Thursday, December 7, 2023

Arteta and Odegaard ready troops for 11 finals

Losing on penalties in a cup competition is never fun but if there’s a consolation for Arsenal this morning, it’s clarity on the fixture front heading into the final 10 weeks of the season.

Five points clear at the top of the table, the Gunners have 11 games left to seal a first Premier League title since 2004. There are no distractions.

In contrast, second-place Manchester City continue to fight for honours on three fronts.

That ‘advantage’ won’t be felt in the short term. After a damaging night at Emirates Stadium where Mikel Arteta lost two defenders to injury and saw several other players dragged through 120 minutes of football, there’s a need to regroup quickly before the squad disperses for the Interlull.

A win on Sunday against Crystal Palace will definitely lift the gloom although the Eagles are bound to make life difficult having just dispensed of Patrick Vieira.

“We have 11 finals to go and that’s it, that’s the main focus now,” Martin Odegaard told Arsenal.com.

“It starts already now in the dressing room to recover well and change the focus, so that’s what we have to do.”

“I guess some players are tired,” added the captain.

“The ones who played the whole game of course, but we’re going to recover well and make sure we come sharp for Sunday, that’s the only thing we can do now.

“We wanted to do something special in this tournament and so we’re disappointed. It’s done now, we can’t think too much about it, we have to move forward.”

Speaking to the Evening Standard, he added: “I think every time we have lost this season we have learned something from it. Every time we have come back and changed the situation again.

“That is what we are going to do again and the next game comes quick, so it’s a good opportunity to strike back. We talked about it already in the dressing room, we have to move forward now.

“We are always together, even if we lose. It’s been a good season, a lot of wins, but we have to be together in the tough moments as well. We have to show it [our mentality] now. It’s 11 finals for us.”

Arteta had the same message. “It’s a huge blow, but it brings clarity to the season,” he said.

“It’s 11 games to play for, 11 Premier League games, and a big final against Crystal Palace. The focus has to be there, the energy has to be there and learn from tonight.

“There’s nothing else, we played 120 minutes and emotionally it was a really demanding game, physically it was a really demanding game and it’s a shame because we wanted to give the crowd, who were superb today again, a different result.

“We haven’t done it, we have to learn from it, but the best thing is now the reaction and show the same commitment, more quality and play better against Palace to beat them.”

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Giuseppe Hovno

WE STILL LUV YA

Merlin’s Panini

They need to harness the pain constructively. Remember how last season felt too. That’s what’s driven them to get this far. Just keep the fire burning.

Magneto

”Just keep the fire burning” – as Gwen McCrae might have put it, back in the day.

UzesGooner

Relax – FGTH

Merlin’s Panini

Who?

charvakan

Frankie Goes to Hollywood…unleash Derek Zoolander!

Naked Cygan

We totally deserved to win last night, but their keeper made some amazing saves and luck was on their side too. Two games with Juventus and two games with the winner of Man Utd/Sevilla could have made things complicated for us with fatigue and injuries. Time to take one game at a time and try to get 3 points. Let’s win the Premier League now.

Magneto

Under the old (and sadly no longer with us) ‘away goals rule’, we did enough to have got through to the next round. Just saying.

David C

We have traditionally lost with away goals over the years. I’m happy they got rid of it.

Their goalie was the man of the match. Chin up and smash Palace on the weekend. Palace might have the ole new manager bounce (why do teams always fire managers before playing Arsenal?)

charvakan

Give Sporting credit. They looked very good, especially in the half hour after the interval. They managed the conditions and the game better than we did. The penalties were good too. We can have no complaints about the tie’s result.

Qwaliteee

Give them credit….?!!

The cunts kicked our lads up in the air – and had the ref in their back pocket.

You give them all the credit you want pal – they’ll get fuck all out of me, except the hope that they get smashed to fuck in the next round.

A Different George

Qwaliteee, have you ever seen an Arsenal loss that you didn’t think was caused by the referee?

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Looking at the draw has made me feel a bit more relieved about being knocked out last night.

Juventus in the Quarters, and the bracket has Man United in the Semis. That would have been four incredibly tough games.

Ealing

8 games in April. 6 is not so bad

charvakan

Yesterday makes it clear that significant high-quality additions will be needed to make a Champions’ League run and compete for the League. Arteta’s done a fine job of getting the best out of what he has in the squad, but the dropoff from (say) Odegaard to Vieira, or Partey to Jorginho, or Saka to anyone, is big. Our young guys will, I trust, get even better, but they’ll need reinforcements. And Xhaka can’t go like this forever, can he? The guy’s made out of adamantium, but eventually he and Partey need quality understudies.

Daveo

Glad someone else is noticing the gulf in class between this current version of Jorginho and Partey. He’s a useful squad player and he can pass, but he’s alarmingly slow and a scary proposition in the open field defending counters.

We 1000% need TP fit and firing for the running in. He’s such a key player. Ideally Jorgs should be playing nothing but a few minutes here and there to spell Partey when we have a game sown up.

Dominic

I think this glosses over just how good Partey is though. He’s basically like 2 players… Jorginho may not be a like-for-like substitute but he’s arguably allowed TP to rest in some recent games whilst allowing us to keep the powder keg dry when we go all out to sign Declan Rice and/or Jude Bellingham in the summer 😬

Daveo

Not sure how “he’s such a key player” glosses over how good TP is, but sure!? I’ll wax lyrical all day about partey. Watching jorgs though is like relapsing into the previous decade of DMs after Gilberto – he’s too slow to be playing as the lone 6.

Qwaliteee

Spot on. 🍺👍

Qwaliteee

Well well well.

Jorginho not the all conquering messiah after all?

He’s actually not done so bad, but of course, he is no long term replacement for Partey.

I was slammed on here on transfer deadline day for saying as much and now you’re getting upvotes for saying the same thing. This site’s fickleness cracks me up.

As for Vieira, the lad needs more time. He has the skill, especially from set pieces and a lovely shot. It’s too early to judge him.

Ye Olde

Winner v Villa

Qwaliteee

Good call.

Having to play Eric Seven Hag and his bunch of cunts (sounds like a trad jazz band 😂) again is the last thing we need between now and the end of May.

Qwaliteee

What I said last month is finally beginning to dawn on people……

🙄

Dada

Are you okay

Daveo

People had a hernia at me when I said the best case scenario with jorgs after we signed him is the less minutes he plays in the league the better. He’s fine as a squad rotation player, but he’s exactly the type of player you’d rather not have to play except in cups. Tbh I’d prefer Mo Neny than jorgs if we need TP is out. Mobility and protection is much more important than some fancy passing at #6. That is exactly why xhaka could never handle the role.

Dublin gunner

He has already earned us 2 points.

Mentalista

At this point all I hope for is a very very boring and uneventful one nil against Palace.

Up4GrabsNow!

Amen. And hopefully good news on Saliba and Tomi.

Man Manny

Saliba, yes; Tomiyasu, I am afraid, no. The injury is serious according to Arteta. But Saliba could be back for Palace, or Leeds after the International break.

Up4GrabsNow!

Just read that Patrick got the sack. We need to avoid the dreaded new (caretaker) manager bounce.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Not a happy Saint PATRICK’S Day.

Collibosher

Mr Vieira Snr was no saint!

Man Manny

If there will be any bounce at the Emirates on Sunday, it will be Arsenal fans bouncing in joy after another 3 points.

PeteyB

It really does feel like we face this situation more than most. Probably a bit of confirmation bias in me, but id be interested to see the stats if anyone records that kind of thing

jeremy

It’s almost like the Arsenal fixture is a benchmark for other clubs to sack their manager. With the the amount of new manager bounces and injuries we’ve faced I can’t quite believe non arsenal fans have convinced themselves we are ‘lucky’ to be where we are. I guess you believe whatever you want to believe when the narrative fits and your IQ is low. CP is a must win game regardless. I am confident we’ll be angry after last night and channel our frustration in the right way. It will be tough, last night was a complete shitshow bingo of… Read more »

BQ1234

I think we have had less injuries than all the other teams bar City. They have barely had any!

TheLimpBar

Smith Rowe, Jesus, Zinchenko, Tomiyasu, Nketiah, Partey, Saliba..

Man Manny

The quarter final game would have come in between our games against City and Chelsea! How straightforward would that be for us?
Now, City will be playing us with one eye on Bayern Munich while Chelsea is coming days after a gruelling – and hopefully demoralising – battle with Real Madrid. It could all play into our hands.

Ealing

Now we can see it makes sense to call the Europa league a distraction

BillyKrystal

This is a silver lining. Still annoyed at how bad we were over the 2 legs though. Even with all the changes. I just don’t understand how Sporting can basically dominate us at home. With all due respect to them they clearly wanted it more.

charvakan

Can’t disagree. The conditions played a part, though, especially when you consider Tomi’s split.. We’re not mudders. Sporting was more direct and that was the right approach for that game.

beldar77

I agree they wanted it more. I think some of the players just assumed that a team not from the Premier league would not be so aggressive in pressing and trying to get forward. We lost the ball so many times over 2 legs.

Man Manny

The last line does it for me: “They clearly wanted it more.” We all know Arsenal can play much better than they did across the two legs. I believe the realisation that they can actually lift the EPL played a part in the “sloppy” play. Europa League, in spite of Arteta efforts to paint a different picture, had become a distraction as the league progressed well for us.
The players want the EPL medal, and I hope and pray the get it now.

BillyKrystal

True enough, and having one clear goal now can only help the team. I just hope in the not too distant future trying to compete on multiple fronts won’t create such a challenge. Or such a change in mentality. This season is so unique in that we’ve led the league for months. That has dictated everything we’ve done and how we are thinking. Starting next year we won’t have that luxury in the CL. Unless we’re league leaders again and struggle with injuries.

ArseSplat

Yeah but… Does it even rain in Portugal? You’d think the conditions should’ve been advantage Arsenal

CARDINALWHALES

You gaze upon my very thoughts! And we won’t have to wait for city’s results meaning less pressure!😁 I also believe we won’t be playing on Sundays alone after the international break coz there’ll be no more Thursday games. City depending on when they play champions league games too will have to match whatever result we have late on Saturday or Sundays. We can do this! Let’s daze the naysayers and prove them wrong! (Gary Neville I’m looking at you)🤡 ARSENAL TILL ARMAGEDDON!

Leon

If you go with the “every game is a cup final” then we have already played 27 of them to get where we are. Last night changes nothing about our Premiership goals. We would have had to beat Palace regardless. With City playing in the CL and us in the EL they had the advantage of Saturday kick-off’s – a big psychological boost to play their game before us. I see many positives, least of all added opportunity for our players to rest between games. The pressure is on Man City who would be just as unhappy about us going… Read more »

allezkev

Time to start another winning run…

Leon

Good idea.
What was the five straight wins in the Premiership then?

Cranky Colin

There isn’t one player I don’t love, not one!
And as for the Manager……… best not to go into print with my fantasies❤️❤️❤️😜

Leon

I agree – best not to go down that road…

Cannon and ball and arse’n’all

Last night was a blow, but we’ve had plenty of perceived blows over the course of the season and come through them.
Losing GJ was a blow; missing out on mudryk was a blow; missing out on caciedo was a blow. We have adapted to each perceived blow and the outcome has been positive.
The way last night panned out was far from ideal, neither is the prospect of the new manager bounce vs palace – but I believe we will react in the right way and the outcome will be positive

I’d argue that Trossard has to date done more for us than Mudryk would have. But sure, we’ve dealt with Jesus’s injury very well. Let’s hope Eddie recovers from his own injury.

Hayduke

Sacking Saint Patrick seems like a big mistake for Crystal Palace. Lots of bad results in a row for them, but when you look at all the good teams they have played recently and all the relegation fodder they play after the match with Arsenal it really seems premature. Since December they have played City, Chelsea, Sp*rs, Newcastle, United twice, Brighton twice, Brentford and Aston Villa. The Villa game they had to do 30 minutes with 10 men. I expect them to get a string of good results now, but I would have expected the same under Vieira. After Arsenal… Read more »

Qwaliteee

Sacking Paddy is a big mistake – as they will soon find out.

I duly hope we smash the shit out of them on Sunday – and I hope they go down with Everton.

wrightstuff8

Who do CPFC think they are?! They are never getting anyone close to Pat V.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Yeah would also love Palace and Everton to go down.

Not sure the third team I would want to go with them…. dirty Leeds perhaps?

Maybe Southampton as we have a poor record at Saint Mary’s.

West Ham are a handy trip across London so they can stay.

Qwaliteee

Hmmm. I’ve never quite forgiven West Ham for the trauma they inflicted upon a poor twelve year old kid in May 1980. Anything bad that has ever happened to them since – usually relegation, although they also lost that Cup Final to Liverpool – I still find myself indulging in a smug little “that’ll teach you fuckers” even though Brooking, Paul Allen, the media’s hatred of Willie Young, a Monday morning form classroom made up entirely of West Ham and Tottenham fans and even the old Wembley, have been consigned to the past the best part of half a century… Read more »

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Is this new manager bounce against Arsenal an actual thing?

The only one I can remember is Dyche/Everton last month.

I’m sure there are many more… perhaps I’ve just blocked out the bad memories.

Arsenalfanthem

Here’s to 7-0 against Palace. Take all that anger and frustration out on them and regroup for the final 10 matches.

TheLimpBar

If it were the Champions League we would have played full strength teams in both legs, rather than changing half the team for both. Of course we wanted to win and the players wanted to win, but dare I say it this meant more to Sporting judging by their behaviour and reaction afterwards. Whatever anyone says there was at minimum a slight focus on the league compared to the Europa from us, whereas this was Sporting’s biggest night of the season, and can’t begrudge them going through. We dominated when our team looked more like the first team.. and it… Read more »

gunnerboreus

A disappointing end but a wild, fun, wet night at the Emirates yesterday. And a reminder of how great big European nights can be like….and will be like again in the CL. I remember turning to my brother-in-law late in normal time and saying that this may not go our way but whatever the outcome the team will learn from it and it will stand us in good stead next season and beyond. Let’s hope so. I do think we got our team selection a bit muddled over the two legs. It was like we were half-pregnant in our desire… Read more »

Teryima Adi

Bring on the Eagles. COYG!!!

Ealing

this was a reality check of how stretched we are but we could not have continued on both fronts without risks

As of now Chity played 42 games, we played 38 games.

Yet the 11 most used players in either team have played an equal number of minutes (just over 28300), which equals to 28 and half match for each player

our first 8 most used players have actually played more minutes than Chity’s 8 most used players.

and what a great feat we have achieved so far,

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