Sunday, September 24, 2023

Arteta: It’s everything to play for

Mikel Arteta admits his Arsenal team made mistakes during the 2-2 draw with Sporting Lisbon but he was pleased with the resilience shown by his players as they found a lucky equaliser to leave the Europa League tie up for grabs.

Here’s what the boss had to say when he faced the BT Sport cameras…

On the performance…

Considering that we conceded two goals away from home and you still come away with a draw, you have to take some positives. I think we conceded two very poor goals, we gave them hope, especially with a lot of giveaways and simple balls that we lost in our own half. There were other moments where we had total control of the game and we looked a threat but lacked a little bit the capacity to punish them near the box. It’s true that we are lacking four of our main attacking players. Overall, it’s everything to play for and we have to play at the Emirates. 

On whether Arsenal were lucky to get a draw…

I don’t know if we were lucky. Obviously, the second goal was lucky but Martinelli was through on goal and had a big chance. It’s true that at 2-1, we conceded after a direct play and then lost a runner and they had a chance to make it 3-1. A lot of things to improve, that’s for sure. But as well, we showed a lot of resilience to stay in the game, get back in the game and be alive in the tie. 

On whether Arsenal looked disjointed due to the six changes…

Probably it’s a mix of everything. Making six changes you lose a little bit of the cohesion but we had to make the changes because some players were unavailable and unfit to play, some players have to play in different positions because we don’t have any strikers, so we had to adapt. Then we made the changes to try to improve the game which I think we did. 

On whether he’d have preferred not to bring on some of his regulars…

No, they have to be available to play and we have to use them. At this club, you have to play every three days and you have to be fit and available to do that otherwise it’s not worth it. 

On where Arsenal stand in the tie…

Everything still to play for. Obviously, we play at home and we have to show that we are the better team and decide to win the game. 

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I love Arteta.

Johnny 4 Hats

I can always tell how much I care about a game of football by how vigorously I celebrate the goals.

Tonight, I was at about 58% in comparison to my Reiss Nelson against Bournemouth celebration.

I hope we continue in the Europa. But it doesn’t make my heart sing like the premier league matches do.

Eric Blair

Wait for the final, then you might feel differently.

Pat Rice and Beans

It was a very good game with opportunities at both ends.

I understand, but I think Arteta should preserve some players on Thursdays nights (eg.: he could sub Saka and not Nelson for ESR; White on the bench – Tomi is a good deputy etc).

Giuseppe Hovno

I thought Tomi was back to his best tonight in terms of defending.


Yea thought he was fantastic too. I think we were way more solid when he came on.

ASHLEY Gooner Aussie

how did kiwi do on his debut ?


Couple of glaring errors but okay otherwise , difficult to say what would be like if we played our starting 11, but he was in for Gabriel.

Eric Blair

He needs games, this will have helped him despite the errors.

Finsbury Park Gooner

Pretty badly at fault for their first goal, but confident on the ball.


Terrible for their first goal. Flinched away from the ball and defender, lost his man, didn’t attack the ball. Very poor.

ASHLEY Gooner Aussie

ESR doesn’t look motivated when he comes on he doesn’t look like he has something to prove whenever he comes on he just jogs around and doesn’t affect the game at all


Nah your so wrong. ESR is class. He had some nice moments when he came on.
He’s literally just back from months out, what you expecting????

ASHLEY Gooner Aussie

maybe I’m just expecting too much from him

Santi’s Thigh Grab

Yes, I think so.


Got an assist against Bournemouth. Everyone played their part in that massive win.

Eric Blair

Maybe we just have to be a bit realistic with him after so long out, we will probably not see the best of him this season unfortunately.


“….but lacked a little bit the capacity….”
Lovely echoes of Wenger.


Hahahaha I thought I was the only one who noted the Wenger’s vibes

Naked Cygan

Not the worst result given the circumstances. Hopefully we can do the job at home.

Big L HoP

“ At this club, you have to play every three days and you have to be fit and available to do that otherwise it’s not worth it. ” Arteta makes it really clear that he doesn’t rate players that can’t stay fit. I think this has been key to the team’s recruitment over the past two seasons but it feels a bit pointed at times too. I’m sensing some tension between Arteta and the Smith Rowe / Tierney camps and imagine that fitness is his bone of contention there. I just hope that ESR and Arteta don’t fall out a… Read more »


I don’t think is to ESR and Tierrny in particular. MA would like to have 16 starting players. By now We know that His mantra is you need to be able to play 70 games a seasons. If you’re fit I will play you depending on my tactical choice. If you are not fit I will play someone else.

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