Saturday, July 13, 2024

Every word from Mikel Arteta’s post-City press conference

At the end of a bitterly disappointing night, Mikel Arteta admitted Arsenal were outclassed by Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

Lamenting his players’ struggles to do the basics during the 4-1 defeat, he urged them to reset ahead of the five remaining games but made clear he’s not yet given up on the title.

On his team’s performance…

Well, the analysis is clear. The better team won the game. They were probably at their best, especially in the first half. And we were nowhere near our level. And when that happens, the gap becomes too big. In the first 30 minutes, all the basic things that you have to do against an exceptional team in terms of competing, in terms of winning duels, in terms of understanding what the game requires, we didn’t do it and we got punished and we could have been punished even more.

On Opta’s stats model rating City’s chances of winning the title at 92%…

I cannot fully understand because the stats say at the start of the season Arsenal was going to finish 6th or 7th. We are where we are with five games to go. Those players deserve a lot of credit to be nine and a half months against this team being where we are. There’s still five games to play. Five. I’ve been almost 22 years in this country, I’ve seen a lot of things and I know how much it shifts from game to game. They are not two equal games in this league and first of all, we have to lift our players because they suffered tonight and they played against an exceptional team. They know that. But we are an exceptional team as well. But today we weren’t at the races or at the level that was required to win the game.

On City being so good that for anyone else to win the league they need to have an off year… 

I don’t know the answer to that. We’ve been nine and a half months here. We lost today and you have to accept that. We lost in a very different way at the Emirates. Today the quality of the performance was very far one team to the other.

On why his players struggled with the basics tonight…

I prefer to to keep that for my players. They were better in every department, more aggressive, they kept the ball better, they won every single duel, we had them in the corners and from there in two passes they were in front of our goal. We conceded from a set play, we conceded from a throw in against us too easily. In everything, they deserve to win the game because they were better.

On whether he was tempted to change his team for this match…

We wanted to tweak a few things, especially there. But when they’re able to execute and they score an early goal as well…you have to understand where we’re coming from, we have to be loyal to what has brought us all this way. Because we’ve done it in the past as well, in different ways and that doesn’t guarantee you anything. But it’s time as well to look in the mirror, what we could have done better, differently and go into the next game, that’s for sure.

On whether his players froze tonight and if they were scared…

I don’t think they were scared, but obviously the way we started the game, it didn’t help at all because we put ourselves in trouble in many situations and we lost all the races, we lost all the first and second balls. And when that happens, they started to have vertical attack, open spaces to attack, and that created an uncertainty. We could not grab the game the way we wanted. And that’s credit to them as well, because they were really good.

On why his players didn’t deliver tonight…

It’s very easy to say that here, but at the end when you have when to play against that team and that team plays at their best, probably that I’ve seen then it’s extremely difficult to do that.

On what the lesson is from tonight’s defeat…

First of all, accept the reality and that’s the best way to move forward. Accept that today they were better than us, that they deserve to win the game, that we never had a chance to win the game, and that we have to improve and be better and be humble enough to accept that. And in sport, you have to do that, if you want to be better.

On Martin Odegaard admitting that the team were far from their best and how disappointing that is…

Very. We knew that we were going to need our best as a team and individually. When it comes here at the end, the individual performance dictates. Individually you have to be at your best and you need 11 players doing that. Today we were far from them.

On whether Arsenal need to win all five games to have a chance of winning the title…

I don’t know what is going to be required. For sure what we have to do a first is lift the players are up because they suffered tonight and it was a difficult one to swallow, and lift them up tomorrow and get doing everything that we’ve done so far so well in the next match to earn the right to win it. That’s where we have to start right now.

On whether Arsenal will need to hit 90 points to win the league…

I think so.

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I’ve been skeptical that we’d need or want both, but after tonight, I feel we could use both Rice and Caicedo (or equivalent talent) for next season more than another attacking player, particularly if ESR and Reiss can step up in the remaining games. Midfield looked hollow, and nothing available on the bench other than Jorginho, who’s fine but just ain’t the answer. Don’t think Lakonga is, either…

Hopeful Gooner

I concur…If anything, tonight’s game exposed the gap in depth of quality between us and the Oil Gang. I couldn’t help but feel like we could have already wrapped this title up a few weeks so if we had anywhere near the strength in depth and quality of players they have.

So yeah…let’s go get all the best we can players we can afford and not restrict ourselves by saying: “Oh but signing so-and-so will kill such-and-such a player we already have. Tonight gave us unmistakably clear evidence that sentimentality doesn’t win you titles…but exceptional depth in quality does

Hopeful Gooner

Please excuse the typos 🙂🙏🏽


City’s second XI can probably finish 4th in the league if they were a separate team. That’s the key difference to us and is why oil clubs will have a huge advantage, especially now since it’s clear the PL won’t do anything regards to the FFP breach allegations. It’s the sad reality and soon Newcastle, maybe United will be also amongst those. This was a really good chance for us to win it though, but lack of squad depth, players running out of steam (consequent to lack of squad depth), naivety in the last 3 games before City, and refereeing… Read more »


Carson (probably the weakest link, but goalkeepers rarely gets injured anyways)

Lewis – Akanji – Laporte – Gomez

Gundogan – Phillips – Palmer

Mahrez – Alvarez – Foden

That’s City’s second team. At this rate is just unfair.


Financial doping, mate.

Hopefully they’ll get their comeuppance.

A Different George

Actually in recent months Kyle Walker has been a reserve, though he started against us. Here is the best indication of City’s depth: Consulo was, by almost everyone’s reckoning, the best left fullback in the league last year. He was allowed to leave–to Bayern!–without a murmur.


I probably missed the news, why do you say it’s clear “PL won’t do anything regards to the FFP breach allegations”?


Top post, well said.

It’s taken all season, but people are finally beginning to latch on – although there are STILL those who want Tierney and Balogun sold, which is utter madness.


Funny enough the exact same thing I was thinking 2 midfielders and add to the defence. That second line of 3 in city’s midfield is where we lost control.

But it’s a great season proud of everyone we just have t the squad and depth needed just yet


Rice, Caicedo and Balogun.

Get those three on board – plus the signatures of Saka and Saliba – and we won’t have had a bad summer at all.


Surely these last few weeks have showed us we need another good quality CB.


Yep, I make you right.

Weds night has proved to me that we need to sign up Saka and Saliba on long term contracts, keep Tierney, ESR, Nelson and Balogun, sign Rice and Caicedo and at least another two big names – a top class centre half, and a top class right winger to help Saka’s heavy workload.

We need to be spending upwards of £200m – £250m. Next season’s Premiership Title Challenge and Champions League tilt demands it.


Q – I would defs add a quality right-back. That allows Ben to shift in as ‘upgrade’ to Rob, when Willie is out… just gives more flexibility than just buying a CB


We’ve already got one – Tommi.


I mean – for when Tommi gets crocked… we’re cursed with two really good wide defenders who BOTH have dicky knees…


Hmmm. You might well have a point there.

We need, first of all, however, to get in Rice, Caicedo, a right winger to help Saka and another top drawer centre half. That new lad Kiwior and Holding clearly aren’t Champions League material if anything happens to Saliba or Gabriel.

Eric Blair

I would agree, but that would see the end of Partey and/or Xhaka.


I’d keep both on as back up – although Partey really is beginning to worry me now in terms of fitness.

He didn’t get a sniff the other night and that’s a major concern going forward.

Alan Sunderland

Agree with Rice and Caicedo, I don’t think it’s impossible to get both. We already bid for Caicedo and Mudryk in January .


We just have to act smarter in the transfer market this time.

No stupidly daft low bids that we know are going to be rejected out of hand – respectful realistic bids in keeping with market forces.

Otherwise we’ll be shafted by Chelsea and Co yet again.


It’s taken this absolute trashing for people to finally wake up to our squad depth. “Sell Balogun!” “Sell Tierney!” “Sell Nelson!” We are going to need to keep what we have (yes, sell those on loan with the exception of Balogun) and recruit at least four big names to bolster the squad. Rice and Caicedo and at least two more. We need to be thinking of smashing at least £250m this summer. This club is finally back where it fucking belongs – at the top of the Premiership and back in the Champions League. Arteta and the boys have done… Read more »

Emi Rates

Let’s go through the remaining games like hell for leather and make the necessary reinforcements next season. We’ll need them as we also have the CL to make the most of. All things considered we’ve done well.



We were never going to win the league based on an away game against this monster city team. Five games to go and two points clear, that’s something I would have never dreamt about. City could have 38 games in hand on us but the onus is on them to overtake us. I felt sick after the liverpool result, worse after the west ham game and worser (😁) after the Southampton game but I didn’t feel this is the game we needed to win to make it happen. We are still going to win this league and it will feel… Read more »


After a stellar 8 months, the past 3 weeks have been brutally frustrating.

Letting a very winnable title slip through our fingers is going to sting for a while

Emi Rates

IMO we lost the title, or started losing it, four games ago.


I would say three games ago. Winning at Anfield isn’t expected even in a title winning season, but we needed better results when we were favorites.


I get this, but maybe throwing away a 2 goal lead at anfield sows the seeds of a drop in defensive confidence that seems to have unravelled us. 11 goals conceded in 4 games! 27 in the 29 prior to that. The bare truth is that we too thin in some areas and the thing that effects the most is not so much the change in quality (which is there for sure) but the change in confidence that it generates. It happened last year when KT and TP went out too (was it at Palace?). I think this is a… Read more »


I agree but unfortunately we all knew City would put a big run together. They were very good tonight but we were subpar. Aprilfool is correct in their post above, we probably need both Rice and Caicedo. Won’t be cheap but if you want to compete, you have to spend the money. And if Saliba is seriously injured, we need to plan for his replacement.


It’s how we use this experience that will define us next season… it becomes either monster or motivation. That’s on Mikel and on each player, in the deep dark hours before each dawn.


Few of my thoughts. Rob holding has to go in the summer, I like him he’s just not at the level required at the very very top. He could be like Johnny evans and go on to have a really solid career at somewhere like Leicester or West Ham. Secondly, Arteta has been absolutely brilliant for us and I fully support him, but his refusal to try a plan b baffles me. The Liverpool match was absolutely crying out for someone like Jorginho to come on and take the sting out of a chaotic game. And tonight he picks holding… Read more »


Mine two cents… On Arteta He has been very good this season and I should mention that I supported Arteta when many(if not most) in this board were ‘Arteta out’, but He needs to stop overplaying his 1st team players, No player will say they are mentally tired but its a sign of a good/experienced manager to take the call on when to rest players. some examples.. Gabriel is clearly not as mentally sharp as before. Saka has been below average for some time now. Ramsdale has gone into his shell a bit. Ben White performance levels have dropped as… Read more »


I’m not sure i agree with everything you’ve said but I really appreciate you’re not one of these knobheads who just rants for ranting’s sake. Points 4 and 5 are the most debatable in my opinion. Ramsdale has been brilliant these last few games (the first Southampton goal aside) and certainly hasn’t ‘gone into his shell’ while White is Mt Consistent…his level hasn’t dropped one bit (but those around him certainly have). My thoughts about Arteta are that he knows exactly what he’s doing. He said we’re a bit ahead of schedule (the 5 point plan) and what i think… Read more »


What was this ITK article on Jesus? Do you have a link… Is like to trader it! Thanks


* I’d like to read it (typo sorry!)


Much appreciated. Just taking the example of are right, he still made a lot of good saves, but there were instances where earlier in the season he would have been much more procative(as in establishing a command of his box), has now become reactive. this game there was a moment where the defender was expecting Ramsdale to come and collect the ball(and normally he does that), but he backed off. He did something similar in some of recent games as well. (noticed similar things with Ben as well, along with other players) Just to be clear, I am… Read more »


Man City will blew the remainder of their oppositions in the EPL because that is what other teams do. They just give up..against Arsenal all teams played like their life is on the line, but not against Man City..


Not surprised we lost but the quality gap was bigger than I had expected, at least on this day. Hopefully was just them at their best/us below average since we were a lot better the other times we faced them, but that sets the standard we have to meet. Highlights where we need to get better for next year. Jesus and Zinchenko are key players for us, but not necessarily starters for them. We need to be better in other positions and/or better tactically. I have faith in some of our young players (e.g. Saka) getting there, but we need… Read more »


Excellent summed up mate.

Naked Cygan

There is one thing this teams needs to work on. Winning must win games. Feels like everytime things are in our hands we FK it up. Last year we had top for in our hands and fked it up. This year the title. Next year the Champions League final. No shame in finishing 2nd this season. We move on.


Quit moaning. You’re like a stuck vinyl.

Cranky Colin

Fucks sake!
This guy is real and I want him to stay here.


Citeh are gonna wobble too. They have a game in hand until that final week, and that will be pressure on them. Beating Chelsea can set us up for the performance of the season at Newcastle, like the first half at Anfield but for 90 mins.


Merse made me roll over with laughter on Gillette Soccer Special last night when he referred to Chelsea as “a bag of Revels – you don’t know what you’re going to get. If they show up…. (City would struggle)”

I think Brighton might give them a game as well.

Not all done and dusted yet.

Eric Blair

We mustn’t give up, even when the chance is less than 10%. Plus, beating Chelsea always feels good.


How many of our first team would even get into City’s squad?


A month ago I’d have our whole first 11. Bit of a different picture now…

The good thing is most of then are young and will probably continue to improve.

Big L HoP

Saka and Saliba. Although Pep would rotate them out a bunch too


Who fucking cares?

Get behind your team FFS.

A Different George

We have four young players (Saka, Martinelli, Odegaard, Saliba) who are likely to each be among the best half-dozen in the world at their positions for the next half-decade.


What saddens me the most is all of those magical moments of this season, the last shot wins vs Bournemouth, Villa and Utd, moments that made us reassess our mentality as Arsenal fans and the way we support this club, will have basically meant nothing in the larger story of this season. It seemed like a fairy tale season but now it’s had a nightmare ending, as if the frog became a prince but then suddenly Brad Pitt is screaming “what’s in the box?! What’s in the box??!?!” and we don’t see it but we kinda know it’s the prince’s… Read more »


Hopefully we come back next season as Jack’s smirking revenge and the first rule of Arsenal Football Club will be you don’t talk about Arsenal Football Club and then the Pixies’ Where is My Mind will play as we watch the Etihad and Stamford Bridge being detonated and blown to bits and Arteta will say to Edu that he met him at a very strange time in his life.


Title was lost when Saliba got injured. Holding is nowhere near good enough.


It’s more than that mate.

Look at the individual and collective mistakes recently by the entire squad and also the precious points we have been denied by VAR earlier in the season – they have to come into the mix as well.

Putting the whole lot on Rob Holding’s shoulders is both unjust and a lie.


The title is not lost. We’ve got about the same chance (very very small) as we did travelling to anfield in 1989.


The gulf in class really hurt last night.
Having said that we can still reach 90 pts if we win rest of our games which will be an excellent season!


I think we can win our remaining games.

City dropping five points from twenty one – which is what we now, as it stands at the moment, require them to do, is another matter entirely.

Let’s pray for an almighty fatigue induced collapse from them – there really wouldn’t be anything funnier at this moment in time – other than Pep’s subsequent meltdown, the arrogant wanker.


Great positives can be taken from this season so Arsenal fans should take heart. What is clear is that we are defensively short both in midfield and in the back four. Attacking players should not be a priority this summer. We need to look at City in how they have built their squad and look to have strength and quality throughout the squad. I felt Arteta should have gambled last night and thrown something unexpected at them – there is no doubt Guardiola would have predicted what we would do and have the players and tactics to deal with it… Read more »


A little perspective on a cold Thursday morning. Watching city yesterday reminded me of another big historical team in different sport disciplin. It was like watching Chicago Bulls in the 90’s. A perfect drilled machine with a team of big individuals topped by Pippen & Jordan. City has that feel to them and Haaland & De Bruyne er truly world class. We dont have world class players… yet. But we will get there. We can be our own Bulls. its takes time and investments before we are world class teams. No shame in that.


Agree with you in most aspects, but I would say here and now that Saka, Odegaard and Martinelli (and Saliba, when he’s fit) are genuinely world class players. Ramsdale, Jesus and, potentially, Balogun, aren’t far behind. For all their skill and power and team cohesion, City’s financial doping leaves a nasty taste in the mouth. Nothing – aside from an Arsenal Premiership title – would give me greater pleasure than the relevant authorities bringing those bastards to task and implementing the appropriate punishment. If they were expelled from the Premier League, as has been mooted, I would, quite frankly, laugh… Read more »


I’m writing these notes The Morning After The Night Before with the benefit of a (fairly restless it has to be said) night’s sleep and a giant cup of coffee, which is always a comfort blanket in times of (relative) sorrow. I’m always the first one up in our house. The missus and I have six beautiful children, four of whom are now adults, one who thinks she’s already an adult (the little madam) and our youngest, who cried with genuine heartbreak into the sofa last night and took me back to our defeat in the European Cup Winner’s Cup… Read more »


Q – we have, digitally, had our moments. I’ve never met you. And I probably never will. But your post above resonates on so many, subtle, levels – and possibly, personally, the best one I’ve ever read on here. Probably, it’s because this strange, shape-shifting, red and white creature that has – in all its myriad team sheet manifestations – been a part of both of our lives for decades, binds us together to the extent that I feel I know you… at least inasmuch as I share this irrational passion for a little white cannon on a (nowadays) clumsily… Read more »

Alan Sunderland

Liam Brady’s last kick of a ball for Arsenal. I can remember exactly how that felt so feel for your boy and what he was feeling last night. Hopefully we get it back on track finish the season strong. The fatgooner hasn’t started singing yet.


And Alan Sunderland’s disallowed goal that night. I did two laps of the living room before I realised the linesman flag was up!

Alan Sunderland

indeed, I booted a captains ball of a pebble dashed gable wall for about half an an hour until I busted the the fcker after that final. Amused my grandmother no end.

Alan Sunderland

I don’t remember the offside goal, I remember brady and rix, and Mario Kemper being talked up before the game. they had bonhoff? as well and they played defensively.


So many memories of that night. The massed Arsenal fans – we took tens of thousands to the Heysal Stadium that night; a beautiful sea of red and white and yellow and blue. Our beautiful yellow and blue away kit under the floodlights – in a shiny silk that Umbro had been requested to replace the heavy cotton of the FA Cup Final defeat to West Ham on the previous Saturday. Brady’s dribble and shot late on that almost won it. Reserve keeper Paul Barron standing on the sidelines, unable to watch Big Pat Jennings during the penalties. Kempes miss,… Read more »


GET in there, my son!


You’ve actually just made me cry .


Worst of all was our final league game a few nights later. Only needed a win at Middlesbrough to qualify for UEFA cup … but got stuffed 5-0 🙁

Alan Sunderland

Great post mate, until city have a points total we can’t reach I’m all in.Fuck this defeatist shit. It’s a good job our traveling fans don’t have the same attitude as some on here. I honestly think they have been a big part of the team playing the way they have.

Charles Charlie Charles

Our away record this season has been incredible – in no small part to the Away Boys.


Yeah Rainer Bonhoff and Kempes scared me the same way Zola, Asperilla and Brolin did in our next Euro final.

Alan Sunderland

I remembered Kempes from the 78 world cup, when he missed the first penalty I thought we had it won.

Bill Hall

I think we have bemoaned the title probably being gone enough. Time to celebrate how well we have done. If we secure second place and CL group stage that is huge achievement, way more than expected!


The title hasn’t gone yet.

But maybe that’s just me.

Der Kaiser

Great progress this season but now need

2 new central midfielders
1 right hand side centre back to compete with Saliba
Balogun and / or another striker
Tierney to stay ( if not replace)
Reiss Nelson to stay


No disgrace losing to City but at least show some fight. We bricked it last night. Like Wenger is back, probably win most games now that the league has been lost. Get Trossard back in, ZInchenko worries me, Partey’s legs have gone . Like Wenger Arteta has his favourites and like Wenger his motivational skills have gone


Defs Rice. And a top quality right back, which will allow Benny B to shift centrally as needed. That will give us more flexibility than simply buying an upgrade to Rob/backup to Saliba – Ben is that backup, better to shore up RB.


City played a smart game, frustrating us with slow play, draw the players forward and then pump balls to their faster forward players. Our players also pay for flashy play without realising that when you lose your ball, City players are going to punish you. Odegaard, Zinny and Partey are all guilty of that.


well, we won the league of FFP compliant teams anyhow!

Get in!


That’s the spirit!!

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