Saturday, September 30, 2023

Arteta on weathering pressure, the win and the impact of Jorginho & Ramsdale

Mikel Arteta was full of pride after watching Arsenal grind out a 2-0 win at Newcastle that keeps them in the title race and confirms a top-two finish.

After weathering a fast start by the home side, the Gunners started to dominate the ball and deservedly took the lead through Martin Odegaard’s long-range effort on 14 minutes.

Eddie Howe’s side continued to threaten either side of the break but couldn’t find a way past the inspired Aaron Ramsdale before Gabriel Martinelli forced an own goal from Fabian Schar with 19 minutes remaining.

Here’s what the boss had to say when he spoke to Sky Sports.

On what he feels after that win…

Pride. I think they showed what it takes to come here, in this environment, against a great team, what it takes to win. The desire to keep digging, keep believing that the reward is so big and today we had to do it here and we did everything we had to do to win the game. 

On the win being all the more important because of what happened last year…

It is. Sport, in general, gives you another opportunity and you’re privileged to have another opportunity, so you have to take it. But to take it, you have to learn from those moments. You really have to see yourselves and how you felt in those moments to overcome it and act in a different way. The team did that really well today. 

On using a clip from the ‘All or Nothing’ documentary to remind the players of the pain they felt last year…

You have to go through the pain, you have to see yourself and how you felt the emotion in the moment. You cannot forget that. In sport, if you want to become better you have to recognise in any moment that you can have that feeling and it’s a horrible feeling, you don’t want to have it again. So you have to make the most of it [the new opportunity] and then you might lose, because this is sport but it had to be different today. 

On Jorginho’s performance…

He was exceptional. He was man of the match. There were question marks because it was going to be really physical but you want to go physicality against physicality, we’d have no chance to win the game, so we had to try for something different. I think he understood the game really well, he’s a really intelligent player, he gives a lot of security to the team. He dominated the game in many moments. 

On an uncomfortable start to the game…

Yes, it was more intense and not as good [from Arsenal] as I wanted. But we had to keep going. We knew that we’re going to have moments, I didn’t know if it was in the first minutes or before half time or at the end, but you know this crowd and this team have the ability to create those moments and you have to go through them. If you don’t, you don’t win here for sure. 

On the importance of Odegaard’s goal…

Yeah, that gave a lot composure to the team and belief and it put the game in a different perspective. They have to hurry up, they have to make decisions, they could not play the game that they want to play. That helped us a lot. 

On Ramsdale’s contribution…

We knew that we were going to need him and he had two or three great saves in key moments. That’s what you need, individual performances at their best if you want to win here. 

On being proud of his defenders…

Absolutely. They die for every single ball, some of the blocks, the defensive actions, the way we defended the box in many moments, it was very different to the last few away games where we conceded sloppy goals. We needed that, so I’m very proud of them. 

On the win reminding critics how far his team have come in the last 12 months…

We live the day. Today, we have shown what we’re capable of doing. Now we have to play Brighton at home which is going to be really tricky and do that. That’s the beauty of this league, it’s never enough because the standards are so high you have to ask better of yourself every time. 

On a statement win…

I don’t know. We’re going to keep believing and digging. That’s all we can do now. 

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Anteneh Ademe

The progress made this season is unbelievable. We are far from reaching the levels of City but are miles ahead of the rest.

Gunnerlocutor

Miles ahead of all clubs that have not been charged by the PL with massive cheating and financial doping over many years. Let’s not anyone forget that.

Hot stuff

The Press have, the pundits have – I almost had. Thanks for reminding us that with enough money, you really don’t have to follow the rules.

Qwaliteee

If we had a quality squad as big as City’s, we’d have had the title sewn up by April.

Sean

Just remembered those fat dickheads at the Emirates jumping around with their shirts off celebrating a 0-0, and how sad they’ll have been today. Smile’s now as big as it was at the final whistle.

PGunner

Fucking love you, Mikel

RockyRog58

Nice to see Nick Pope watching a REAL top keeper ! He’s incredible & has been since he came ! Not just with his saves either ? He just looks like he wants to win all the time & he has a presence about him that we’ve missed since Seaman !

crazygunner

How did Newcastle finish the game with 11men

Bloody thugs they should be playing rugby

Micky

You are right. They played football like American football.
Arsenal reminded them “THIS IS ENGLISH SOCCER “

Man Manny

That Xhaka sliding tackle on Willock is a Championship winning tackle. What a warrior Granit Xhaka is! If I was given an opportunity to clone any Arsenal player of my choice, it would be him.

78/79/80

Incredible that this comment has not got a single downvote. Imagine that 2 years ago. And I agree. Technical ability aside his mentality is immense. Fight fight fight. That’s what you want. Seems to have managed to quell his hot head when that spirit boils over too. I hope he stays at the club til he retires even if he becomes a substitute or stand in. So good to have around.

Santi’s Thigh Grab

He’s the beating heart of the club. Tough, determined, won’t back down to anyone. This seasons performance he’s earned his right to continue to compete for a position at Arsenal. The save on Willock was a thing of beauty.

Goonshow

Anyone notice how he’s quietly become the new Tony Adams for us? The quietly tougher, far more mature Big Tone, who emerged after that drink driving bollocks.

After the years of shenanigans and bollocks, it’s heartening to see. I was one of those who wanted him gone after the armband fiasco and I’m here to say:
‘Grannie – you proved me, and many others wrong. Get in there, my son!’

Tonyadamsonthewing

Just got back from the match
We bossed their fans from the first minute – …….you only came to watch the arsenal …….
Humdinger atmosphere
Enjoying the moment

Gunner1971

One of the most satisfying performances of the season!

Those jail-bird looking orcs got the license from the dreadful Cavanagh to kick us all over the place with impunity but the boys stood up and never lost their composure and played with control throughout, never allowing them any sustained pressure. Such a mature performance!

The beauty from Ode was pivotal though, giving us confidence to control the game and making their fans less confident that they could smash us.

Oh what an exquisite footballer!

Goonshow

THAT”S IT!!! You nailed it… Botman IS an orc! How did I not see it sooner?

turcofeo

Kudos to the boss for absolutely nullifying Guimaraes for the whole game. They could only attack through the flanks, albeit with considerable danger on many occasions. But it was great to see Sad Bruno 2 making the most stupid fouls out of sheer frustration.

Surelynot

You see @ Qwaliteee, you refuted my point that Holding was the main culprit as to how we drew 3 and lost 1(which cost us the title) when we lost Saliba. It’s proved now. Fuck Holding off and play Kiwior and we beat both Chelsea and Newcastle.

78/79/80

Its easy to say this and tempting too. Definitely what I’ve been thinking. But also we don’t know how ready he was for those games. There are too many unknowns. Hindsight and all that. We will never know. But we can be happy that we seem to have an assured CB for cover now. I still think we need another one.

Mentalista

You could just as well say Partey was the culprit…

Goonshow

Or Zinchenko.

Santi’s Thigh Grab

Fairly simplistic analysis to suggest one player can effect an entire team. Jorghino was another change that probably had a bigger impact. I don’t understand the negativity when we just beat Newcastle away.

Goonshow

Ridiculously simplistic mate -Zinch was more at fault than Holding. And who knows what an increasingly desperate (and dirty) Toon may have burgled had the ever-solid KT not been brought on in the nick of time?

Very unfair to Holding – he wasn’t great, but those lost points were NOT only on him.

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