what happens, but this current period, what is… Read more »

MojoWillneny

Not for the first time this season, the team made me very proud to support this club. Love this collection of players but worried this current period is wearing them thin physically and emotionally. We just don’t have enough players to support/challenge our core 11. This may effect our chances of finishing in the top four, but let’s see how things play out. This young core group has proven their character and spirit on many occasions this season. Wouldn’t surprise me if they prove me wrong and get to the finish line in 4th…

The Far Post

Well put! I agree with everything you wrote except the emotionally part. Think these experiences will strengthen them, given the way they are reacting on the pitch, and importantly, supported by the fans in the stadium and for the most part by Arsenal fans around the world. Arteta is guiding them well. I’ll publicly confess when he started speaking about the team needing the fans, I thought he’s simply repeating some sport psychology mantra from one of his coaching badges. But he’s right: this is a young team that needs support to develop, just like other young people. I took… Read more »

StuArse

3 at the back against spuds then I guess? And again we may find ourselves with no fit RBs by the sound of it. It doesn’t rain, but it pours.
Attitude seems to be getting us through, keep going lads, reinforcements are coming…….

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Hopefully Chambers was just cramp at the end.

I hope the Arsenal board will Strengthen this team this month to ease these catastrophic man team issues for Mikel Arteta. To achieve the top four goal in the ongoing campaign, Arteta needs two central midfielders and an athletic powerful striker. Well done against Liverpool last night but no thanks to the everStupid Xhaka . Mr Edu and team of recruitment please assist Mr Arteta and save our Season❤️❤️❤️❤️

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