Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Arteta: We need to find a way to win football matches

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal had enough of the ball to win comfortably against Southampton but paid the price for their profligacy in the final third as goalkeeper Fraser Forster helped the home side see out a 1-0 win.

Jan Bednarek’s left-foot strike just before half time was enough to seal the points for the home side who held on after the break despite the Gunners dominating possession and having a total of 23 shots at goal.

Despite Sp*rs losing at home to Brighton, Manchester United’s win over Norwich forces the Gunners, who’ve now lost three times in a row, down to sixth and casts serious doubts over the club’s chances of qualifying for the Champions League and Europa League.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Arteta said: “If you’re somebody that didn’t know the score and is watching the game and asked who won the game, they would have said that Arsenal won it comfortably, but that is not the case.

“It’s difficult to explain considering that to lose a football match in this league. We conceded a sloppy goal and for the amount of possession, and it wasn’t just possession, it was the threat, we played very close to the opponent’s half, it wasn’t possession in our own backline, we should have scored three or four.

“It’s as simple as that, when you’re there that much, you have to score goals.”

On Forster’s performance, Arteta added: “Of course, he made a difference in the box and probably we’re talking about something different, people would be praising the way we played but it’s not the case.”

While the Gunners remain three points behind Sp*rs with a game in hand, there’s a genuine sense that things are unravelling for Arteta’s men who are struggling to cope with injuries to key players.

On the season losing momentum, he said: “It certainly has and we need to find a way to win football matches, what we can do is play as good as possible to win football matches and today we’ve done that, again.

“We will see, when I analyse the game and the stats tomorrow, we’ll say ‘how the hell have we lost that game.'”

Despite missing men, Arteta made clear that his squad had enough depth to win today.

“Still with those players that we played, most who could play with the under-23s of our club, we should have won the game comfortably.”

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And how long have you been unsure of trying to find a way to win a football match ? Genuinely thought that was kind of what managers were paid to do ?

announce bendtner

Yes they’re paid to make every micro decision of every player in each split second.

He’s clearly talking about a psychological barrier and a more clinical approach. Arteta can set his team up to create chances and exploit opponents but I don’t think the manager can teach some players to take their chances when presented.


The psychological barrier exists as his players are so clinical (as you say) in following his every drawing board tactic without being allowed the freedom to actually play ! Psychologically they are scared ! Eddie is not a hold up player yet the team is set around a system forged from a technical drawing board asking the players to play to pre-prepared set patterns (the managers decisions not made in micro seconds but planned in advance) Funnily enough teams know how to play against us, contain us & ultimately defeat us ! The bravery of the “nano second” decision/missed chance… Read more »

Announce Bendtner

We’ve got very different views of how coaches operate if you think the front three don’t interchange the ball as much as they should because Arteta demands they don’t. Their fluidity wasn’t present because they didn’t turn up.
You can’t pick and choose when to attribute entire player performance to coaching depending on when we win or lose.


You are right, he programs these guys and its laterally him failing to win not these guys


Plain and simply we are in this position due to absolutely disastrous management. Like I don’t care what anyone says, but both Torreira and Guendouzi would be a huge injection of quality into this midfield, to have loaned them out is just flat out ridiculous especially given the serious lack of depth. It’s a complete joke AMN was allowed to just walk out the door in the window too, absolutely criminal. The fact that Saliba has played for France and not for Arsenal is also absolutely ridiculous. And I can’t be bothered to talk about the Aubameyang thing. But to… Read more »


HFB woulda gotten on at least one of those hit ‘n hope crosses yesterday… for 1m quid, we coulda had him at least to get us to the end of the season.
My god we could have used his presence up front in ALL of these last 3 shit-shows!


Brilliant assessment.
You do coaching on the training ground but allow them to play. Mikel has got them over thinking


Bollocks… No-one ‘instructed’ Bukayo to side-foot the ball tamely straight at the middle of the goal, at chest height? He could not have chosen a statistically easier area for the save if he’ spent a week researching it! No-one told Ben to chop down his opponent’s, rugby style? Lest we forget, he did the same thing to Zaha which tipped the scales for Palace early on in that game! And why – now that those incisive through balls are more NB than ever – would Arteta have ‘instructed’ him not to try to make them??? Utter nonsense… what we have… Read more »


So Mikel then changes tack and buys a forward who actually scores goals rather than his choice of converting a goalscorer into a link player ? A box to box midfielder who scores makes saves goals turned into a player in that formation that won’t allow that type of player ? Bollocks ! The system he continually plays allows no flair ! Have a look at the goals scored column & remember he let Auba & Balogun go hence no depth ! Obviously Auba wasn’t happy but I’d say that was because he wouldn’t conform to The System he thought… Read more »


Your Supermac analogy re Auba is – dare I use the word again – bollocks. At least as regards the Auba of the past year… half a dozen routine chances missed, and not because he was dashing about the park defending (he seldom, if ever did!). And then there are those penalties… what excuse for those, pray tell?

Random Witness

(quote) Not helped by so-called ‘senior’ players like Xhaka simply lumbering on doing that same pedestrian mid-table crap that they’ve been doing all season… (end quote)

One wonders who keeps picking the lumbering pedestrians and who is responsible for our squad being a young one, lacking senior, experienced players? You would think there would be a “process” for all of this, wouldn’t it? Oh…


A different point mate: we’re discussing Arteta micro-managing on-field players into paralysis. You’re raising the (entirely valid) point about why we did not add much-needed depth in key positions.
I do not – and never will – believe that Arteta instructs players to make loose passes, not fight for the 50/50s, side-foot it straight at the keeper, get themselves sent off, ignore attacking runs into our box, all of which are the direct reason we are not comfortably in 4th atm.


so we played good in your opinion? only goals were missing?
what game did you watch because apart of martinellis cross (from the right) that found saka (on the left) I can’t recall any chances created and the way we played looked like Southampton had no weaknesses to be exploited. apart of the fact chelsea scored 6 times against them a week ago and the have lost 5 consecutive games. It is sollely on MA and the fact he simply can’t manage games.

Announce Bendtner

I didn’t say we played well did I? I simply stated that it’s not all on Arteta. The players need to play quicker, move the ball faster, mover more (particularly around their box). Any coach can identity and try correct these issues but as a player you need to be brave. Arteta isn’t free of blame but you can’t just blame him the same way you don’t just credit him when we win.


Brighton stopped their rot with us as well. A proper manager will change tactics

Hank Scorpio

“Arteta can set his team up to create chances”. No he doesn’t.


Just find an educated manager and this talented group of players will be a lot better.

Reiss Neverseen & El Dicteta

Honestly! These days, good managers are what separate great teams from bad. While I don’t expect a new coach to make us world class overnight, this is not the 8th best squad in the league. Arteta has set the bar so low, it wouldn’t take much for them to be better. I remember when Chelsea were struggling under Lampard. Everybody and their dog said he needed better players. Then Tuchel is appointed, the players look rejuvenated and lo behold Lampard is now struggling at Everton. There are a good number of innovative and fresh managers who have showcased their ability… Read more »


Not sure I really understand why at this point Mikel gets such a pass?? The performances have been atrocious, and obviously the injuries have played a part in our current form, but at the same time, we have all seen plenty of that kind of stuff when we’ve had everyone playing. In fact, I’d go as far as to say we have now seen that type of performance with almost three sets of players, or three versions of this team, with this latest iteration still saturated in the same toothless offensive displays as the first. So I do not think… Read more »

Alan Sunderland

Agree, got shot down on here because I didn’t like the odegaard signing. Arteta supposedly wants to play 4 3 3, odegaard doesn’t fit that system. Now it looks like he will be captain next year. He needs to figure out how he wants to play and get players that fit.

El Mintero

Yup, agreed on that one mate.


The jury is out on Odegaard for me, really not sure he is as good as people are making him out to be. Basically in every game when we’ve needed him to get on the ball and get the team going, he has been pretty much absent. Is that due to the players limitations or is it Mikel and his vice like structure which stifles his natural game. It’s probably somewhere in the middle, and I think that theory could be applied to a lot of the current first 11. Like Saka, Martinelli and ESR, I am really starting to… Read more »


Seriously pal, The Fab Four are the least of our worries at the moment……


And there is only one way to win football matches. By scoring more than the opposition. There is no other way that I can think of.


Let’s have Cedric whip more crosses into the box!


Crosses don’t win football matches, goals do.

Mayor McCheese

Somehow he’s getting worse at crosses as the days go by. More baffling still is why he’s our go-to for free kicks all of the sudden? Is it just that no one else is willing? Help me understand.


Not that nobody is willing, he uses his big brother shadow to take free kicks. These are small details that Arteta should attend to, tell them a free kick in this particular position will be taken by so and so. He is supposed to know everyone’s weakness and strength


How do you know he doesn’t? Or that the players are entrusted to make the call on the field?
We can’t lambast Arteta for micro-managing players into robots and then criticise him for not meticulously ordering who takes every set-piece!


And that’s before you begin to discuss the photo-bombing.

I bet he’s the first in the dinner queue at London Colney every single day.


A canny 1 million spent in Jan would have seen HFB on the end of at least one or two of those. Love him or loathe him, I’d settle his bustling presence up-front right now!


A shame dear old departed Roy Castle isn’t still with us – armed with his trumpet.

Cedric – The Guinness Book of Records Highest Number of Useless Crosses in a Football Match Ever.

“Record Breaker….!”


If you’re somebody that didn’t know the score and is watching the game and asked who won the game, they would have said that Arsenal won it comfortably, but that is not the case.”

I had to pretend not to know the score to allow myself to emotionally start watching the second half. It looked to me like Southampton were comfortably defending a point. Arteta is playing mindgames with himself and and the fans.


I’ll help with your analysis. You need to score goals to win football matches and you need goal scorers to score goals. We don’t have any, simples Mikel!


This ^ is 👏👏👏


We were not good enough and not good enough simples

El Mintero

“…you have to score goals”. So why the fuck are you starting Eddie???? I believe in Arteta to get us back where we belong but he has to show progress this year. For me, I said at start of the season top 6 buys him another year. If we don’t get top 6 then he should leave. Pains me to write that but this team is good enough for top 6 and if we don’t get it then don’t see how he survives.

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

That’s because you left the team with no actual starting striker…


Yea… I think its the Highway… Arsenal fans deserve this. Wishful thinking as per usual. I’ve been watching footy and Arsenal for a long while now. Blatantly obvious where we are going. Rust the Process. If it wasn’t for more gymnastics with sites like this massaging words to make some feel better about the teams ‘progress’ rather than obvious deficiencies that were not addressed and continue to be mishandled… 1) Arteta was always a gamble. An unripe assistant manager under the leg of Pep bigged up to convince Arsenal fans he was the next big thing. Wenger guaranteed fourth despite… Read more »


And we are one of the wealthiest team in the world…


We aren’t.

Stan and his Walmart missus are.


I hate to break it to you and your permanently half empty glass – but qualifying for the ECL next season is still mathematically possible.

Just saying.

As you were, oh mighty sooth sayer of doom. 😂


Bisouma signed from Brighton instead of white and played Siliba and holding. Could have been different.


He really does sound like he is lost and running out of ideas on how stop this losing run. The players looked like we lost the game before a ball was kicked today.


45 goals in 31 games.
I would say historically bad, if I had not seen the last two seasons.
It is not just the striker, the midfield and the wide options are not Champions League quality.


It would help to stop talking about champions league.
Would you want to see that team facing Bayern or PSG or Madrid?
It would be a cricket score.
Arsenal are a poorly managed bang average side…


After our “big” games the poor Villareal showed something against that Bayern lot.


There you go again. Not wanting ECL football.

Did you cover your moosh at the school prom with fake zits – just to save time?

Peter Cechs helmet

It’s fairly fucking obvious. Fall out with your striker by all means, but unless you’ve got another in mind just kiss and make up you power crazy prick!


Please – no more Laca.

There are bags of cement that would move quicker than that tortoise.


Most fans tend to think its either or the players, the manager, the owners or Xhaka at fault. The truth is it is all of the above. First and foremost we can’t do much about ownership. but its the crux of the issue Secondly the person in charge of this team who SHOULD be motivating ALL players and ensuring we are properly armed for the season not taking unnecessary risk neglecting needed transfers in the gaffer. Upon this sword he SHOULD fall Thirdly Edu should be got rid of. Fourthly players also have their own responsibility but their culpability is… Read more »


Agree with everything apart from the fans being dreamers bit.


And yet another Santa-stream begins with ‘Most fans’… Although, at least it wasn’t the equally turgid ‘As I’ve pointed out before’.



How about a striker who can score goals?
Or a defender that can defend?
Or a midfielder that can create goals and defend?
Or most importantly a manager that can manage?
Different game but the same gutless, spineless Arsenal…


We create chances and don’t score goals. I’ll lay it all out in one sentence…
We are Brighton with a inferior manager.

Mayor McCheese



You were one of his biggest fans, too.


*a manager.

My Arse-nal

“It certainly has and we need to find a way to win football matches, what we can do is play as good as possible to win football matches and today we’ve done that, again”
Has he actually been watching the previous two games where we were really shit and didn’t deserve anything from? All the optimism has been sucked out of me the last 3 games, I thought we were genuinely making progress.


If Arsenal FC had the mentality to move quick and replace obviously deficient Arteta, we could have been in frame for Ten Haag.

At very least Edu should have been replaced several windows ago.

But fans and board (which has been co-opted by Kroenkes now) continue to allow the rot to fester.


You want Arsenal to move quickly…?



Should we put in a cheeky bid for aubameyang in the summer?


I think a quick visit to Homebase and a cheeky bid for a couple of pot plants might improve our squad at the moment.


Aubameyang with his massive contract, lazy billy big bollocks attitude and sneaky trips to his mum in France via contract negotiations in Barcelona is a huge part of this problem. If he had any integrity he wouldn’t play like shit, steal his massive salary and then stick two fingers up at the club by playing out of his skin and showing us all what he could’ve been doing if he gave a fuck. Exactly what he did to Dortmund and what he’ll do to Barca when they give him a decent contract.

El Mintero

He’s definitely got a case of the ozils…



Reiss Neverseen & El Dicteta

Wow. You actually typed all that and hit “Post Comment”. If Pierre was stinking it up at Barca, you’d probably be over the moon by the sounds of it.

According to you, not only is Auba a thief for being forced out of his contract by the club, he’s also dishonest for finding his shooting boots again. Incredible!


You can’t blame Auba for our lack of goals now, Von.

You could, however, maybe question the decision of the man who willingly let him go without securing a replacement.

Just saying mate. 😉


This wasn’t a case of Forster wiping us out.
We had two actually good chances. The rest of our shots were fairly low-percentage efforts.

At no point did it feel like Southampton was under pressure.
Possession on its own means nothing.



Why is it normally shite keepers suddenly start throwing themselves about between the sticks like a cross between Eddie The Eagle, Keith Moon, John Noakes and Mick Jagger when they play us..?

Alan Sunderland

Think it was more about poor finishing


I like to think of it as an Arsenal version of Sod’s Law – why toast always falls butterside down. Why our lads are always out for months on end or the rest of the season. Why opposition goalkeepers who have more in common with Bobby Mimms suddenly turn into Dino Zoff when faced with The Arsenal.

Chapman’s Law?
Wenger’s Law?
Friar’s Law?
Hillwood’s Law?

Take your pick…..


As long as it’s not Dick Law…


3 or 4 goals? Is he blind? The Saka and ESR chances… and what else?
Mikel, anyone watching that game would’ve said the same thing – toothless possession with no movement and dynamism. The team in blue don’t look like they’ll score. That’s what they would say. Not, “wow what a dominant team! the result here is a foregone conclusion!”. At least honestly appraise the game for what it was, garbage??


It’s the intangibles, isn’t it? Lack of cutting edge in the important moments. And why are we so f*cking sh*te when it comes to blocking crosses. Eddie should’ve done better closing down Elyounossi. Maybe I’m harsch but it drives me crazy watching him play. Balls bounce of him, and he always seems to choose the solution the opposing team offers him. Seems really easy to defend against.

Bleeding gums murphy

He is.


I’d rather see Pepe play through the middle than Eddie. Yes he’s brain dead without the ball, but he’s stronger and got way more ability….

I thought we should have moved Saka to LB against Palace at half time, and I got slaughtered, but I still think that would give us better balance and get all our best players on the pitch…..he can still attack from there FFS !!


Seriously, WTAF has Pepe actually got to do to start a game?

Fucked if I know….


I would have given Pepe a chance after AFC his confidence has gone now though.
Mikel won’t play him cos he didn’t buy him simples


Why is it we’re so ready to question the intelligence of black players and their ‘football brains’ or brains full stop? It’s a lazy racist trope. Pepe isn’t brains dead Amy more than Ben White.


The Immovables.

Everyone’s entitled to be languidly slow, but this lot take the piss.


‘Immovables’. You gotta love it!


Occurs to me that we were also the Immovables under Arsene…

But the difference was that it was from Top 4 !


“And welcome to Mastermind 2022. Can we have our first contender please. Your name please?”

“Mikel Arteta.”


”Manager of Arsenal Football Club. At the moment.”

“And your chosen specialised subject?”

“The Fucking Bleedin’ Obvious.”

“Mr Arteta, you have two minutes on ‘The Fucking Bleedin’ Obvious’….starting, now – what would a football coach look for after three successive defeats?”

“A way to win football matches….?”



The management took a huge gamble, and for 3 months it worked out fine. Not sure what big data analytics led them to the decision of keeping the powder dry for summer’s window, but would wager they were not forecasting a serious fight for top 4. Its going to be painful last 7 games to endure for the supporters and the team.

Brady’s bunch



Easy Mikel. Just play Arsenal next game. Struggling sides will always break their duck against Arsenal!


‘How the hell have we lost that game?’ We lost that game largely by persisting with a ‘striker’ who (a) is out of contract (b) has publicy stated he wants to be somewhere else (c) has NEVER delivered under real pressure. We lost that game by once again leaving our most expensive signing – a true match-turner (love him or hate him!) on the bench until the dying minutes. Playing Eddie before Pepe has finally gotten me off the pro-Arteta wagon. Whilst I don’t (yet) believe he should be sacked, I do feel he needs a lot of help with… Read more »


Haha needs a lot of help with man management and team tactics. That’s the fucking job description!


We did have the ball in some dangerous positions and a lot of shots but by no means were we unlucky not to win. Foster made some good saves but the only real chance we made was the shot by saka on the counter off of a Southampton mistake. Martinelli had a long range effort stopped and esr had a miss kick saved. Xhakas shot was going wide but those were off broken plays amd lucky bounces. With out lack of midfield and no center forward play, as well as everything down the wings, we can’t create. We are better… Read more »

Paul Poh

Arteta, possession shall not be equated to winning football matches. We all know that. It is too late for you to find a solution now as you have already missed the golden opportunity in the January transfer window, ie. to bring in a striker aka central forward to replace Aubameyang! Besides, there is no reinforcement in several key areas too. While you are looking for excuses, may be you should also put the blame on Edu, who is tasked with the job of recruitment?


Without a genuine main striker, the side lacks the presence in the box that unsettles defenders and scores the bread and butter goals that win matches. It is as simple as that. Aubameyang was that sort of player until whatever caused his performance to collapse, but where is the Olivier Giroud sort of player, the guy that bullies defences and gets on the end of the balls that we ping into the box? Lacazette has never been that kind of striker, and it seems that Nketiah never will be.


Auba has stated, quite candidly when he signed for Barca, that there was indeed a problem with him and the manager. Now, whatever the root of that was, it is, so far as our Goals For tally is concerned, neither here nor there. The facts are these. Under Wenger and Emery, Auba pretty much scored goals for fun. He is now pretty much scoring goals for fun at Barca. A lot of sour people are currently quick to dismiss him, whilst conveniently forgetting he was the Premiership’s joint top goal scorer in 2018/19. That massive new contract was drawn up… Read more »


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