Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Arteta: There was a desire for revenge

In his pre-game press conference on Friday morning, Mikel Arteta played down suggestions his Arsenal side would be driven by revenge when they visited Newcastle United.

However, after watching his side register an impressive 2-0 win, he changed his tune, admitting he and his players had “revenge” in their bellies.

Travelling to the North East this time last year, the Gunners needed a win to keep hopes alive of a top-four finish but fell to a bitterly disappointing defeat.

The full extent of Arteta’s rage only became apparent later when Amazon released their ‘All or Nothing’ documentary with the Spaniard’s sweary dressing room tirade taking centre stage in the last episode.

Eager for his squad to remember the regrets they had that night, Arteta made them watch the clip before they left their hotel this afternoon. 

“We had to feel it, it wasn’t enough just talking about, we had to feel it, we had to see it, we had to recognise our faces,” said the Spaniard.

“Not only the players but what it meant for the staff as well. That’s football, you can win, lose but that feeling was beyond something that we didn’t do enough on the day. We had to put that right today.

“I was looking at the video, so I didn’t see their faces [today] but you don’t have to be a genius to see how painful it was. The word was pain. And then desire for revenge. They had that today in their bellies, for sure.”

Arsenal’s victory was built on a willingness to be brave on the ball in the heat of battle and to fight for every ball in every area of the pitch. After weathering a fast start by Newcastle, which included them hitting the post and having a penalty overturned by VAR, the Gunners took the lead thanks to Martin Odegaard’s 15th goal of the season.

More close calls at the start of the second half kept Arteta’s players on their toes before an own goal by Fabian Schar put the result beyond doubt.

“I think the word to describe it is pride,” said Arteta when asked for his assessment.

“When you have question marks, you have to resolve them straight away. When you had the emotions that we had last year in that dressing room, you have to make sure that you feel them again.

“To realise how difficult, how nasty and how unpleasant they are, and then you have to find a way to approach the game in a different way, because the manner is going to be higher than last year. The boys did that extremely well so I’m really proud of them.

He added: “It was very different [from last season] that’s for sure yes, it was needed. If not, you do not win here. They are a better team, they are very well coached, the atmosphere they created is incredible, so you know we needed a much better performance than any game we have played this season.

“I said to the players that to win today, you’re all going to have to individually put in the best performance of the season if not, you’re not going to win here.

Today’s victory ensures Arsenal will finish the season in the top two and keeps alive the club’s chances of winning a first title in 19 years. It’s still Manchester City’s to lose – they have a one point advantage and a game in hand – but with three weeks remaining, Arteta promises his team will fight to the end.

“We are there, we want to keep digging,” he said. “The prize is there, not too far and the only thing we can do is keep insisting and don’t turn our backs and lose focus on something else. Be determined every single day, let’s keep going and see what happens.”

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10/10 for Arteta today.


Such a fantastic game yesterday and the funny thing was, I didn’t feel like they would score. I don’t know why there was just a confidence that we would keep them out. Haven’t felt like that for a while…. Speaking of that confidence at the back, I don’t want to blame Rob Holding because it’s a team game, but for the 4 games he replaced Saliba we took 3 points and shipped 11 goals even though we still scored 8. For the 2 that kiwior has replaced Rob, we’ve taken 6 points and shipped a single goal scoring 5. I… Read more »


I think Kiwior was very close to that needed level and Holding was just a patch until Kiwior got there.


I’m so proud of this team. I’ve been an Arsenal supporter since Terry Neill was the manager, and I’ve never been more profundity of any group than this bunch of young men


I am so happy we beat them. I didnt see the Sky coverage as I was at the game myself, but all of my mates who watched it said that they were setting up the narrative to be ..’Oh Arsenal, they’ve lost here (again) like last season and their title challenge is up.’ even before a ball had been kicked. Some of the post match stuff I have seen since, and you can see the real disappointment in Nevilles face as he is begrudgingly admitting we played really well, and put in a performance of high quality to win a… Read more »

Eric Blair

The mentality Arteta has instilled is spot on, haven’t seen this at our club for maybe 10 or 15 years.

Whatever happens between now and the end of the season we are going in the right direction. I felt it last year despite the disappointment and I feel it now. I wonder if we’re in for something spectacular next time around.

Aleksander Włodarz

Gunners very lucky not to sustain any serious injuries after the Newcastle foul play. Where was the referee?


Too busy thinking about that big brown paper bag full of beer tokens from those nice Saudi gentlemen….


Too busy giving penalties for handballs that weren’t.

But it’s Newcastle, they’re owned by people who cut up journalists with saws. Maybe the referee thought since nobody was actually dismembered, you can’t really complain.


Arteta is such an intense relentless bastard. Superb.


He will eventually out-pep Pep.


Pep never inherited messed up team. In this category is Arteta already ahead of him.


Best served cold.

mike D

I fucking love this team. That is all.

mach iii

Biggest issue this season was not closing out games. 2-0 up, Haaland gives the penalty to Gundogan. Pep did not approve at all. He wants 3, 4 goals. We were cruelly bludgeoning a beaten team in Liverpool.. 1 nil, 2 nil, totally outplaying them, and then the foot came off the gas, an the beercan opened. Far too many matches this season. 2nd biggest issue was too much fear of City. When the name City is whispered, adrenaline pumps into the blood constricting the vessels, and the teams response is to fawn. Total seizure. A super hungry motivated player in… Read more »


Artetas version of the Charlie Murphy story about Rick James and the couch. What am I gonna do, use revenge to motivate the team like it’s something to do? I got more sense than that. Yeah, I remember using revenge to motivate the team.

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