Monday, July 22, 2024

Arteta reacts to pre-season defeat to United

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat to Manchester United at MetLife Stadium has given him “lots of information” and warned his squad that next season will be more “challenging” against improved opponents.

First half goals by Bruno Fernandes and Jadon Sancho – both the result of individual mistakes – did the damage in New York on an evening when the Gunners were also condemned to a 5-3 defeat on penalties.

“Having a tough match of this level in this context gives you a lot of information, and that’s always very positive,” Arteta told his post-game press conference.

“That information is obviously there are a lot of things we have to improve. How important the boxes are, that errors are part of football, you have to overcome them as well. And how painful it is to lose a game. Physically it’s been super, super demanding.

“Some players we want to expose a little bit more than they have done, because the way we want to build them, their physical state.

“Overall they had their moments when they were so efficient. We had ours, when we had more dominance and we certainly tried again in the second half, but the chances we had, we didn’t convert them, and they won the game.”

He added: “You [the media] asked me yesterday about my thoughts on how difficult or easy the season is going to be.

“It’s going to be more challenging, more difficult, the level and preparation of the team is excellent and we knew today, they had already played two games before this one and we knew the test was going to be really demanding, like it’s going to be on Wednesday against [Barcelona] one of the best teams in the world.”

Asked what he learnt from the game, he added: “That I hate to lose and we all hate to lose. That is the biggest lesson, that I don’t like losing and I don’t like the feeling that I have right now.

“So the boys have to train right now, in that space thinking how we are going to be better to win the next match.”

Arsenal fly to Los Angeles later today for the third and final leg of their US tour.

A match against Barcelona, the reigning champions of La Liga, at KSE’s SoFi Stadium represents a mouthwatering matchup and also the chance for a new look Gunners midfield to get more minutes in the bank.

Asked to comment on how Kai Havertz, Declan Rice and Martin Odegaard are gelling, Arteta said:

“When they play 55 times together they will be better. It will flow better, they will understand each other better and will be more dominant and better. But it takes time to glide and we have to respect that.

“But I saw a lot of positive things, and things I like much more than the game we won the other day against the MLS even though the result is very different.”

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At least in Kai Havertz we have an heir apparent to Nicholas Pepe.
I am really concerned if Arteta does with the Havertz – Rice – Odegaard formation – Havertz offers nothing defensively.

Johnny 4 Hats

Let’s just give it a little time. It’s a totally new midfield. You can’t expect it to gel immediately.

For me, Kai looks like a player who’s really struggling for confidence and momentum. His Chelsea experience has clearly done some damage.

But the thing that keeps me from despair with Havertz is that Madrid and Munich (under Tuchel) were both desperate to sign him this summer. We just got in quick. He might need a little unlocking, but there’s so much quality in there. All the top coaches know this.

Bleeding Gums Murphy

Havertz was anonymous yesterday and the jury is out on this signing. Positive is smith Rowe looked lively and they can fight it out. Gabriel is not very good with the ball at his feet and is so prone to mistakes. I think his place is on the line. More will be revealed. COYG

Johnny 4 Hats

The thing is, 20 years ago, when the invincibles were in their pomp, these preseason friendlies were so inconsequential. You could barely find out the result, let alone watch the game.

But due to the ever increasing scrutiny of our club we are invited to watch 44 unfit and out of practice players jog around a pitch for 45 mins or so.

They are trying to make a spectacle of something which is basically a training session. And as a result, I refuse to get emotional about it or draw any conclusions about it.

89 again

100%. These games mean absolutely nothing.

Bleeding Gums Murphy

And there you have it, 100% 😂

89 again

Not a fan of colloquialisms? My apologies, let me try again. I agree with the comment above and would like to emphasise that it wholly represents my views in this matter.

It Is What It Is

Just wait for the community stones.


I see what you mean.
But can any match against that lot ever be meaningless?
It was a bloody stupid decision to play them pre-season – for what good would it do😡

Johnny 4 Hats

Well, at least we won’t be complacent in game week 4 🙂

Every cloud…

Heavenly Chapecoense

But if we have won, your conclusion would be……..

Johnny 4 Hats

Yep. I get the contradiction. Especially given last summer we were so buoyed by our preseason results. But what’s the alternative? We fret and moan and write players off and generally throw our toys out the pram? Before a premier league point has even been won or lost? Arteta is experimenting. And if this doesn’t work, if we lose every preseason match, then come Forest at home he’s likely to choose a team that’s a little safer with Tommy next to Rice or Tommy and Tross as 6 or 8. The experiment needs to happen though. Arteta’s very good. But… Read more »

Johnny 4 Hats

It’s also worth remembering that our two big additions at this stage last preseason were Saliba and Jesus. A CB and a CF. Zinchenko didn’t come in for a bit due to injury.

We weren’t reconfiguring an entire midfield. We were placing well drilled, established players in their natural positions.


IF Havertz is poor I just hope the fee doesn’t lead to him being a William MK2, picked all the time regardless.

Bleeding Gums Murphy

I thought it was rather a measured critique on the basis of last two seasons and yesterdays game. Who would have thought you have to take a position now, positive or negative. Funny old world we live in. 😜

Bob McNabs Eyebrows

Mad when our J4H is the (right) voice of reason.

Johnny 4 Hats

I’m always the voice of reason.


Step ladder.





Santi’s Thigh Grab

Jury’s out on Havertz for me, I haven’t seen too much to get excited about from him and haven’t seen him in a PL game for us. He will need to earn his spot.


I miss the days when we awaited news if eboue had fallen off a slope in Austria or wenger had gotten angry at adebayor and sent some ice trolls after him


I am very concerned about Havertz. He does not inspire much confidence offensively or defensively. I hope he gets better. If we are going to play with a more offensive 8, I think we use ESR as he appeared to play much better. I would really prefer the Partey, Rice combination. I am not worried about the 2 goals. They were both goals that I do not believe we give up in the regular season. Big Gabi does not mis clear that ball 999 out of 1000. Ramsdale makes that save 90 time out of 100. Just bad luck on… Read more »

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

We were close last season, very close. What our true rivals used to do under the red nose Scot, is add that extra touch of quality that takes them to another level and just out of reach of anyone catching them again.
In adding Rice has done that, however, if he starts tinkering too much and Havertz doesn’t fulfil the new role potential, it will negate the giant leap forward that signing Rice should give us.


We lost a pre-season game and some people on here have gone mental wow

Heavenly Chapecoense

I agree. But it seems Ten Hag applied the old trick of being physical against soft and technical Arsenal team. It worked and this is a concern.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Agreed. They also used the long ball a lot. Haverts certainly isn’t an addition for getting stuck in, that’s for sure.


this is the team I wanna see

White Saliba Gabriel Zinchenko Partey Rice Odegaard Saka Martinelli Balogun

Santi’s Thigh Grab

That will have to change, the manager loves his duels.

The Beast

Don’t understand why this has to be said but judging whether a player can get “stuck in” after just 2 preseason games is ridiculous.

Love the fact that we can follow preseason preparations a lot closer now-a-days but I guess the price we pay for that are these hot takes


Obviously you missed when the “soft” Ben White premiered… everyone could plainly see he would never succeed at Arsenal.

The Beast

Also remember the criticism some Norwegian got when he came over on loan. Wonder what ever happened to him?


Honestly, the toys being thrown over a fucking pre season friendly. 😂

And all those moaning about Eddie/Kai/Vieira – you are already boring beyond compare. 😴


Just watched the match, it wasn’t as bad as some people are making out. All our players are finding their feet and getting fit, it’s pointless getting worked up about a preseason match (I refuse to call it a friendly), but we shouldn’t be playing manchester united in preseason. That pitch was a disgrace, like playing stoke away, and the opposition may as well have been stoke away. Manchester united are mega cunts, maybe even worse than that bunch down the road. We’ll be ready for them in September. COYG!

Billy bob

Its should be a tough call between ManUre and Spuds but ManUre are definitely worse!!!

Teryima Adi

The opponent was sharper than us. Still so much work to do.

Jamie Ryan

Few things as annoying as people reacting to new players’ (poor) performance in pre-season games. For God’s sake, give them a chance to get to their new team, their new role, their new everything.


Eddie isn’t new – he’s been with arsenal for 5 seasons – and we’re about to go into a season with him as our only backup striker when there is a ginormous gulf between him and Jesus – given Jesus is prone to the odd injury and isn’t historically prolific. We’re competing against city who has the best striker in the league in Haaland. We needed a striker badly this pre-season – but we spent 105 mil on a dm who to be fair provides depth for Partey but isn’t a considerable improvement and it seems like we’re about to… Read more »

Emi Rates

Havertz has one poor performance in a friendly = OMG he has to go!


Wondering what people’s thoughts are on how we deal with teams that come at us like that. Basically keep testing the referees past the first 20 minutes. We saw that last season some teams would just put all their effort into the first 40mins and hope they get something out of it. Whether that is a goal, yellow card, imparting mental dominance etc We could easily match that. However to do that the entire season with a smaller depth than Man City may be counter productive. What principle of play, strategy, tactics or even dark arts can we innovate to… Read more »


Arteta says: Trust the game plan, be a bit more physical, quick one touch football, buy a foul and give a good one as well. Most of all… This is a lightbulb, a magic lightbulb that I have metaphorically inserted into your rectums. If you get a warm feeling down there….run fast and you will win the game for us…happy flowers.

Steve Vallins

Just read an “ Untold Arsenal “ article regarding the MU game , we were fouled 22 times in that game which is approximately twice the average for a EPL game . MU I’m sure wouldn’t have had 11 players on the pitch if that game was played in EPL , Arsenal fouled MU 11 times .


Saw a video of Arsenal fans fighting each other after the match at the stadium . Why where they fighting though? Fighting over a preseason game. I thought Arsenal fans are always supposed to show good example?

Naked Cygan

They were fighting over Harry Maguire’s shirt.


Definitely not reading too much into anything regarding the game as we had three new players plus Tomiyasu who was out so long starting for the first time together. Not overly concerned with Havertz at this point, though my main worry with him is more about his lack of intensity and physicality he has shown thus far (especially on their first goal when he just kind of stood there watching the shot be taken when he was the closest one to pressure). I understand he will need time to adjust to a new style of play, new teammates, new manager,… Read more »

Public Elneny

Disclaimer: I didn’t watch the game, don’t really care about pre season friendlies But I’m worried about the midfield set up. Every time we’ve gone with something resembling a 4-1-4-1 with twin attacking midfielders we’ve been very poor, going back to the latter Wenger days. Hasn’t mattered if it was Ozil-Wilshere, Ozil-Ramsey, Odegaard-ESR, Odegaard-Havertz etc we’ve looked physically flimsy, open to counters, unable to sustain territorial pressure and indecisive in attack. It’s not really about the quality of personnel but the balance. If Havertz and ESR are going to succeed next to Odegaard they have to do their best Xhaka… Read more »

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