Saturday, June 15, 2024

Arteta on his respect for Bayern, stopping Kane, shot-blocking and fearing nobody

Mikel Arteta was back in front of the media this afternoon, this time facing questions about Arsenal’s first Champions League quarter-final tie since 2010.

Bayern Munich’s poor form, the threat of Harry Kane, Arsenal’s ‘no fear’ attitude and the lessons his players have learnt from last season’s disappointment were all on the agenda.

Here’s what he had to say…

On how much he’s relishing this stage of the season…

I’m really enjoying the moment. This is where we want to be. We’re in a really good position in the Premier League and we’re in a really good position in the Champions League. We have a big task ahead of us against one of the most successful teams in Europe and that’s the hurdle that we have to overcome and we are really looking forward to it.

On facing Bayern and Thomas Tuchel…

A top team. I’m a big fan, a big admirer of Thomas [Tuchel]. His teams, the way they settle, the way they play, what they transmit, I have learned a lot about him. And if we do that, we’ll have a chance to win.

On how Arsenal stop Harry Kane…

It’s not only him. I think it’s the entire function, the individuals that they have. We know the individual qualities of all those players and him in particular and the ability that he has. The best thing to do is what we do collectively to try to prevent certain things.

On Kane’s record against Arsenal being a factor in the game…

Hopefully not.

On what it is about Kane that is such a threat…

Well, consistency. When you look at his numbers over the last ten years, it’s unbelievable what he’s done. So he can score in many different ways. He’s got the service, he’s got the players around him as well to provide those opportunities. And this is what we have to try to avoid.

On Bayern fans being banned from the Emirates…

A full house, a full house and a lot of passion, emotion and we haven’t had this opportunity [playing in a UCL 1/4F) for 15 years so that tells you how special this night is going to be for us. We’re going to have to put everything into every ball to make it happen.

On Klopp saying Arsenal would beat Manchester United…

No, I can only talk about what we do.

On having more leadership on the pitch…

Hopefully, we are better. We have learned a lot of stuff over the last few months. I think the players have evolved. We all have tried to improve and be better than we were a year ago. It’s been a really demanding season. Obviously, it’s a huge step for us to be in this competition and on top of that, be competing in the Premier League the way we are doing. And this is the challenge, but as well, we are so excited to be part of that.

On Bayern having a good record against Arsenal…

It’s there. That’s history. When you look at their history in the competition, it’s clear. Their nature and their capacity to perform at bigger stages and we have to prove that, that’s for sure.

On how Arsenal have turned setbacks in their favour…

Hopefully it’s in their nature. Something has to be within them and we will try to inspire and get that part of them as much as possible to become better, to be more competitive and have that resilience and that will to win and improve every single day. And collectively if you do that, I think the outcome is powerful.

On needing to be near-perfect for the rest of the season…

Perfect in football is difficult. You have to be better than the opponent first. And then when you have the moment, you have to be better than the opponent first and then when you have the moment you have to be ruthless. We’ve been really consistent and trying to be better than the opponents, lately especially, and we have to carry on doing a lot of the things that we are already doing.

On Arsenal looking ruthless at the moment…

Yes, we are in a good moment. Winning and performing the way we’re doing, I think it always helps and brings really good spirit. Just be focused, be focused on the next match and tomorrow is a big match, but we are really looking forward to it.

On whether he’s surprised by Bayern’s recent form…

I don’t know, football is such a competitive environment and so difficult to be consistent that this can happen to anybody.

On whether Arsenal work in training on shot-blocking…

Yes, we do work on that, but hopefully it’s in the players’ nature as well. We can’t just allow teams to shoot in our goals, We have to prevent every possible scenario that occurs before that. And when it gets to that stage, OK, that’s the ultimate opportunity before our goalkeeper makes an intervention. So try to control everything that happens in that chain.

On evolving as a coach having been involved in the UCL knockout stages for the first time…

Yeah, but I think that evolution is not in relation to me. My evolution, I would think it would be in many other areas, not just because of our results, but as a club, which is the most important thing. We haven’t been in this position for 14 years. The opportunity to go through to the next stage, 15 years. That’s for this club a long, long, long time. And we realise that and that’s why as well we have this hunger and desire to make it happen.

On whether he’s spoken to Xabi Alonso about beating Bayern…

Great question, but I’m not going to answer that.

On the difference between Arsenal now and the Arsenal that lost to Bayern last time…

I don’t know, I can understand those debates and those opinions. For us it’s irrelevant, we just focus on the performance that we have to put in to beat a top and exceptional team with exceptional individuals. We have to earn every right on the pitch to make it happen and try to win the match.

On whether Bayern’s domestic form is relevant to a European knockout tie…

From my side, no. And as well as something that we have no say, no control. We don’t know and we just expect all the time the best from your opponent. But against Bayern, against any opponent, against Brighton last week when we played Villa at the weekend, regardless of where they are, you always have to expect that they play in the best possible way and be prepared to overperform them.

On criticism making Bayern more dangerous…

Hopefully not.

On whether a home game first changes the dynamic of the tie…

Yeah, for sure. We know that every knockout stage is like this. The rules have changed as well, and that’s very important as well. And you have to be able to manage the game and the scenarios that can occur within those 180 minutes.

On Arsenal having a ‘no fear’ attitude…

That’s something that we’re looking to do in every single match because we are able to do it in one match and then not in three. That’s not part of us and we want to make sure that things are ingrained within the team and we are consistent in delivering these type of things. I’m proud of what the team is showing, the character and the mentality that they’re showing, and we have to carry on doing it.

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I hate this whole ‘record’ narrative. It’s such lazy analysis to base predictions on something just because it happened in the past. We are a completely different proposition this year. Bottom line is that if we play better than Bayern, and Saliba/Gabriel do a job on Kane, we’ll likely win and he won’t hurt us.

Dr. Gooner

Kimmich is the key. Erase him with tight marking from Rice or Havertz and that’s the job half done. The other half is to snuff out transitions. Do those things and Kane won’t get a sniff.


Kimmich will probably start at RB, unless Tuchel rolls out 3ATB — which I strongly suspect he will do.


Mmmm Kimmchi. Definitely the key to a good korean dinner. Let’s ferment the heck out of that kraut.


We need to get the job done tomorrow, and I think we will.

This is the worst Bayern team in many years and they are there for the taking.

I think we’ll win by three clear goals.

Man Manny

I am optimistic.


Why the down votes? 3-0 win would be great!


Because Bayern are still a top team with loads of experience and should not be underestimated. I feel our manager and players won’t take anything for granted, unlike the more child-like in our fan base. Deluded expectations from some of our fans who then love whining about it later if those goals are not achieved is pointless. They do it with players, they do it with score lines, they do it when it comes to any aspect of our club – it leads to a false narrative and toxic bullshit about our club. . Of course a 3-0 would be… Read more »

Declan Fried Rice with Egg

Fats begets down votes.


Well its only the first leg, all to play for in Munich next week. As long as we dont lose at home we have a chance in Munich, but winning the first one 3-0 would be great of course, just not absolutely necessary.

Obi Wan Iwobi

Great question! Moving on…. 😂

A Different George

Xabi who?


Yeah finally some tasty beer! Thanks blogs lol

Blackpool Albert

I recently read an article where the Inter Miami manager Tata Martino described the second leg of cup competitions as ‘the revenge leg’.

Well we drew the opponent we all wanted. Bayern Munich. Both legs, for me, are revenge legs. Let’s get stuck in lads!!! COYG!


I haven’t been this nervous and excited about an a game in years. Yeah we have had big games last couple of years, but we were always the underdog, always the pretender to the throne. No people are treating Arsenal as serious contenders. Feels like there is more at stake somehow.


Yes. Read an article in a German paper yesterday talking about Bayern and their search for a manager for next year, it mentioned us only in passing but in a much more respectful way than I expected, it sounded even slightly fearful dare I say? Now I was watching those games with my then Bavarian girlfriend and her friends at the time, and that was definitely not the case! They were rather amused by us. Will love to imagine the expression on their faces changing tomorrow….

Communist Gunner

I’m already nervous. COYG!

Dr. Gooner

Bayern are like Brighton in some ways, very used to having the ball, facing the opposition goal and using their individual and collective technical superiority to carve chances. Like Brighton, they look vulnerable if they can’t dominate the ball and territory, so that will be Arsenal’s focus once again. That’s our focus every game (except at Etihad!) but it’s particularly crucial against this opponent. Where they are different is that they have absolutely elite talent in their front three which means they have the ability to be in games even when they’re not playing that well, a bit like Manchester… Read more »


Agree with some of this and there is a lot that could be expanded on and argued against but Havertz is a definite start. It would be robbery for him not to have earned his place in the starting line. He has to be a starter for me

Dr. Gooner

That would certainly be extremely reasonable. I left him out for two reasons: 1. I like the fluid movement between Martinelli and Jesus. I think we’re offensively at our most potent with that front three. 2. Kai has logged a lot of minutes and needs a rest too.


I’d stick with Havertz. Maybe Jesus starting ahead of Martinelli for now. Jesus had CL pedigree and Martinelli off the bench would be worrying for any defence.
I do agree that probably TP5 will start given Jorginho played the full 90 at the weekend. Maybe I’m wrong but I figured if he is in contention for Munich he would have been subbed for the last 20 minutes or so.


Not only are Bayern not the team they were then, but we are also not the team we were.
I doubt they will be underestimating us.


They may not be the team they were, but they are still a damn good team who can beat anyone. They have less to lose due to this narrative that they are ‘not the team they were’. The pressure is on us to win at home – the good thing is our team has shown the balls to handle pressure (no testicle jokes, please). If you doubt they will be underestimating us, that will make for a tougher game. I hope they do underestimate us and play as open as they do, while we don’t make that mistake and play… Read more »


“The Arsenal never plays the same Bayern twice…”

Man Manny

What is it with Arsenal’s record against Bayern? None of the boys that will play this game has ever played against Bayern. So I don’t think history has anything to do with this. The better side over 180 minutes (or more) will carry the day, period. There is no disguising the fact that this is not vintage Bayern. Arsenal, on the other hand, are brimming with confidence even though this is uncharted territory for most of them. I tip the gunners to go through, 3 – 2 over two legs. 2 – 1 win tomorrow and 1-1 next week at… Read more »


I sense a lot of overconfidence from our fans. This will be a difficult tie, make no mistake. We will need to be near perfect, professional and clinical to win.


Difficult one which plan we play, a Man c away performance where we kept it tight, done a job on their attacking force and had chances to take all 3 points, or the away Brighton one where we played a higher press and overload up top to merit the outstanding win we produced, it is CL let’s not forget as Porto did a job on us that we overcame after 2 difficult games, even with Bayerns problems in their domestic league they are a still serious team, ref may also be key, I think we have learnt a lot in… Read more »


I don’t agree with this Kane hype stuff. We’re giving them too much psychological advantage and however good this Arsenal team is, they’re still human and prone to that kind of conditioning.
We stopped every big six EPL team on their tracks this season and if Bayern were facing Liverpool or City, the English teams would be considered odds on favs.
I want to hear someone call for what it is for once….. a stroll in the park.


Theo good one there. Even in my country Nigeria everyone that wishes we don’t win is pushing that narrative. “Bayern has a better record ” If Mancity who has beaten us consistently in the past can now go 180 minutes without scoring a goal who is Bayern? This guy’s haven’t played Bayern before. Talkless of an Awalawa(substandard) Bayern. Let’s call it for what it will be ” a light work in the park”


Blank thoughts🤔💭! I absolutely love❤ that. So may it be.


Finally, a beer!


Bayern has 60 points in 28 Bundesliga matches. If we extrapolate that to 31 matches we have played they would have 66 points, only 5 off our pace. So maybe a down league season to an extent but they are not horrible.

Thankfully our boss will plan accordingly and the boys hopefully play the way they have been. I like our chances but it will be tight over two legs I think.

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