Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Arteta on City’s status as favourites, learning from experience and trying new tactics

In the second half of Friday’s press conference, Mikel Arteta faced further questions about the challenge lying in wait at the Etihad and what Arsenal have to do to win against a Manchester City side who are still considered favourites for the title. 

Here’s what he had to say…

On whether he’s frustrated that Manchester City are seen as favourites for the title…

No, they have earned the right for seven or eight years with what they’ve done to [make] everybody believe that they’re going to do it again. They have given no reason to anybody else to think that they cannot do it. So we have to give them those reasons. 

On Sunday’s game representing a chance to change the narrative…

Yeah, but we haven’t done it, so we cannot expect to be talked like City or Liverpool at the moment, because we haven’t done it. 

On his side developing to a point where he doesn’t need to try new things in big matches…

And if I tell you that I did something [different] when we beat Man City at home? I might have. And maybe it was needed because we won. It doesn’t work like that. We have to do what we feel and what the team needs and try to shape that up so they are in the best possible mindset and they are convinced and they have the feeling that they are going to beat any opponent. We can use different tools to do that. 

On his side needing to be aggressive in defensive actions…

There are moments that you can be aggressive, there are moments that they have the ability to get you in other zones of the pitch and you have to adapt to that, we have the same qualities to do that, so at the end, you have to defend certain spaces in the way that you have to in relation to what they are doing and you cannot behave the same way in every zone of the pitch. 

On what Arsenal need to achieve to be considered on a par with City…

Win four or five Premier Leagues, win the Champions League and be there consistently like they have done. 

On how much Sunday’s match will be a test of nerve…

You cannot play the occasion, you have to play the game. There are still so many games to go and we are learning that we are playing some big games, we played some big games in the Champions League for the first time for the majority of this group and those experiences are necessary and try to learn quickly. That’s what we have to do. 

On whether his side has learned from last year’s experience…

For sure. And hopefully, we are constantly learning and we learn something from the game we played against Brentford and Porto and that’s going to help us for the next one against Bayern Munich and try to be better every day. 

On wins against big opponents helping to change his side’s mentality…

I think psychologically it’s important and it gives you confidence and I think it sets a different kind of belief within the team that you can play those games and you can actually beat them. When we are at our best, we have the capacity to do that. 

On how he felt losing at the Etihad last season…

Not nice, I guarantee you. I don’t want to go through that again because we knew that after that it was going to be very difficult, something that we fought for that many months.

On the key battles this weekend…

Hopefully, I could tell you this and this, but it’s not [that easy]. It’s a lot of things. It’s a lot of detail, it’s a lot of individual performance. You have to be at your best individually in those matches to give yourself the chance to win it and as a team the same. We will prepare to try to exploit their weaknesses, that’s for sure. 

On whether talent or mental fortitude will make the difference this weekend…

Well, it’s a bit of both. It’s experiences, it’s individual quality that they have, the collective quality that they have, the experiences, what they’ve been through as a club as well, the resources that they had, the hard work that they put in. Because mentally, to win once or twice is okay, but consistently, that’s something else to do repeatedly, and that’s what we have to do.

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The nerves are truly terrifying and it’s still >24 hours before the game. Anyone have suggestions on how to avoid jumping on Twitter/Arseblog for updates every few minutes?


Stop expecting, that can help!


I’ve spent the whole interlull twitching, thinking about this game.
It was so much easier when we only had hopes and dreams. This potential, this ‘on our day we beat them easily’ is absolutely nerve wracking!!!


Meditate, my fellow Gooner


I like how he can say a lot without giving anything away.


Underrated managerial skill

Guns Up

Go on and smash em, boys!! Let’s take that next step.


“You cannot play the occasion, you have to play the game”
Sounds obvious though I really love this!
Wweeee gooooot super Mik Artetaaaaa!


Hope the refs are a non-issue against City. West Ham absolutely robbed today.


I disagree. West Ham weren’t robbed.
Those penalties were textbook scenarios even though I’d feel slightly sad if that was given against my team.
However, don’t get me started with the so called “head injury ” occurring from a brush of the fingers on the face 🤨


Also Chelskis penalty was terrible. Mudryk had zero chance of getting there and was leaned on. Clear yellow for simulation.


I NEVER get nervous, but fuck me I’m nervous about this one.

This has Anfield’89 size butterflies – because we CAN do this.

Come On You Gunners!

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