Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Arteta: When you set high standards, you have to maintain them

Mikel Arteta says the Premier League demands such high standards that Arsenal have to accept critical opinions if they don’t meet the standards they’ve set themselves this season.

After the Gunners dropped four points via consecutive 2-2 draws at Liverpool and West Ham plenty of pundits have suggested the Gunners are “bottling” their opportunity to win a first title in 19 years.

While it’s almost impossible to avoid such talk, Arteta says he’s unconcerned and instead focused on getting his players back into a winning mindset.

“These are opinions and we have to respect that,” said the Spaniard when asked what he made of this week’s fault-finding in the media.

“When you set the standards and the expectations really high, after you have to maintain them.

“To win every single game in the Premier League is extremely difficult. It’s not like you lost five games in the last six and you’re in this situation, you draw two matches, played two very difficult fixtures away from home.

“But when you are there everybody expects you to win, to win, to win, to win because the necessity to get the Premier League you have to win almost every single game. That’s the demands and you have to accept that.”

This time last year, the Gunners experienced a similar wobble while looking to secure a top four finish. On that occasion, a run of three unexpected defeats in a row proved very costly and helped Sp*rs pip us to fourth place. The manager was asked if his side have learned anything from that experience.

“It’s a different scenario. I think the way the season unbuilt was very different. It’s very difficult to compare,” he said.

“Every game brings you challenges and opportunities and at the end, it’s about how you cope on the day. The way you prepare, what you do, that’s fine but in the end you have to be able to do it in the moment.”

While some have claimed that Arsenal are struggling to deal with the pressure of a title race and lack the requisite ‘nastiness’ others have argued that cockiness and overconfidence have been their undoing in recent weeks.

Arteta seems much more on board with the latter assessment. Reflecting on last weekend’s match at the London Stadium, where for the second week in a row his side failed to capitalise on a two-goal advantage, he said:

“They almost, maybe, got too comfortable at some stage in the game which is different [to not being nasty]. They know, I don’t have to coach them because they said it straight away. They know, it’s in their system, it’s in their gut and tomorrow we have to show it.

“It’s one thing to say it, it’s another to show it and when it comes to a similar position, react in a different way and be much more ruthless.”

On paper, tomorrow’s match against Southampton – the Premier League’s bottom side – looks like the perfect opportunity to blow off some cobwebs before Wednesday’s potential title decider with Manchester City. By the sounds of things, Arteta’s squad are excited to be back in front of the Arsenal faithful.

“My players today are really looking forward to tomorrow to get the game that we want and the result that we want and to play in front of our crowd again.

“There’s seven games to go, we have four to play at the Emirates which for them is a big thing. We’re looking forward to it.

“I’m very confident [the players have reset],” he added. “Twists and turns are part of anything you do, especially in football, whatever the aim or the target is.

“It’s not going to always be a linear progression and you have to know that and you have to be prepared for that. The way the team reacted it was incredibly positive and we want to see that tomorrow night when we get onto that field.

“Every game is an opportunity to improve as a team. Every game gives you a gift and that gift is what do you learn, what do you take and how do you improve as a team. We have another gift tomorrow and we have to take it.”

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Russ

Daniel Levy’s standard…
“We had a meeting a couple of weeks ago with all our staff, we have about 750 staff in Tottenham, and we brought everyone together and we put up a big picture with lots of trophies…”

Sorry but had to share this, so funny.

Naked Cygan

We are having really bad luck with injuries at this stage of the season. Having no Saliba, Zinchenko and Tomyasu is catching up to us. We all need to be honest and accept Holding and Tierney are just not good enough to go head to head with City at this stage. No shame in finishing 2nd to City after how we ended last season. We need to build on the positives this and hopefully upgrade our backup players.

A Different George

I think it has been City’s to lose for five years or so now. Liverpool got about a thousand points, never lost, played brilliantly–and won the league exactly once. What Arsenal have done this year is a remarkable achievement, and in most eras, we would be almost certain of the title. It was never the case before that you needed to assume a team would win its last fifteen games. I am proud of the team, happy to be an Arsenal supporter, and I think we may yet win the league this year. But I don’t like the state of… Read more »

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

I bet Saliba’s agent can’t wait to back at the negotiating table

Teryima Adi

Who said we are finishing 2nd to City?!!!

jeremy

Any pundit who gets paid to voice an opinion and says we are ‘bottling’ the premier league regardless of the fact nobody gave us a sniff to even finish in the top 4, city’s financial dominance (cheating), our lack of experience, etc, all because we drew a couple of difficult away games and still are 4 points ahead (maybe 7 after tomorrow), are only doing so to be provoke a reaction, have unhealthy bias or are just plain thick. They are entitled to an opinion, but it should be treated for what it is, a wet, unwelcome fart.

MoeG

Well said! Onward and upward.

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