Monday, October 3, 2022

Arteta: We have to believe we can beat Liverpool

Since the disappointing defeat to Everton in early December, Arsenal have picked up 28 points from a possible 33. Even the two games in which points were dropped during that 11 game run – a 0-0 draw with Burnley and the New Year’s Day defeat to Manchester City – should have been won.

It’s an impressive run – the best of Mikel Arteta’s tenure as manager – and has put the Gunners in a strong position to end a five year Champions League exile.

Of course, a top four finish is far from a foregone conclusion. Stern tests lie ahead and none more so than Wednesday’s visit of in-form Liverpool who are on an eight-game winning streak of their own.

Despite a creditable 0-0 draw with 10 men in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg, the Gunners have struggled to take the game to Jurgen Klopp’s side in any of this season’s three matches and Arteta knows an improvement is needed.

“That’s a different level now and we have to take the game to a new standard to have a chance to beat them and we know that,” said Arteta after Sunday’s 2-0 win over Leicester.

“Tomorrow, we’re going to start to prepare how we can beat them and how we’re going to start believing that we can beat them, which is crucial to be able to beat them.”

It’s not just Liverpool who look daunting. Arsenal also have to play Chelsea, Sp*rs, West Ham and Manchester United before the end of the season.

“We know where we are now, but we have to look forward,” said Arteta.

“We have to look at what we do, focus on our performances and prepare for the next match and that’s it. Because the rest is just guessing. I’m not a great gambler, I never have been and I don’t want to gamble.”

It’s clear that after years of cliques and indiscipline, there’s a team spirit being fostered by the manager that is helping the players enjoy their football.

Last week, Martin Odegaard went out of his way to say, “the togetherness is something special” while other squad members have suggested similar.

“It’s the way it should be,” said Arteta.

“I think if the players representing the club are not happy, as the people who we are responsible for them, I think we have to go somewhere else because we are doing something wrong.

“They have the joy and the privilege to be football players, they have to enjoy it, it’s what the purpose of what they do and now you can really sense they are having a good time together, they enjoy playing football with this freedom, they can express it and it’s all about that.”

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Martin

I’d take a point right now. If the worst happens and we lose, we need to make sure it doesn’t affect our confidence and we keep going. 4th is ours for the taking.

Bleeding gums murphy

Do we need to hope that if we finish 4th that Leicester or West Ham don’t win Europa, I can’t see United winning champions league.

Eazy Deezy

Only problem is if West Ham win Europa AND United also win CL. I don’t want to tempt fate, but that’s not happening.
Leicester is irrelevant to this, as they are in the Europa Conference League

Bleeding gums murphy

Thanks Eazy, that’s a relief. Hopefully United and West Ham go out this week.

PeteyB

I’ve no objection to them staying in a little longer. More games, more fatigue, more opportunities for epl slip-ups. In my book they can each reach the final and get a good spanking once they get there

A Different George

I am anxious to see how Benzema does against Harry Maguire. Ha ha ha.

Goonerink

Mad to think 6 months ago people would have written us off the next fixture already. Now we are looking to beat one of the best teams in Europe and it’s not a complete fantasy!

UzesGooner

Fixture list for this week has not been kind though – late KO on Sunday, then Liverpool on Wednesday and then Villa lunchtime Saturday.

Liverpool have had any extra days rest & Villa are not playing mid week so they won’t be completely knackered, like we will be !!

ChickPEA

Yeah that’s right indeed, we should have been allowed to played on Saturday this weekend and/or Sunday the next.

UzesGooner

Exacto.

78/79/80

I was thinking this. But then you hjave to remember we have had arguably two long mideseason breaks recently. I think these young lads will have plenty in their legs.

UzesGooner

Yeah, I agree, I’m just being picky ! We’ve had a good run with lots of rest and a young team so should be ok 🤞🤞🤞

A Different George

Let’s be honest. Liverpool’s extra day is definitely a slight advantage, but it’s comparatively irrelevant. They are one of the 3 or 4 best sides in Europe, certainly one of the two best in England, in fantastic form and chasing a title. And we are a serious test for them.

UzesGooner

Liverpool is a free hit really, just then we may be fucked against Villa, which is the more realistic 3 points…..i’m probably over thinking it !

Jean Ralphio

Should we try something new for the Liverpool game and experiment? Or stick with our current team?

Johan

I hope for some wise rotation; the Villa game is early Sat morning and though I’d love us to beat Liverpool, my expectations for Wed are low. The Villa game is a must win, the Liverpool game is not.

Here’s an experiment: start Elneny instead of Xhaka, as a more press resistant player who also offers better protection against quick counter attacks.

Martin R

Obviously you have failed to see how effective Xhaka is in his more advanced role. Elneny is reliable but nowhere near the class of Xhaka

Johan

Your assumption about me is incorrect as I agree with your assessment about Xhaka and Elneny. I was merely suggesting a tactical switch for this particular game as I also think we need to get some fresh legs in given our back-to-back fixtures. Most of our players are currently undroppable (which is mostly a positive); this would be a rotation where we’d lose something offensively but gain defensively. It also looks like Xhaka is being asked to run more than usual. If so, giving him a rest and having him as an option from the bench could be good.

Alan Sunderland

How is elneny press resistant? Explain this please. And how does liverpool winning the ball high up the pitch equate to counter attacks.

Johan

Relative to Xhaka, he’s more mobile, a bit quicker, and good at retaining possession.
Not sure I understand your second question, but what I was getting at is Elneny’s mobility and also his ability to press.

Alan Sunderland

There’s no comparison between xhaka and elneny. Xhaka is an far superior player. Elneny is a tryer who gives his all but is a very limited player on and off the ball.

Johan

I’m not disagreeing with you, I’m not arguing for this being a switch we ought to make, I am merely suggesting an experiment. And I’m quite happy for the way fans are standing up for Xhaka!

Alan Sunderland

The second question is self explanatory, liverpool aren’t counter attacking if their winning the ball in our half. You have to be attacking for a team to counter attack.

Johan

I see, “high up the pitch” from a Liverpool perspective.
Why would they only win the ball in that part of the pitch? Seems like they cut us open by winning the ball when we were higher up the pitch for a few of their goals in our league defeat at Anfield.

Alan Sunderland

I’m not arguing, they are a very good team. They’ve got good players and a good coach. They’ve also been playing the same way for 5 years. They cause the same problems for every team they play, swapping xhaka for elneny isn’t going to change that.

Bleeding gums murphy

Johan, I was at the city game and we were superb. We outplayed them. We can do the same to Liverpool at the emerates. Believe

Jay

Trust the process

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Stick with the same XI.

Mentalista

Also stick with the full XI

Indiegooner

I’m a bit skittish about Cedric. When we played them earlier, they targeted Lokonga who was until that game playing well. Won’t be surprised if they look at Cedric as our weak link. Unfortunately there is not much in terms of a replacement available. Saka might be tasked to help him out.

UzesGooner

Yep !

Wishawk

I’d love to see ESR in place of Xhaka for the Liverpool game. ESR may be less experienced, but is a lot more mobile than Xhaka and may combine with Martinelli with quick exchanges like Odegaard with Saka. During the past couple of games Martinelli played, he covered more defensive duties than Xhaka. Xhaka took care of the ball while in advanced positions, but he did not make quick movements to drag any defender out of position to give Martinelli more space to attack. I may be wrong, but it feels like Martinelli often had to create chances for himself.… Read more »

Martin R

So you wish to remove a key player in our improved performances in the last few months. 🙈

Pete Plum

After the mid season break I think we could try and keep the first 11 all the way through now. But a word in Elnenys defence, he never lets us down

Kentish Gooner

We can beat Liverpool. I have faith.

Man Manny

A win on Wednesday swings the top 4 door wide open for us.
One thing I am certain is that this team will leave everything there on the pitch.
If that still fetches 0 points, kudos to Liverpool. But my gut feeling is that the team will be rewarded for that effort.
If it’s a win, that would be heavenly.

Abdul bakar

If we believe we can pull it off. If we don’t show them too much respect and take the game to them just like how we played against city, we stay compact and fight for each other, avoid over playing and silly mistakes. Then it achievable plus we have our fans to make it unbearable for them Cox the supporters believed and we are turning emirates stadium to a fortress. Keep the good work lads, heads up and never give up

Samyam Thapa

Yeah looking at the team’s average shape against every other team except Liverpool, we seem to be slightly more attacking. Hope we continue that against the scousers too.

Abdul bakar

yeah we need to attack too to disorganised their set up. We have to pick our moments to attack with lighting counters Cox we can’t go all out
so they don’t punish us. Liverpool team have been playing together for a long time and our team is a young team not yet the finished product

Samyam Thapa

Today Leicester were pressing everytime cedric had the ball. In final 20 minutes Partey was off position a few times. Hope we fix those issues. Hope salah isn’t available. And hope our defence keeps that fucking Jota in their pockets. Honestly I liked him more when he was in wolves.

Fatgooner

Massive game on Wednesday against Liverpool. If we can pull off a win it’ll put a ton of pressure on United and Spuds.
By beating the weaker sides we’ve put ourselves in a position where we can afford to lose to the Scousers and not be too damaged. But a point or even three would really put us in a commanding spot.

My gut feeling is that it will be a draw,

Alan Sunderland

Draw would do, I thought 5 points from these 3 games would be ok 6 would be good. The way odegaard and partey played today I’m now thinking we could get 7 or 9.

Gabigol

I agree. I’m sure Mikel is aiming for a one point minimum but also targeting their weakness, which is similar to our weakness behind the full backs. But they also have capable Centre backs, so it won’t be easy to score unless we commit men forward.

Personally I would have Smith Rowe come in and Mikel to revert to his trusted 4141 formation.

But Mikel being Mikel he will want to directly go for a Liverpools weakness so width maybe key, same as Liverpool against us. His trust and belief in Odegaard could be on show here

Alan Sunderland

Klopp man marked odegaard in home game last season. He’s a different player now. It’s going to be interesting to see how liverpool play. I would agree with you about Smith rowe, would also be interesting to see if he would play martinelli through the middle. Think van dijk and konate would rather play lacazette.

A Different George

Liverpool “have capable centre backs.” You think?

UzesGooner

Are you warming to Arteta now Fat?

Fatgooner

The jury’s still out.

UzesGooner

😂

Gabigol

The three stages of Arteta:
1. The George Graham discipline stage
2. The Moyes compact but highlight some individual talent stage
3 The Wenger handbrake off stage

Wolfgang

If the ref is impartial,Arsenal can win.
Arsenal shd have beaten MCif var had a 2nd look.

Qwaliteee

That’s the Spirit!

I’d love us to smash those Phlegm Spouters all over the place.

But, whatever happens, I’ll gladly just accept another win. The three points are all that matter.

Baz

No reason we can’t win. We dominated City until we imploded. Would be more confident with Tomi back as right back however. Draw would be acceptable I think, if not to just keep the moral up and undefeated streak going.

Mikels Arteta

I can’t hear the #artetaout mob..

Thierry Walcott

Are you complaining?

Zet

Someone have to stop Kloop from encroaching on our young players after the game.

Qwaliteee

When we score, our bench will just have to celebrate so wildly that somehow Klopp’s glasses get broken in the process…..

A Different George

Yeah, I think the lasik might have fixed that problem.

ChickPEA

Relax, if we manage top 4, I don’t see anyone leaving for Liverpool in the near future. This looks to be an era-defining time for Arsenal, our young players won’t want to miss the opportunity to write their names in the club’s history.

Santori

Cautiously optimistic. I think a draw would be great return for us.

BUT no reason not to gun for the win given the way the team is playing at the moment.

COYG

Db10**

The thing we require against big teams is bravery. Because they are so offensive they will leave gaps that can be exploited. They are on a good run but so are we. COYG

Qwaliteee

I hope the Emirates will be deafening.

That will help, in no small measure.

GraeB

Changing subject totally, can everyone with a chelski fan mate or contact please send them a message to say how they should be embarrassed, ashamed, and totally opposed to their club flying a Russian flag at their stadium yesterday.
Any other ideas to get the message home to them?

IamsterdamGooner

They’re scum and times like this shows their true character. But, devils advocate here, lets not pretend our stadium, shirt and sleeve sponsor are on the forefront of human rights either 🤷🏽‍♂️ but i guess that’s too far from Europe for people to give a shit about.

A Different George

I am not happy about the stadium name, etc. I think a murderous regime in the Gulf or East Africa is just as serious as in Europe. But this is quite a bit different. Apart from the flag and the “Roman Empire” pictures, Chelsea fans (condemned, to his credit, by Tuchel) sang Abramovich’s name during a tribute to Ukraine away, and throughout the match at home.

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