Thursday, April 25, 2024

Arteta explains how Arsenal should have killed off Watford

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal should have killed off Watford with 300,000 passes after going 3-1 up at Vicarage Road rather than allow the hosts back into the game by ignoring the danger they posed on the counter-attack.

While the boss was thankful his side kept up their winning ways, he didn’t hide from the fact the Hornets posed his players questions they too often didn’t have the answer to.

Even after Bukayo Saka swept the Gunners into a 2-1 lead, the Spaniard was seen berating his players on the touchline. He was later asked why he was so irked.

“Because I didn’t like how we were controlling the game,” he said.

“We were allowing spaces against the team who, if we kept allowing that, we were going to suffer. I knew that. We had to put that right and we did it for certain periods.

“Then in the last 25 minutes, we lost it again. We have to show that maturity, understanding and capacity to control the game how we wanted to.

“At 3-1, after, we had to make 300,000 passes in the opposition half and when they have the right moment to come at us, then we can attack them. We didn’t do that. The game was open and you had the feeling that the game was open right until the end.”

Asked to sum up the performance, he added: “I sum it up with the first minute of the game. In the first minute we could have been one-nil down.

“I think we were really good going forward and we had all the right intention and energy to do it and we scored three magnificent goals but we didn’t have the same energy and commitment defensively.

“When that happens away from home, you’re going to suffer and we suffered today. Defensively we didn’t have the right structure, we didn’t detect with enough urgency the moments when they could activate certain spaces, which we knew, and that’s why we suffered. We conceded two and we could have conceded another one or two.”

Having picked up maximum points since returning from the warm weather training camp in Dubai, the Gunners have climbed into the top four for the first time in two months. With games in hand on the clubs around us, we’re in a good place to seriously challenge for a Champions League spot. Arteta isn’t getting carried away and he’s not predicting what will happen next.

“I don’t like to look at the table a lot because we have games in hand,” he said.

“We’re going to play different fixtures and I know the objective and it’s only one, to try and improve tomorrow on what we’ve done today and go into the next match and that’s it.

“I cannot control results and I cannot predict which matches we are going to win, draw or lose, it’s impossible. If I start to do that I think we’re going to lose focus in what we want to do.”

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‘make 300,000 passes’
he is pep’s protege all right


I watched the Manchester Derby, for my sins, and I was actually really astonished at how similar our style is to Man City, especially the way we build from the back. I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise really – but I was.


For sure. He’s peps protege and he’s seems to be assembling the personnel. Just finished the replay. Craving game. Give Warford credit, they were good. We were just fking🔥. Saka is SO good. We need champs league so we don’t have to worry about losing him this summer. Great game from the forwards. Fun young team. Shout out to Cedric. Quietly had a cracker. Come on Arsenal!


Just like Man City buried Man U in passes.


Gabriel Jesus would have buried 2 more chances there.

Rising Dough

Agreed. Arteta wanted Arsenal to do to Watford what City did to United. Up 3-1 in minute 70, City began a 51 pass sequence that lasted 2:15 and ended in a decent shot on goal. I suspect Arteta may be showing that sequence next week in the clubhouse. Regardless, today’s game was a very entertaining, and the result was a well deserved.


Top 4 with things still to learn for our young team

It’s sounding promising!


We need to shoot for third.


Internally, i think that’s the target Arteta as set for the boys


Fourth for now! Enjoy


It’s in our hands now.

We have a great opportunity and just need to keep calm and laser-focused.

Good to hear some grounded words from the manager, because nothing is certain, despite the healthy looking table.


Like Arteta, I’m not satisfied either. Let’s smash that Russian money laundering outfit and get into third.


Now that would be something.

But I’ll happily take fourth at this moment in time, all day long.

Billy bob

ManUre got spanked – icing on the cake!!! Don’t particularly like Man City but they are still preferable to ManUre, spuds and chavski


Don’t forget the Phlegm Spouters.


Ødegaard made 115,000 great passes today.


Don’t you just love checking the livescore app these days 🙂

ankit raghav

It feels great when you click at a 1-1 score for details and the score changes to 2-1.


Prefer sofascore, is livescore better?


No matter where we finish I hope its in top four even better top3. considering how young the team is im sure we are heading in a right direction with more singings in the simmer I do really believe we are back.

Cranky Colin

I’m enjoying watching Arteta Ball.
BTW……did you see Utd?
Maguire tackle on half way, exactly, exactly the same as Xhaka a while back.
Both intended to get the player and both were in the same place in same circumstances.
The difference? One is yellow, one is red😂😂😂😂😂😂

A Different George

Really? “In the same place?” Was the City player just outside the United penalty area or was he twenty to thirty yards further back? “In same circumstances?” Was there a United player closer to the goal than Maguire? Go watch it again.


Arteta wasn’t asked about the pre pre pre assist he gave for the third goal?

A Different George

On the feed I watched, the commentator said it was Arteta’s first assist in eight years.


It was a good sight to behold


It’s like we’re sneaking under the radar……Man Utd are the talking point, Conte might leave etc etc



Iwobi will get the winner


Very much doubt it….but wouldn’t it be great !


Exactly how I like it.

Let those tossers on Sky and TalkSport tug themselves over United, Spurs, West Ham and Wolves.

We’ll just keep on quietly winning. 😉👍

A Different George

The American commentators are saying Arsenal are the favourite.


No problem with that whatsoever; in fact, it’s good publicity for the growth of the American fanbase.

Unlike the Uk media, the American media don’t build us up to constantly knock us down for no other reason than plain old fashioned jealousy.


Arteta had a 100% pass completion rate in the opposition half today


Are we trusting the process yet?



If our defence would stop choking like a load of tots on the first day of school and kindly keep a clean sheet or two, then maybe….


Off topic, but Roy Keane losing his shit is always comedy gold.



He refused to accept they should take a page out of our book. I’d like to know where this narrative that we’ve “struggled” in the cups this season comes from though, Twatterface on TalkShite said the same pre-Wolves, one semi final where we didn’t concede till the quarters & one 3rd round, injury hit defeat


He refuses to accept anything approaching common sense.

The bloke’s a fucking idiot.


Absolutely! We are our own worst enemy as per usual. Can’t be mature enough to close out a game. Xhaka should not have attempted the cross field pass. That said, we were already showing signs of self inflicted wound earlier with a number of stray passes or untidy work. There was a lack of composure thereafter following their second despite little time remaining. This is something that has been a feature and Arteta should be tackling it bc it can be coached. Otherwise a good result and further cementing a strong chance of the once oft derided Top four trophy.… Read more »


If you can’t see an improvement in the overall structure and execution of our play you really don’t understand football. Yes there are still errors and it is a young team, but the upward trajectory is clear!

Alex Raymond

To be cincered arsenal are back I pray the chemistry should continues we are now fighting for top 3 now good luck to us arsenal long-live arsenal


Arteta: “We had to make 300,000 passes in the opposition half”
Also Arteta: Brings Nketiah and Pepe on.

Teryima Adi

Arteta’d come good.


Against a fast moving side with the beseizing the Watford goal,the gunners could have been vulnerable to the sucker punch.
I fear for Arsenal when White is one on one.
He is liable to be expose d as in Watfords 2nd goal and against MU


Impossible to kill off a game with our 2 central defenders. Good footballers but mistakes every game. It will catch up with us if we fail to score enough. Hope he gives Salina a chance next season but I doubt it

A Different George

Very good and very young central defenders. Most of the mistakes, it seems to me, are from a lack of experience, from facing a new or newish situation rather than one you have dealt with over and over–the second Watford goal is a perfect example. If the mistakes came from a lack of pace, or skill, or from cracking under pressure, then I would worry. And I am not worried.


We don’t have the players, especially at the back and in the centre, to kill off games so we will witness more chaos and end-to-end stuff. We’ll see the kind of business they will do in the summer. Most importantly, this team is improving and, barring injuries, they should get top four.

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