After a run of four games without a win, last weekend’s last-gasp comeback victory at Aston Villa has provided a real shot in the arm for Mikel Arteta’s squad.
After the match, goal scorers Alex Zinchenko and Jorginho praised the team’s fighting spirit but stressed the first half performance was not up to the required standards.
It’s a message that Mikel Arteta emphasised again in his weekly press conference as the Gunners gear up for another tough trip to the Midlands, this time to face Leicester City.
“I was really complimentary to them, the way they reacted, but as well, there are things that in the first half we should do better, especially the way we played and the way we controlled the game that we cannot be 2-1 down,” he said.
“We have to learn those lessons quickly and hopefully we can have a very and more consistent performance against Leicester because it’s going to be needed to win the game.”
On the mood in the camp, he added: “Much better, much more positive. The confidence is much better, the environment around training is much better.
“The fact that the team showed the capacity to rebuild in a really adverse situation, when you are 2-1 down and you’ve played less than 72 hours before and everyone is expecting you to be tired mentally in terms of quality and belief, to come back and win the game is a really big boost for us.
“I said before the game that I had more belief in the players than before the City game and it’s for that reason, because I see how they train, how much they react, how much they care and how much they want it.”
Trips to Leicester are rarely easy but with the Foxes in such erratic form, it’s even harder to predict what will happen at the King Power Stadium; Brendan Rodgers’ side broke a run of five games without a win with eye-catching victories against Aston Villa and Sp*rs only to go down 3-0 at Manchester United last time out.
Arteta isn’t taking the result at Old Trafford at face value, he thinks Leicester are in resurgent form.
“They should have been 2-0 or 3-0 up very early in the game. If it wasn’t for David de Gea, that would have been a very different game.
“The game against Tottenham recently…I’m really complimentary about them. They’re in a really good moment right now and we’re going to have to be really good.
He added: “They’ve been really consistent the past few weeks in the games they’ve played. It’s true that Brendan [Rodgers] has proposed very different games in many different moments throughout the seasons and they have this capacity to adapt, play different formations and play in different approaches.
“We have prepared for both because it’s possible and let’s see what they do tomorrow.”
In terms of team news, it sounds like the home side are sweating on James Maddison’s fitness with the England international managing a knee injury. Other than that, only Ryan Bertrand and Jonny Evans are sidelined.
The Gunners are hoping that Thomas Partey will be available following his thigh issue.
According to Opta, Arsenal could win five consecutive league games against Leicester for the first time since 1932.
The omens are good, we’ve won five of the last six away games while the Foxes have the second-worst home record in the league this season, taking just 12 points from a possible 33.
Let’s hope we beat them and get ahead further in the league. What happened versus Villa was fantastic but a low probability of happening (as was Forest scoring v City). The key thing will be if the team can get a boost and come out like they played in the first half of the season, in which case it is game on!
As I said last Saturday, we needed those three points at Villa, no matter how we got them – even if the ball went in off the ref’s arse.
As it turned out, it went in off Martinez’s overblown ego case, which was infinitely better – and way funnier.
Another fairly tricky away game awaits against relegation battlers Leicester, but I’m sure we’ll prevail and get all three points. If James Maddison remains sidelined, that will help matters considerably.
If Partey can make the bench and perhaps get some minutes, even more so.
It’s not often you end a football game in hysterics, especially when it’s all down to one of our ex’s. Thank you Martinez for the 3 points, but if that was some weird form of an apology for being an absolute cunt, I think I can speak for all of us & say we don’t accept it 😂
Talking about Martinez’s overblown ego.. someone should’ve celebrated in front of him pointing at their wrist for all that time wasting.
I have a mate that swears on his mother’s grave that one day when he was referring an u/15 game when he was 18, he was getting $hit all game from one team – “annoying kants” as he called them – and the game was nearing it’s end with that team 2-1 down and the opposition took a corner which came straight to him at the back corner of the 6-yard box and he smashed it in and said “any complaints about that one”. Turned pointed to the centre circle and jogged back for the restart: 3-1. Game over.
Interesting fact I’ve read elsewhere. We have let in 23 goals all season which isn’t too bad but… 9 goals in the last 5 is rather poor. This could be our downfall but I’m sure super MA and his team have noted this fact and addressed it during the week
If we can stay top till Jesus is back we might have a chance! Next few games are all winnable but we have to defend better.
a game that will interesting to what our line up will be, Jorginho v Phartey ? Or Martinelli v Trussard ? take it all other players are fit that started Villa game and will start, its been a month ago from our last clean sheet which was away to a team that one of their supporters/idiot was so upset he kicked our keeper in the back at the end of the game, not saying we should replace Zichenko on left but they smashed spurz down that side and were unlucky not to have been 2 up v manu in 1st… Read more »
Trossard, Partey, Zinchenko.
Phartey is still funnier.
Very difficult fixture. Leicester – similar to Villa – have weaknesses at the back, but have a few players in attack that can hurt us. We may not get away with a below-par 45 minutes this time.
I’d like to see Martinelli come back into the team for this one. Just feels like a game where we need a good explosive start with lots of pace out of wide.
Trossard might be better suited to Everton on Wednesday as Everton are less likely to double up on Trossard than they will against Martinelli (again).