Friday, May 24, 2024

Arteta dismisses talk of fatigue and pressure

Fatigue? Pressure? Over-confidence?

After Arsenal surrendered a two-goal advantage for the second week in a row, there were many questions.

The Gunners looked to be on their way to three points at the London Stadium when Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard scored inside the opening 10 minutes but they failed to make the most of their early dominance before sloppiness allowed West Ham back into the game to grab a point.

Said Benrahma reduced the deficit from the penalty spot before the break and Jarod Bown grabbed an equaliser just two minutes after Bukayo Saka had missed a spot-kick of his own.

After the game, the media probed Arteta for answers. When it was put to him that tiredness was a factor against both the Hammers and Liverpool, he was pretty dismissive.

“Fatigue wise no, what we produced in the first, and second half against Liverpool was similar and today we put higher inputs in the second half than the first half when we were slower in everything that we did,” he said.

“Fatigue, I don’t think that the team is fatigued or looked fatigued and the best way to put it is just to convince them how good they are when they do what they have to do, and this is what we have to put in our brains.”

He was also asked if the pressure of the title race is getting to his players.

In the space of seven days, the gap at the top has been reduced from eight to four points and it now looks like the Gunners will have to beat Manchester City at the Etihad to ensure the lead stays in their hands going into the final weeks of the season.

“I would say yes, if I’d seen a team from the beginning playing [does sound effect to suggest tight and tense] but when I see a team playing with that flow, it’s a no,” said Arteta.

“At two-nil, it’s not the pressure, it’s that we really misunderstood what the game required in that moment.”

Speaking to Arsenal.com, he added: “We started the game incredibly well, dominating it with real purpose, scored two beautiful goals. After that we made a huge mistake, just to think we could play around them.

“We didn’t have the same purpose to attack the opponent’s goal, and protect that result by having the ball. We gave them hope – instead of killing them in this moment, we gave them hope.”

Arsenal can still take a seven-point lead to the Etihad if they beat Southampton on Friday and the boss is keen for his players to learn their lesson.

“This is what we need now,” he said. “Don’t take anything for granted – we need to deserve to win matches in this league. Today we did exceptionally well for 35 minutes but then it [was] not enough.”

Striker Gabriel Jesus had much the same message for his teammates.

“Obviously the game is 90 minutes, it’s not 20, in this case, today, 30 minutes. As a team, we have to raise the level and come back to our principles,” he said.

“We know our strength, we know what we can do. Where we want to attack the opponent, in the first 10 to 20 minutes we did so good, after that we dropped our level and that obviously cannot happen if you want to fight for the title.

“It started from like 5 or 10 minutes before the penalty, because exactly after we scored the second goal we stopped. As a team, it’s no time to blame, as a team we have to raise the level again and come back to our principles and like I said win the games, that’s the only way we can arrive next month and then fight for the title again.”

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Aleksander Włodarz

Kinda sad Monday

Bleeding Gums Murphy

Yep, walking to work and hard to get present. The obsession is well and truly on me. Praying Saka finds form on Friday as if we go to city with him not doing his thing, I cannot see us winning. I’ve felt Liverpool and yesterday he has looked sluggish, not taking defenders on as he normally does. The penalty spun his head as a fully confident Saka makes the right decision when we had three against two situation. Saka may just be human after all. Come on you gunners. It’s still in our hands. Believe

Henkamp

The boy has played LOADS of football over the last 3 years at his tender age. People say it’s nothing, but that is just nonsense in my opinion. Even when others are getting rested, he would play in Europa, EPL, FA Cup etc most times for a full 90 minutes! Many have been clamouring for him to get some rest – especially in games where we are already winning comfortably — but that never happens. He has done brilliantly, obviously, but I do think Mikel needs to learn how to rotate his squad properly. Lots of times he is very… Read more »

BillyKrystal

It’s true, he needs relief and I don’t understand why it’s been 2 yrs we are not linked with any left footed wingers. Marquinhos but feels like he may not work out. IMO it should be a lefty. Instead all were linked with is strikers and LW. I know Arteta wants Saka to play nonstop like Messi did, but that just may not be possible, the boy is still developing. Even talismans need a break once in a while. To refresh them mentally as much as physically.

BillyKrystal

A player like Bowen would be perfect. Industrious, team oriented, final product. And I think he would have the magic combination of having the ability to push Saka a bit, AND it feels like he’d be ok, at least for a while, being second choice.

Big L HoP

Jared Bowen? Fml

BillyKrystal

As a backup to Saka absolutely. We’re clearly in for another striker and need a top midfielder. Doubt we can afford much more than that. Who do you want, Moussa Diaby for 80 million? And will he play backup to Saka? I’d be more than happy to bring Bowen on, he’s a good player.

Qwaliteee

Bowen’s shit. All mouth and front and fuck all else.

If he’s that good, why are West Ham where they are in the table?

BillyKrystal

Who exactly do you want to backup Saka? A world superstar? Not happening. Look at Bowens stats, they are respectable the past 3 seasons. not saying Bowen specifically buy his profile would be a good fit. Someone happy to play second fiddle, plays for the team, good engine, and can chip in with a few goals or assists. But sure let’s turn into Chelsea and pay through the nose for someone who will be disgruntled after 6 months. Get real

Qwaliteee

Oh do me a favour.

We don’t need any little-big-men like Bowen. He’s not fit to clean Saka or Martinelli’s boots.

The cocky little oik is all front and no substance.

In other words, perfect for West Ham.

Jackie

He’s been more rested (for Arsenal) than Martinelli, though…

Doghouse

Yeh we forget his age and the many games he’s played in, i blame jesus for bouncing the ball up and down many times before pen, obviously the air in the ball was physically all over the place when Saka kicked it 😄

Longbow

Incredibly, apart from the Europa League, there has been no need to be sad this season. This is the first time this season us fans are really annoyed and disappointed. It’s time for the boys to pick it up again.

Alwaysagooner

It’s not only that the team “stopped” after the two goal lead as Jesus says but what’s also worrying the last two games is the inability to regain control once it’s lost.

Anyway, hoping Arteta and the team figure this out for the next seven games, that’s all that matters.

Ebo

Great point. It’s normal to have a drop at some point in the game, very rarely can you dominate for 90mins. Much more crucial is the ability to take back control once you’ve lost it and quiet the crowd. We’ve been able to do that quite well this season but not in these last two games, and it can’t be just down to Saliba. I don’t get Arteta’s logic in why he’s ruling out fatigue. Because we played the first 30mins well in both games and then got worse? Wouldn’t that be a point *for* fatigue? Martin literally passed the… Read more »

Jimbo1

Pressure for sure. They know City are on their tails and can’t afford to drop points. This leads to nerves, hesitation and then mistakes. The opposition know this too now. I want to be positive but they will need to find something extraordinary to win the title this season.

Ebo

And to be clear I’m not being a negative nancy here like some were yesterday, I’d say we’re no longer favourites to win it but I do really think we can still do it if we respond to this with the right urgency and understanding of the issues at hand.

Ebo

The first comment to which this one pertains got flagged for approval so it won’t make much sense until it gets approved 🤷

Carole

To be honest, I never thought that we were favourites to win the title and I’ll be amazed it we do. The squad is still a work in progress and it needs a few big boosts to make us truly competitive with City. I’ll be more that satisfied with runners up this season and being back in the CL next season.

portugunner

totally agree! a pity that next year unfortunately there will be more contenders to the title…

Momozemio

Like Chelsea under Potter?

Rob67

Agree entirely with your first sentence. But it is still in our hands. If the players take a collective deep breath and give it their all. We can still do it.

Ebo

For sure it seems unlikely at the moment. But even if it’s a 20% chance that’s still significant enough to do everything possible to go for it and to believe we can do it. If we miss out at the end, fair play, still an incredible season.

Dave28

Probably better on Friday night that Southampton race in a 2-0 lead and then maybe we can win with a 97th min winner.

Pat Rice and Beans

Surrender a 2-0 lead in Anfield is kinda acceptable, but doing that against a WHU is sad. Like it or not, but now City has the league in their hands.

Pat Fried Rice with Egg

Rice should always be fried with eggs

Ebo

basmati rice tastes better than declan rice and doesn’t cost nearly as much

Goonshow

But you can’t always ‘get your hands on it’

The Stress Sessions

Waiting for FatGooner to hop on the #ArtetaOut brigade. Pathetic.

Mikel has been our knight in shining armour. Let’s stick by him, he’s top of the league… And STILL LEARNING. The bloke has so much more to offer.

If you’re wanting rid at this point, you’re not a fan.

PTAFC

Arteta is spot on, it wasn’t fatigue or pressure but arrogance and stupidity. The opposition was dead and we revived them.

karl g

Appalled to see abuse being dealt out to Saka again on the lowest level platforms. I hope he realises these are not true Arsenal fans and we appreciate how far the team have come this year, regardless of a couple of disappointing results.

Joy

Likely not Arsenal fans at all

Man Manny

If Arsenal players take their foot off the gas in the 15th minute and fail to get back on top for the rest of the game, I would put some of the blame on the manager. Not even his half-time brought any reaction from the players!
Worrying.

Man Manny

*talk

Carole

I think that the real issue here is that the players don’t seem to have the ruthless streak required to kill off the opposition once we are in a winning position, or they don’t see the need to do it. Maybe it is a kind of immaturity thing? Who knows. To be honest, we also lack the depth of quality in the squad to replace like with like in our substitutions. I’ve never thought that we would win the title, even when we were miles ahead, because City have more of the winning mentality, because they are used to winning… Read more »

Ealing

I agree, but to win titles we need to get better than being able to replace “like with like”.
We need to be able to implement tactical changes so that the subs bring in something more suited to that phase of the game or to that particular gam

We have not been able to rotate as much as city and we dont have the quality.
when looking at minutes played, the first 8 Arsenal most played players have played 24863, (in 42 games) city have played 24415 in 47 games.

pep plays different players to suit different tactics

Man Manny

Arsenal’s first eleven – Ramsdale, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Partey, Xhaka, Ødegaard, Saka, Jesus and Martinelli – is an EPL winning team. That starting line up is yet to drop any point this season! The issue is the backups, especially in defence and midfield. The drop off in quality is too wide for comfort. I am glad the club has learned from last season’s mistake. That is why we are in the title race till April – and virtually assured of a return to CL football. I am sure many fans would have taken that at the beginning. Kudos to… Read more »

Bleeding Gums Murphy

As much as I value his input this season, Xhaka is the player to upgrade. I’m still hoping ESR can be given a chance in that position.

Gaylord Focker

ESR is good/very good offensively but needs to upgrade his defensive work massively first before he can play the Xhaka role in Arteta team. That role is not merely an offensive one but instead require players who are good/very good both way.

karl g

Tempting theory, but Rob Holding and Kieran Tierney weren’t the players that made errors yesterday.

Man Manny

Looking at errors only is a narrow perspective, if you ask me. Saliba and Zinchenko are not about not making errors in defence; it is about their overall play. Holding, for one, is almost useless for a team trying to play out from the back. He kept giving it back to Ramsdale yesterday, inviting more pressure. Tierney made no error but Zinchenko is miles better in what he was trying to do yesterday. I believe that affected Partey’s game too. He is more assured with Zinny beside him.

Mikels Arteta

Zinny has made a few errors. He’s not the best in terms of defending
This gets overshadowed by his mentality which we all love

Goonshow

‘Exactly after we scored the second goal, we just stopped.’ So here’s a suggestion for Mik (I know he read every Arseblog comment!): Much of sports psychology is about reframing goals’… about fresh approaches to existing challenges. So… why not stop looking at 3 point objectives and go one further… Try to instill the following mentality in the lads: ‘Boys – this title may well come down to goal difference. City are 4 ahead (before Hammers). Forget about the win today… we need to score FOUR goals. And a clean sheet. We only win if we score four’. That way… Read more »

Charles Charlie Charles

Excellent post. That needs to be our mantra for every game, especially at the Etihad. Guys, we need to score four.

Qwaliteee

As much as I love these guys, I can’t relax until the third goal has gone in – sometimes the fourth.

I know we’ve currently got 50% of our first choice back four out, but boy do we need to switch the fuck on defensively. Especially from set pieces. Way too many stupid errors; but for Ramsdale we’d have been toast weeks ago.

Mikels Arteta

The lads need to get hungry, and get into next gear. We take the foot off the gas far too often
We should have killed off these last 2 games.
In recent memory that game against Fulham. Up 3-0 at halftime, finished 3-0. Liverpool and City would have went on to put another 3 on the scoreboard come full time

mach iii

Agreed, instead of shifting to the 6th gear we pull out our phones and start texting..

Mikels Arteta

Liverpool put 6 past Leeds this week. As to prove my post
That’s the difference between us and City/Liverpool.
That ability to give the opposition no choice but to pray to the football gods for mercy

Charles Charlie Charles

Agree. If anyone needs a straight 6 nil or 7 nil victory (how about 8, 9 or 10 on Friday, boys?) it’s us.

Qwaliteee

The painfully slow playing out from the back and passing backwards and sideways IN OUR OWN FUCKING 18 YARD BOX had me tearing my hair out. This was at 2-2 when we desperately needed a goal.

It can’t (be allowed to) happen again.

Qwaliteee

As a supporter, I can have no cause to bemoan or complain with the current state of the team – they have surpassed expectations of each and every one of us this season. Mikel Arteta has been nothing less than a genius. If, however, I was Mikel Arteta, given the knowledge of what these boys are more than capable of, I would have been going absolutely batshit crazy in the dressing room after the game; a real lock the door for an hour. I sincerely hope he gave them the tongue lashing of their lives, a real wake up call… Read more »

Goonshow

hear, bloody, hear!

Charles Charlie Charles

The nail firmly hit on the head as ever, Mister Q.

mach iii

After 30 minutes on top. Making sweet raunchy love. (1 nil, 2 nil.. If we keep it going we could get to 10)..

Then we stop, turn over, put our heads on the pillow, lift our arses and say, “you have a go now lad, and don’t hold back”

mach iii

“I was just kidding bruv, you can get off me now… Bruv.. Get off me bruv!” This is what’s happening the last 60 minutes.

TotsOfJack

This is when we see who the real supporters are!

Qwaliteee

There’s been a lot of entitled dickheads throwing their toys out of the pram – and writing our chances off when it is still mathematically possible. That said, they’ve been caught up in the media’s relentless anti-Arsenal pro-City/anyone else campaign. What’s disconcerting is that the players may be beginning to believe the jealous shite online and allowing self doubt to creep in. Arteta has now got to do what George Graham did with his young team – wind up the drawbridge, tell Sky, TalkSport and the rest of the cunts willing us to fail to fuck off and concentrate on… Read more »

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