Friday, June 21, 2024

Arteta: City defeat a “reality check” but we’re still hungry

Mikel Arteta says Wednesday’s 4-1 defeat Manchester City was a timely “reality check” for his players but he’s been pleased with their reaction and the fact they are hungry to achieve more despite securing a place in the Champions League.

The Gunners had been targeting a win at the Etihad that would keep their title hopes in their own hands heading into the final five matches of the season but couldn’t keep pace with an experienced outfit that took advantage of a raucous home atmosphere to race to an unassailable lead before half time.

Despite a humbling night for his side, Arteta said there were positives to be taken, not least an understanding of how well his players have done to keep pace with Pep Guardiola’s side for 10 months of the season.

“It is difficult but in sport, you have to accept the reality,” said the Spaniard when he was asked how he refocuses his players after such a difficult night.

“When a team is able to take the game to a different level and you’re not able to to step [up] to that, you have to recognise there is still work to do and don’t get confused and be very humble. Recognise what our strengths are or what our weaknesses are to be better.

“And the reality as well is that for 247 days, we’ve been with them. And tomorrow can be another day when we are still there. And it’s five games to go. So there are a lot of things that we’ve done very well for 10 months, I think.”

While City’s 2-1 win at Fulham on Sunday saw them go top of the table, Arteta is not giving up on there being more twists and turns in the next four weeks.

Asked why he still believes his former club could slip up, he said: “[Because of] how tough it is to win every single game. It’s not something that I saw last week but what I’ve seen for nine months. If not, they would have won every Premier League game and they haven’t.”

Arteta said his mission this week has been “keeping that fire in the belly for tomorrow” but that he’s seen enough from his players to suggest they won’t settle for second best.

“Win tomorrow, that’s what we have to do,” he said.

“And then the disappointment and the spirit around it, there are two things; the first one is recognise what a lot of people have done at the club to get us back into the Champions League which was already a difficult thing to achieve, and not a lot of people was very optimistic that we had the ability to do that at the start of the season.

“So first of all, recognise all the good work that other people have done to achieve that. And the second thing, and what I like the most, is that even achieving that with six games to go, which I don’t think has happened in more than a decade at this club, we’re still not satisfied.

“We’re still upset, and we want more. If we want to be the club that we want to be and to be consistently with the best, that’s the mentality that we need. And that’s when I love more than [anything] in the last few days.”

Related articles


Notify of

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

What Arsenal experienced was just another part of the learning process for them.
With one or two top quality signings Arsenal can match Man City for quality and the experience of this season will make us stronger for next season just like the failure to qualify for champions league last season made us stronger for this season.
We just need to be in a position where if our first-choice players are out, we can replace them with top quality – particularly in defence.


The fact that you think we can match City for quality with one or two top signings speaks to the incredible effort this young group have put in this season. But in my humble opinion, it is far from the truth.


Agreed. Pep inherited a very good squad of players & has spent the past 6 seasons fine tuning it with the natural draw based on his & the clubs history of success plus the added bonus of an open cheque book. If you consider how many (or few) Arsenal players would get into Peps squad, let alone first team, it gives an indication of just how well we’ve done this season but also (alarmingly) just how far away in terms of squad AFC is.


Ukesox, what about your memory? Pep team he inherited ws replaced imediately by 4-5 Arsenal players who were also replaced. So City is continuously evolving with a demanding manager and ambitiously wealthy owners. Currently, his team is impossible to replicate and we are lucky to have been where we were with our team. No blame to any individual. We did what we could and I thank you all. Hope we can do better and finish the season well.


We have matched them, but it has come at a greater price to us than it has to them.
City can replace their defence with players that will come in and do the same job to the same high standard. Haaland can be replaced by Alcarez. They can rest De Bruyne knowing they have Grealish and Mahrez that can come in.
I see why you imagine it is far from the truth, but I feel that with a few top-class signings and using this experience positively we can take that extra step.


I think you’ll find it’s “Alcatraz”


5-6 signings hopefully will do it

Eric Blair

We’ve done brilliantly this season, above all expectations, and that shouldn’t be forgotten just because of a couple of bad recent results.

When you fall just short, what do you do? Analyze where improvements can be made. We can’t do anything about other teams, just try to improve. There are 3 or 4 positions I can see potential for big improvements and I have total confidence the club will do all they can to make us even more competitive next season. I can’t wait to see Martinelli, Saka et Al in the Champions League!

James gunner

In the Spurs game why wasnt Joto sent off for his high boot?Remember our Jap full back suffered studs onhis face .There are too many incidents where Var and the ref didnt take action
Seems to me the Fa want the northern clubs to maintain their grip on the epl.
Webb has a lot of explaining to do.Apologies are unacceptable as the damage has been done .
Take retrospective action against the thugs
That wk show the pgmo mean business

Santi’s Thigh Grab

Try not to use racial slurs when speaking about our players.


James – you can’t use that language in reference to Tomiyasu, or anyone else.



Frankly, I don’t see us getting too many points from our next 3league games. We blew it against Liverpool,West ham and Southampton. Again, We have been known to do things the hard way so I’ll keep fingers crossed. In all, we have had a very good season and that is worth consoling ourselves with.

Doctor Perceptron

True, we blew those games in the end, but all the boys lacked was consistency for 90 minutes. This team can definitely get maximum points from their remaining games and who knows, maybe the lack of pressure by not being in that top spot will help?


‘Recognising your weaknesses.’ If only Arteta had done that against City, and played a back 3 to strengthen the defence. George Graham employed a sweeper at Anfield in 89 to shut down the Liverpool attack and it won Arsenal the title. The result at the Etihad was a foregone conclusion as soon as he named that line up. Hope he learns from this going forward.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Could have played a back 12, which would have still leaked goals, as long as the English Cannavaro was involved

A Different George

It must have been the tactics. No other possible explanation for why Man City is likely (not certain) to win its fifth title in six years.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

The squad took the pain of last season and learned from it. No doubt they’ll take this collapse and be stronger for it, next season.

As for tomorrow, I really hate Chelsea, so let’s batter the 3 points out of them

Eric Blair

Exactly, let’s beat Chelsea just because they are cunts.

A Different George

Fulham-Man City showed that it is still quite possible that City will drop points. Certainly, they absolutely dominated at Craven Cottage (as generally agreed, one of the least intimidating venues–a far cry from, for example, Brentford). And yet, one lucky deflection in the last few minutes, one clumsy lunge in the penalty area, and they would have ended with a draw. I am not saying this will happen, or that it is likely. But it doesn’t require a “miracle” or some incredible bottling by City. As Arteta points out, like everyone else they have dropped points all season (in fact,… Read more »

Eric Blair

It’s not impossible but I would be amazed if they dropped points before sealing the title. We just have to play and win like we did before, with fun and joy.


more likely we drop more points


I hate to say this but it is also a reality check at Arteta’s inflexibility as a coach and manager. Why didn’t he change formation to give more protection to Holding? Why didn’t he give more games to Jorginho, ESR, Tierney and Trossard since the first 11 was losing steam? There is nothing wrong playing with a more defensive formation to get result but Arteta insisted on playing possessive football at City home ground when we have already drawn 3 matches with the same players and formation?? Arteta did bring us almost to the title but he also bottled it… Read more »

Aleksander Włodarz

I guess his ambition took over. And I’m certain Pep knew well that it’d go this way. Hence their long balls etc. Not a very good sign when the supporters know better than the coach…

Aleksander Włodarz

Judge me at the end of the season pals. AW

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x