Beat Newcastle. Beat Everton. Qualify for the Champions League.
Since losing to Sp*rs on Thursday night, Mikel Arteta has framed Arsenal’s final week of the season in the simplest of terms.
It’s a high-pressure situation but one the Spaniard views as a reward for months of graft on and off the pitch.
While he’ll be able to point to a season of progress whatever happens, having come so far, his focus is squarely on finishing the job.
“We want to be playing in the Champions League, that’s the aim,” he said ahead of the trip to St James’ Park.
“We’ve come so far, it’s in our hands and we want to now capitalise on that. The excitement and the opportunity is there and we really want to go for it.
“It’s excitement, this is what we’ve built over the last few months,” he added.
“That’s the target now, it’s in our hands and we want to deliver that.
“It is a good place to be. It is in our hands we have done a lot in the past few months to be in this position so let’s go for it.”
After defeat in the north London derby, Arteta deflected blame from his players by inferring the standard of the officiating had ruined the game – the Gunners conceded a soft penalty and were reduced to 10 men before the break.
The Spaniard immediately became a lightning rod for the media’s attention but he denies trying to manufacture a “them against us” culture inside the dressing room.
“Whatever we do, we will try to defend the club in the right way, like we have always tried to do,” he said.
“The other night I tried to do it as well … I was being clear and honest. I think that is my job and my responsibility, when I talk on behalf of the club, to express how we feel. And if I cannot do it, I prefer not to.”
From here on out, the only talking that matters is that done on the pitch.
I think if you’d been told at the start of the season, we’d have to beat a mid table club and a relegation club in our last two games to qualify for the UCL. Most of us would be very happy with that scenario.
Only if we manage it.
No, that’s the point–at the start of the season, not today, I would have gladly accepted that as an unlikely gift. Of course, now I want Arsenal to win those games, but I refuse to let where we are today distort the reality we were assessing last August.
Honestly, I do not think we can. I do not think Arteta has the skills to set the team up to win the remaining two games. He got his approach totally wrong with spurs.
He deserves credit for getting the team this far, and no, he’s not perfect, nobody’s thinking that way.
I can’t seriously believe someone would think a loss today would be on Arteta’s skills rather than the lack of players at his disposal. This is as threadbare as it gets.
A mid table club that have only dropped points at home gainer Liverpool since Howe took over…..
Their home form is:
P18, W7, D6, L5.
Lost to the big boys, beaten the relegation teams. If we’re big boys we should be hopefully winning this. If not we don’t deserve CL sadly
I think we just have to take that out of the equation now. It’s 11 vs 11 on a standard sized football pitch. They’ve lost the last 2 games (one 5-0), have little to play for and we are man for man a better team. We just need to blitz them with everything we have. No meek, cautious crap tonight. Otherwise everything we have worked very hard to achieve will be wiped out and handed to those insufferable, cheating, spawny [email protected]@ts down the road. I will be keeping a close eye on the refereeing tonight. Any more contentious decisions favouring… Read more »
It should already be abundantly clear that there is foul play going on. Sky and the PL are desperate to make sure that the final games are as important and controversial as they can, they are in the entertainment business and simply want as many eyes as possible. When they needed us, we started to get the rub of the green on some decisions, and now they need to create the run-in between us and the spuds they are doing everything in their power to facilitate that. Irrespective of team targeting, the inconsistency in refereeing between games has gone so… Read more »
Well, if there is a conspiracy to make the final game really important, then the conspirators need us to beat Newcastle, don’t they?
You mean you can’t outrightly call sp*rs cunts. Just asking.
Was Conte not previously involved in match fixing in Italy?
Do you remember when we just had to beat palace at home to qualify for the CL. We couldn’t even do that. I have no faith in us beating Newcastle. I hope I am wrong, but watching Arsenal over the last 30 years they have mostly disappointed when it comes to must win games. Sp*rs will beat Norwich 300% and VAR will give them another soft penalty. So we must win tonight….let’s hope for the best…
Now that Everton will need something out of the game against us to be safe, we are in troubles.
If they beat Palace on Thursday, they’re safe anyway.
And if they dont, we beat them and send them into relegation!!! Besides, the media can go to the championship and support “Super Frank Lampard”, that is his coaching level anyway!! Hopefully, that distracts the media and FA away from THE ARSENAL, and we can have peace!!!!!
Clinch top four, piss off the Spuds, piss off the entire British sports media, make Gary Neville cry, send Conte into a full foaming at the mouth frenzy AND relegate Fat Frank….?
Oh yes please. 😊
They basically imploded, at home, against a playing-for-nothing lower-mid-table team. Two red cards (never make a last-man foul when Michael Oliver is the referee) and threw away two leads. Patrick, I think, will not let them beat Palace, even to help us.
Crikey I’m nervous. Monday evening games just feel tougher, whoever the opposition!
What is our record for Monday night matches? I have a feeling not too good but that might be informed by a recent Monday night match!!!
I’ve just got a feeling we’re going to scrape a 1-0 tonight with a deflected goal off Eddie’s arse. Yes, the tension is making me delirious… Come on lads!
Not gonna lie feeling very nervous for this game. I’ll be cheering on Everton as well Thursday night so our final game of the season will be pretty meaningless for them, especially since both Sp*rs and Chelsea are playing relegated sides.
Of course, there’s always Plan C.
If we screw up, we’ll just have to fall back on the certainty of sp*rs getting royally stuffed by Norwich.
I hope it doesn’t come to that but gee that’d be a Spurs thing to do
I know I shouldn’t, but as an obsessive fan, I was glued to the Wolves vs. Norwich highlights on MotD last night, looking for an indication that the Canaries haven’t simply downed tools. Was reassured to see that they’re still scrapping away whole-heartedly, despite having already been relegated.
I’m still not pinning any hopes that they’ll turn over the Sp*ds, and I’m praying that our performances tonight and on Sunday will render that game an irrelevance.
Would have taken this scenario at the start of the year!
The Guardian have taken a very odd angle today by suggesting unnamed quarters – presumably the article author – find Arsenal linger on injustices for too long. Fostering a bunker mentality is a quality everyone seems to love when it’s Klopp cry arsing about scheduling or Pep lamenting his lack of financial firepower. I mean, Mourinho has built a career out of it and Lampard’s complaints seems genuinely untethered from reality but no-one says a word. I appreciate this comment is just furthering the ‘them against us’ attitude, but surely at this stage of a season you draw on anything… Read more »
Especially when Spurs spent 4 months crying about our rescheduled game. Did you see the trailer-length “WE WERE READY IN JANUARY” video they had all over their social media on Thursday? But apparently we’re the whiners…
If we don’t get fourth, I’ll be less upset about not getting Champions League, as I ‘ll be about finishing behind a team that hasn’t won the English league for 61 years. Just in case anyone needs reminding, download this file:
and run it in your internet browser. If anyone has a spare bit of internet space which isn’t controlled by WordPress or similar, and where you can upload directly, you can upload it if you like, and publish the link.
I just hope we show up !
The hopeless owners should not have renewed his contract when the season is not over.
Very nervous about this one. Weighed down by the repetitive recent history of Arsenal struggling under end of season pressure. Based on the emotion of NLD and injuries, wouldn’t be surprised if we see aTavares red card taking down St Maximin. More CB injuries and plucky Arsenal concede the equaliser in the last minute when a fowl in the build up is not checked by VAR.
Hope none of that happens, but just preparing myself just in case.