Saturday, May 25, 2024

Arteta: Arsenal are ready for “tough test” against improved Chelsea

Mikel Arteta believes Mauricio Pochettino will get Chelsea where they want to go and says he’s been impressed by the Blues’ evolution since the start of the season.

Having endured a difficult first half of the season, the Stamford Bridge outfit have been picking up steam recently and are currently unbeaten in their last eight league matches.

Even though Chelsea currently sit ninth in the table, they’ve closed the gap on sixth-placed Newcastle to three points and can point to runs to the final of the League Cup and the semi-final of the FA Cup as further markers of their improvement.

“There’s a huge admiration for Mauricio [Pocchettino] because I’ve known him since 23 years ago.

“I really wish him all the best, he’s an incredible manager, a huge leader and he will inspire that club to get where they want to get, that’s for sure.”

“Huge improvement,” was Arteta’s assessment of Chelsea’s form.

“They deserve to be in a much higher position in the league when you look at what they’ve done and produced in games.

“They have reached a final and a semi-final and they could have gone through [against City on Saturday].

“I think what Mauricio is doing is really impressive and I’m sure he’s going to get them there.”

While some of the above could be put down to a “killing them with kindness” mentality, Arteta knows his side have no margin for error when the Blues visit the Emirates on Tuesday night.

The Gunners put back-to-back defeats against Aston Villa and Bayern Munich behind them with a solid win at Wolves on Saturday but the title remains out of their hands. By the end of play tomorrow, Arsenal could have a four-point advantage over Manchester City but the reigning champions will have two games in hand. After Liverpool beat Fulham on Sunday, they too are still in the hunt.

“Same message, keep doing what we are doing,” said Arteta of his message to his players.

“Focus on the game, the task, prepare the game really well, like we have, with the time available. The boys looked ready to go again.

“It [Wolves] was a good test to see how we react to certain obstacles. And how much we want it and what we’re capable of doing when the task raises the level, the demands and some people are questioning.

“It’s the moment to step up and certainly the team did that.”

“In terms of size, it was quite good [the win at Molineux]. It really meant a lot to us.

“We’re in a great position in the Premier League, we’ve been like this for nine and a half months now and we want really to give it a real go and be really determined to do what is in our hands to try to life that trophy.

“Tomorrow we’re going to have a really tough opponent in front of us and we will try to overcome that opponent again.”

Given Arsenal are playing every three days, there are naturally concerns that fatigue will catch up with some of the regulars in Arteta’s squad but he insists they were raring to go in today’s training session.

“When I see them this morning, I had to stop them because winning is a big boost of energy.

“After their big performance against Wolves, winning and having to play a London derby tomorrow, everybody is ready for it.

“Something else is the amount and the volume of those games, it’s not the moment for us to look at that. We have to look forward in a positive way and feel and think that we are fresh to perform in the best possible way.”

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Old bloke

Looking forward to the game. We are a better team than them so let’s control the play and be clinical with our finishing.

Reality check

We are going to be playing another mid-block, something we have struggled against all season, Fulham, Villa, Porto, Bayern..

Teryima Adi

Winning is just the boost of adrenaline the team needed. COYG!!!

Daveo

5 cups finals left. The team shouldn’t need incentive to get up for a derby against the blue scum or they cud spunts. But there it is, 2 out of the 5 must win games for the title. Do it and I think we’re about 50:50 of winning the title. Don’t do it and I think we’re <5% chance. It is ALWAYS hard to win a title, it’s even hard to get into a title battle, so if you want to win you gotta accept and achieve hard things. Anything can happen next year (injuries, form loss, other stuff) that… Read more »

A Different George

“Winning is a big boost of energy.” I think that’s true, and I hope it’s enough. In Munich, for the first time this season, Declan Rice looked tired, even sluggish–but at Wolves, he was back. Odegaard had a great first half but seemed to have far less energy in the second half (a recent trend, not surprising given how much he has run this season), but then pushed himself to the second goal. I think the key will be to press Chelsea, as hard and as often as possible. This leaves us more open to their fast players on the… Read more »

Daveo

Probably an unpopular view, but I would play Partey at #6 here to lessen the risk of being exposed on the break against Chel$ki. Shut that down and that’s a big part of their attack gone. I agree with the press, they’re prone to errors, Marty, Rice, Havertz, Jesus leading an attacking press and Partey protecting behind them should be ideal…let’s smash them and put their building momentum back in its place.

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

I only fear old Sterling because I am used to. Mudryk, Palmer, Jackson or whoever else, nah.

Jesus of Sao Paulo

That’s where Benny Blanco comes in.

gooner

Quite odd that the Boehlys are simply refered to as the blues. I mean you are nothing special, there are other blues

A Different George

According to The Guardian, Palmer is ill and will miss the match against us. Take good care of yourself Cole. We want you fit against Spurs.

ScotchEggsRule

Anything less than three points against the RBs will be a travesty.

djourou's nutmeg

up until the age of 18, i thought “pharmacy” was actually pronounced and written “phermacy”. it was an unpleasant discovery when i found out the truth. why did nobody correct me before? so im saving you the headache: his name’s actually mauricio with a “c”, not with a “z”

FMT

I am confident that we will defeat Chelsea. This is a home game against a top side – we usually perform really well in this circumstance. (Bayern was a blip. An outlier.)
If it were playing against a half table side, I would be bothered. I may be wrong but the home atmosphere puts us under added pressure against lower league sides which cause us to make uncharacteristic mistakes. Rush things etc.

But, against a top side, we do really well at home and I am excited about the game tomorrow.
Let’s go boys!

Daveo

We are playing against a half table side

FMT

Hahaha…I get what mean. But, Going by our history and relationship, Chelsea is not a half table side. At least not to the players. Same with Man U.

My only concern for tomorrow is fatigue, but it’s a home game

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