Thursday, June 20, 2024

“Don’t take anything for granted” – Arteta warns players as home games stack up

Starting with tonight’s match versus Everton, four of Arsenal’s next five Premier League matches will be at home against sides in the lower half of the table.

Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and Leeds all visit the Emirates on either side of the late-March Interlull while an away trip to Fulham and a Europa League double-header with Sporting Lisbon represents a busy, but relatively kind, schedule.

In theory, it’s a chance to step on the accelerator in the quest for a first league title since 2004 while also boosting our goal difference.

By and large, Mikel Arteta’s side have been strong at home this season, however, a recent run of one win in four games at the Emirates underlines why the boss is cautious about the tests ahead.

“Yes [it’s an opportunity], but bottom or not bottom in the league, for me, is not so important,” he said.

“We have had many experiences and a lot of teams have had already this season, experiences with that.

“Don’t take anything for granted,” was his message to the team. “Tomorrow [against Everton], we have to earn the right to win that game and that’s going to be tough.

“We are where we are because we’ve been really consistent home and away and we are going to have to continue to do that. The home form obviously has to be excellent to give you the best possible chance and we are going to have to continue to do that.”

Arteta isn’t wrong on the consistency; there’s very little difference between the club’s home and away form this season. As things stand, his side averages 2.36 points per game at the Emirates and 2.38 points per game on the road. Interestingly, while Manchester City and Manchester United have superior records at home, they currently average 0.73 and 0.75 fewer points away.

Things could get so tight in the run-in that Arteta even agrees that goal difference could be important. Second-place City currently have a 10-goal advantage on that front.

“Everything is important,” said the boss.”Obviously when you have that advantage that allows you an extra game sometimes or an extra flip but at the moment, it is what it is. We know that we have to improve that.”

At this stage of the season, the challenges are as much mental as they are physical for the players.

The games start to come thick and fast and when there are setbacks, the need to compartmentalise them and to move on quickly is fundamental to maintaining a forward trajectory.

Last season, the Gunners squandered the advantage they had over Sp*rs in the race for the Champions League. Again they are being chased and will need leaders on the pitch.

Mikel Arteta believes he now has a squad capable of dealing with the pressure.

“I think we have more vocal players, we have players with different mentalities, we have players with different willingness to win every single game.”

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La Défense

A run of 5 wins on the trot will set us up nicely for the final stretch.

UGooner

Absolutely, we just need to go on a big run like we did early in the season. I have been saying this since we hit a bit of a slump, hopefully the run has started now. Only problem is the busy schedule, here’s hoping the bench can also step up big in this period. The new boys Jorginho and Trossard have contributed majorly so far, hope it continues along with more from Vieira, Smith Rowe and even Reiss coming back from injury. Maybe Kiwior can put something in as well backing big Gabby up because he has been immense. The… Read more »

MinsterGunner

@UGooner – speaking of Kiwior, I watched the highlights reel of his performance in the U21 game the other day and he looks really assured – both in his off-the-ball defending and his passing. Even if he doesn’t get a single minute on the pitch as LCB due to Gabi M’s continued flawless fitness record (touch wood) , I’m massively reassured that he’s in the dugout should he be needed.

Johnny 4 Hats

Fulham away is going to be a very, very tough game. They are really good and it’s no fluke that they are where they are in the league.

Man Manny

I doubt they’ll be tougher than Brighton.

Johnny 4 Hats

Which was a very tough game.

A Different George

Another former Arsenal keeper doing very well (highest rated keeper in the five top leagues). And much less of a dick than Emi.

Daveo

Jesus saves!

Third Gooner

It’s very important that complacency doesn’t creep in. Like Arteta says, nothing is guaranteed. These ‘winnable’ games are the ones that make you drop points. City drew with Everton, lost to Brentford, and also drew with Nottingham just the other day. The position of the table should matter. We turn up like we should and take the three points. COYG.

Kris

Same point on complacency applies to the crowd. We’ve been great this season, but no point denying Brentford was relatively flat, which I think had a lot to do with how our expectations have built. Need to support tonight with an attitude to avenge the defeat at Goodison, not a complacent right to three points.

Pastor Simon

There shall be no blip in this last lap in Jesus Name

.!.ziRascal

Amen

C.B.

We need the crowd to be 100% behind the team all the way through the match. To give us any chance of the PL we need to have a great run over the next 5 matches. Hopefully the recent blip is over and we can do well.

Okester

With it not being televised here in the UK we should see a full house at least! Getting down early. 2 pints for £6.60 an hour before kickoff has nothing to do with it…

Martin R

There would have been a full house whether it was televised or not. TV coverage has not affected home attendances for Arsenal matches

Kris

Amen to this.

MojoJojo

Tbh, the home crowd sometimes really makes the words of Arshavin true that Emirates feels like a theatre. Crowds like Anfield and Nou Camp are best examples of how Emirates should always be.

Fatgooner

It’s an absolutely must-win game tonight; so no stupid kamikaze defending and no missing of sitters. We have to go out there and be utterly professional to take the 3 points.

I would start with the same team as that which started the Leicester game: maybe bring back Partay at the weekend.

Sean AllerDyche will make it difficult for use and will be delighted with a point, so we will have to be patient.

I reckon we’ll grind them down and eventually win 1-0.

James gunner

Correct.There are no easy epl games.
I believe Saka,Martinelli and the top gunners will be denied time and space.If the gunners play the passing game,they could draw or even lose.
Dyche will park the lorry. MA must have plan b or c

Emi Rates

In Trossard we trust!

Momozemio

We, trustards!

Ebo

Especially if you’re Xhaka and you think your place in the team is safe you shouldn’t take anything for Granit

Yaw

I want to join the discussion
After winning the league
Artete will have a monument to his Name because he has marvellous thing
I am hopeful Thomas Partey will not see no injuries again to the end of the season and the Cup is ours

A Different George

If we actually do win the next five (not taking it for granted, as universally advised), we would have 72 points with nine games to play. A ninety or even ninety-four point season becomes completely possible. And–again, taking nothing for granted, especially Man City’s ability to reel off consecutive victories–this year that makes winning the league pretty realistic.

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