Saturday, February 24, 2024

Arteta on taking risks and Rice’s aura as Gunners escape Luton with late win

Mikel Arteta was delighted with the way his side dug themselves out of a hole of their own making at Kenilworth Road after Declan Rice’s header in the seventh minute of stoppage time sealed a 4-3 win against Luton. 

The Gunners were in control of the match at the break thanks to goals from Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus although a header from Gabriel Osho, who took advantage of lax defending from a corner, was a hint at problems to come.

The home side stormed into the lead after the break, twice taking advantage of poor goalkeeping by David Raya. The Spaniard flapped at a corner allowing Elijah Adebayo to head home on 49 minutes before Ross Barkley fired through his legs eight minutes later. 

On a night when Arsenal created chances at will, Kai Havertz pounced in the box to equalise inside three minutes and the visitors then laid siege to the Luton goal. It paid off right at the death. 

“We knew it will be a big battle here and we made it harder for ourselves the way we conceded the goals obviously, but the spirit of the team, how we fought, the quality that we showed in the right moments and never give up, it’s all about that” Arteta told Amazon Prime. 

”We’re willing to win every game, we take risks, we go for it and we got rewarded big time today.”

He added: “It’s a really difficult place to come to win six in a row like we’ve done in different ways today. You have to find a way to win it when you haven’t done certain things, especially in your box, and we’ve done it.”

Behind closed doors, Arteta is sure to have words with his players about the way they defended set pieces but he was also quick to praise Luton for how clinical they were. 

“It happens,” he said of the goals his side conceded. “And credit to them as well, the opponents prepared things against us, the delivery was excellent, the finishing was excellent and sometimes we just need to applaud the opponent because they do what they did and be credit to them because they are really difficult sides to beat. So big compliments the way they played as well because it was a tough night.” 

Asked to comment on David Raya’s shambolic performance, Arteta was quick to change the subject. 

“They’re all jumping there [in the dressing room]. I’m so happy. I’m a really happy manager today,” he said. Instead, he turned his attention to the contribution of matchwinner Rice. 

“He’s already making a big impact on the team and those moments are special. He has this quality, this aura about him to create those moments and it will give him even more confidence.”

Having extended their lead at the top of the table to five points, Arsenal head to Villa Park on Saturday to see if they can stretch their winning run to seven games. It’s sure to be another tough game; one that Arteta will watch from the stands after he picked up a third booking of the season for his reaction to tonight’s winner. 

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John

The Luton hoodoo is over. First win there since 1984 or something, which coincidentally is probably when Spurs last won a trophy.

GoonerJust

Dude, what trophy?

Gaby! Gabi! Gabé!

The hilarious thing is that you’re giving Sp*rs too much credit!

AledoBren

Luton have been out of the top flight since 1991! So we actually hadn’t beaten them in 9 years, just stupid pundits making headlines and stories because they are just crap journalists.

Don’t fall for it John mate.

djourou's nutmeg

they won’t even let him celebrate a 96th minute winner, for fucks sake!

Ebo

So it was really 100mil for Declan, and another 5 million for his aura.

Where do we pay the other 50mil he’s worth?

Nachoman

50 wouldn’t get he’s forehead! But I get ya bruv👍🏻

RamsdaleMyHero

Time to accept that David raya is a calamity keeper , he is the worst keeper that we have had since flappdinski and runnarsson

AAA

Wouldn’t agree with that but think Rambo should get his place back.

Doghouse

Yeh Ramsdale is the better keeper, we could of so easily of lost this game, time to make the switch Miki..

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Everyone knows this apart from the blinkered Gooners who think Arteta can do no wrong. I LOVE Arteta but this has been an unnecessary distraction caused by him

Joeboy

Agree. Would have loved to see Ramsdale kick on this season and develop with the team, especially in Europe. Football can be cruel.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

It’s all been completely unnecessary and will result in the better of the 2 keepers leaving to strengthen one of our rivals.
Arteta has got it wrong. Just hope the mighty travelling Gooners sing Ramsdale’s name non stop at Villa, even if our stubborn manager leaves him on the bench again.

gunnerboreus

Too much, but it is also sadly clear he is not a top goalkeeper and he never will be. Good distribution but other than that a premier league standard goalkeeper at best, not more. He lacks presence and is a bit weak.

His one top save this season was against Chelsea – after he passed the ball to them. We’ve gone backwards in this department since last season and within 2-3 years we will admit it and be on the look out for a top keepr

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

He won’t bring back Ramsdale. It’ll be an admission he got it massively wrong.

TrueGurner

Im not going to get on the Raya hate train. He’s a good keeper, backed by a manager I have faith in, and he probably does deserve some time on the bench. But it’s only with rose-tinted glasses that we can pretend Rambo was somehow our immaculate sav(iou)er last season. As we enter the Christmas period let’s reflect on the fallacy of immaculate goal line contraception and give David the second chance that Our Father Arsène Wenger, his son Cesc Fabregas and Holy Santi Cazorla, would also be so kind as to grant him. Armand Troure.

Hopefulgunner

Nah, Raya purchase was simply unnecessary

Dlo

Yes, that is the point. To pay 35 million or so for, at best, a marginal improvement, seems unnecessary at best and daft in a less charitable evaluation. We’re not City, Chelsea or United with unlimited funds. Will that cost stop us from buying someone else?

AAA

We paid a 3 million loan fee for the season. From my understanding the purchase is optional.

PeteyB

I disagree, and to say its a 35 mil spend for a marginal gain I think isn’t seeing the big picture. He may be a marginal gain over Rammsdale (debatable) but certainly Raya & Rammsdale are a significant step above Turner.
We sold Turner for 10 mil, bring Raya for 35, so thats a 25 mil net spend to significantly improve our 2nd choice keeper.

If at some point in the season Raya gets an injury (or indeed AR1 if his wins his place back) we’ll be delighted to have such a high standard of cover.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Or, there’ll be no such injury and Ramsdale will leave and we’ll end up with Raya and another Matt Turner.

Declan Fried Rice with Egg

Not marginal.

Whoever is number 2, whether Raya or Rammers, is a massive upgrade over Turner or any backup goalie in the EPL.

The comparison should be made with the backup, not whoever starts cause I know I wont bat an eyelid if one gets injured and the other has a prolonged run in goal for us. Compare that to Turner, Almunia, Fabianski, Vito Mannone, Manniger, Shaaban, Mart Poom(!)

R&R. Best GK depth in the league. Get in.

Rocky Mountain Arsenal

I guess we can expect to see an aerial assault and physical play (ala Stoke/Rory Delap) against us for the rest of the season. 🤷

Sauce

Didn’t know they now book coaches for celebrating goals.. probably gonna book us when we celebrate winning the league at the end of the season

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Why change the subject about Raya boss? Oh is it because you’ve twigged that you’re responsible for this GK shambles. Is it because your stubbornness means you’ll carry on with Raya even if there’s no question he should be dropped? Or is it because we had a Yashin nominated keeper last year who made one of the saves of the season and was no more error prone than any of the top 4 keepers.
In short, he’s tetchy about GK subject as he knows he’s got it wrong.

Moronic Inferno

“We live life forwards but only understand it backwards”, maybe we should wait until the end of the season before we pass judgement on Raya or any of the players, I’m pretty sure Kai Havertz was getting slaughtered on this site by some people not that long ago, Raya might turn out to be a dud but he’s only played a few games, I think Arteta and Edu have been pretty good with recruitment’s and deserve some faith in their decisions.

Augustine

Raya must be benched clearly he’s not that good but I think Arteta is too stubborn to admit his mistake.

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