Saturday, February 24, 2024

Arteta on game state affecting Odegaard, ruthless Saka & the Champions League challenge

In the second half of his pre-Lens press conference, Mikel Arteta answered further questions about the fluidity of his attack and how Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka, in particular, are dealing with defensive stubbornness.

The manager also touched on what is needed to win the Champions League and whether European success is easier to achieve than topping the Premier League.

On how Martin Odegaard is affected by opponents congesting the middle of the pitch this season…

Last year it happened again, especially in the second phase of the season. Again, for the same reason, we started not to score that early, but teams are going to suffer a lot if they want to defend there. We are getting better, we have more and more resources and we’re getting more and more ways to attack those situations. And we’ll master it, that’s for sure.

On games being tougher for Odegaard when Arsenal don’t score early…

Yes, it will affect the game in a different way. He had a very clear role what to do and he did it really well and he opened up so many spaces and actions to attack in different ways for us. I think he’s a player who is so intelligent that he will find a way at the end to win the game for us.

On Arsenal not having won the Champions League and whether it hurts the club…

Arsene used to define it in a great way; don’t take it for granted because in this [Premier] League it’s extremely difficult and he was so right. The moment that you missed it [qualifying] then you realised how important it is to do it. Now we see in this league, three or four teams not being in the Champions League where they should be. It sounds like a catastrophe but that’s the reality of the level of this league. To be in that competition from that league, you have to take credit as well because it’s very complicated. 

On whether it’s only an established core of teams who can realistically win the Champions League…

Except for Real Madrid, normally the winners for the rest, I think it is a dream, it’s a possible dream because these are football games and teams are really good and games are decided in detail in a lot of moments. We certainly need to get the experience to compete at that level, to be closer to that situation. 

On Sp*rs being an example of it not being impossible to get close to winning the competition…

Yeah, a lot of things have to go your way, you have to obviously perform at an incredible level to have the opportunity to do that, and we are going to try, that’s for sure. 

On Bukayo Saka improving his scoring stats season-on-season…

First of all, having great teammates that make you better, that’s the first thing. And then credit to him, the way he takes his profession and the way he trains every single day, the question he demands all the time to be better, to define games, to win games, to score more goals. He’s got a ruthless mentality now, to be the best that he can be every single day and to really be there on the pitch to affect games and win games for the team. 

On Saka’s humility…

That’s what makes him special. It’s impossible not to love Bukayo. You see that within two minutes you get to know him and you get shocked at what a special character and person he is. But at the same time, he’s so humble but he’s got that presence that he sets the line there and that’s enough. And that’s big quality I think. 

On whether it’s harder to win the Premier League or Champions League…

I don’t know, to win the Premier League, it’s a huge marathon or triathlon, I don’t know how it’s called in England, but the Champions League is something special, it’s moments that have to go your way, and as well that belief that the team can win it and create a special atmosphere in these moments and have the luck in the right moments, it’s a lot of things that you need to go your way. But now I think to win the Premier League is so tough. I haven’t replied to your question! For us as a club, I think it’s the Champions League because we haven’t won it. That’s it. 

On the importance of having two wingers in tandem and things not clicking without Gabriel Martinelli and Saka on the pitch together…

Well, it was only not them, there were a few [other] players [missing] as well, and the chemistry of the team is not the same, especially against certain formations, that we need special things in those areas. But we have other players as well. Leo [Trossard] has played on the left, Reiss [Nelson] has played there, Fabio [Vieira] when he’s come in has different qualities. It’s not the same, it is different. The team adapts to that. And some days the team needs something else in other positions to adjust and those different qualities of the team. But for sure, they [Saka & Martinelli] are two huge players for us. 

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The journalists enjoyed his presser one even joked about “Sp*rs being an example of it not being impossible to get close to winning the champions league or anything winnable”

Apparently his media company put him on notice for wasting their time and resources instead of doing serious business during working hours.


Out of topic but had to put it somewhere.
UEFA dropped a VAR official who was involved in the decision to give late penalty to PSG.
I know different organization but still worth mentioning.
Fun fact;
Newcastle complained about VAR!
Ha. Ha. Ha.


Warring oil tycoons: Qatar vs Dubai vs Saudi. There Saudi’s influence is growing.


“No advantage in my eyes”
-Eddie Howe

His nose grew a few inches after that one

A Different George

But they didn’t drop the referee! The VAR was obviously wrong that the referee had made a clear error; in fact, it was a clear error to award the penalty. But that’s the point: it’s the referee–one of the best in the world–who awards the penalty. He was completely justified in taking the VAR’s advice to go to the screen because he might have missed something in live action, but he is completely (unjustifiably) wrong in not sticking to his original decision. So, why is he not being stood down?


I can’t recall any ref going to the screen and upholding his original decision, VAR is ruining our game, now they are trying to instigate the poxy private school upper class bullshit of rugby’s rules of having sin bins and the captains being the only one to talk to referees, imagine how that will work, your mid holding player working his socks off given a 10 min sinbin to be sat on the side line cooling down to come on again in the heat of the battle, more injuries.. apart from a big sprint from making a try its a… Read more »

Naked Cygan

Sp*rs have had the best start to a season in 456 years, their manager got 3 MOTM awards already and they are still 5th and we are first 😂😂😂😂. It must really suck to be a tottingham fan. Also saw a post that sp*rs are billing Harry Redknapp £18k for their electricity bill. Apparently he left the lights on in the trophy room last time they won something.


If ‘Arry left the lights on in the sp*rs trophy room, surely he’d be getting a gas bill?

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