Saturday, May 25, 2024

Post-Villa quotes round-up: Arteta, Emery, Rice, McGinn, Wright, Merson

Arsenal’s chances of winning a first Premier League title in 20 years hang by a thread after Aston Villa completed a double over Mikel Arteta’s side with a 2-0 win at the Emirates. 

The Gunners came into the game buoyed by Liverpool’s defeat to Crystal Palace and looked sharp in the first half, creating enough chances to win the game. However, fatigue and nerves crept in after the break and the visitors made their constant probing pay with late goals for Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins.

Having eased to a victory over Luton Town yesterday, this was very much Manchester City’s weekend. They now top the table by two points with six games remaining.

Here’s what the managers, players, pundits and stattos made of a dispiriting afternoon for Arsenal…

Mikel Arteta on a damaging defeat…

We’re obviously very disappointed with the result, especially with the way we have been performing. The first half was one of the best halves we have played this season against a top team. We should’ve scored three, four, five, we haven’t scored. In the second half, the game changes, we struggle to gain momentum, we struggle to get the ball into certain areas and we were very sloppy with the ball and the game was there with not much happening. A few corners for them and then we concede a very poor goal and then, on top of that, we were chasing it and then we concede another one and it was a painful loss.

Source: BBC Sport


Unai Emery on his side learning from defeat against Manchester City…

Our plan was to be consistent for 90 minutes, try to control the game from minute one to minute 90. We needed to stop them when they were playing with their skill and positioning at home here with the fans. We needed very high commitment from everybody to get our best performances defensively, helping a lot in individual duals. We didn’t dominate with ball possession in the first half a lot, but we avoided their press and were adding confidence. In the second half, we were getting better, imposing ourselves. We have very good players, we have our positioning and our idea and style, and when we are imposing our game we can face teams like Arsenal.


Declan Rice on not taking anything from the game…

If you can’t win games of football, don’t lose. You look up at the clock and you see there’s 15 [minutes] to go, it’s 0-0, if you ain’t going to win the game, take a point, especially in these situations. To now lose and not take anything is a real kick in the teeth. We want to win every game, absolutelly, this is Arsenal, you feel the pressure to win these games. We put the pressure on ourselves, we knew today going into it that it was nothing but three points. We didn’t get that in the end, but it’s time now for a reaction, starting on Wednesday night.

Source: Sky Sports


John McGinn on a statement win for Villa…

An amazing performance. I think people don’t realise, we certainly didn’t realise until this season, how difficult it is playing Thursday-Sunday. Coming up against one of the best teams in the world at the moment, Arsenal, with a depleted squad – what an effort and what a performance from the players, and we couldn’t be prouder. Diego [Carlos], Pau [Torres], Ezri [Konsa], Lucas [Digne], they were monstrous at the back. Emi [Martinez] was world class as always and we were always a threat at set pieces.

Source: Viaplay Fotball

Arteta on momentum shifting in the second half…

Obviously we were struggling to regain the ball as we were doing the first half and then we lacked a lot of composure, we rushed things with the ball. So we never had enough sequences to get them in certain areas that we wanted to have them, like we did in the first half. Credit to them as well. But I think we lacked quite a lot of things in the second half and the game became more stretched and more even without a lot of things happening really.

Source: Post-game press conference


Rice on failing to capitalise on first half dominance…

We didn’t kill the game off in the first half. The space we had, the chances we created and missed. In games like this, you have to put them away. They’re a great team and they hold the line well and are compact, but the chances we had in these games, we’ve got to be taking them. Obviously [the table] doesn’t read good, being two points behind Man City, but there’ll be more twists and turns towards the end. We’ve just got to stay positive. Good things can happen.

Source: Premier League

Ian Wright on the title race…

Man City wouldn’t have thought Liverpool and Arsenal would have lost today. City know how to navigate this. They can afford to lose a game now, but I can’t see them losing one. They have breathing space. All Arsenal can do now is win every game, but we had to do that before today, because we know City can win every one of theirs.

Source: Premier League


Paul Merson on the title race being over…

They’re chasing the best team in the world now. The best team in the world who’ve done it year in, year out. When was the last time they got beat, Man City? It’s not like we’re sitting here and we’re going, I wonder how Man City will be now for the rest of the games. They’ll reel them off. They will reel them off. They will just keep on playing and playing and wiping teams away, in my opinion. If it was someone else they were chasing down, every chance. But I’ve seen this team too many times. They’re bang out of luck, Arsenal. They’re chasing one of the best teams ever to play football.

Source: Sky Sports

Arteta on his decision to substitute Martin Odegaard…

He was feeling something. He was feeling something, he could not continue.

Source: Post-game press conference


Arteta on how he picks up his players…

On Wednesday [in Munich], we have an amazing opportunity to make history with this club.

Source: beIN SPORTS

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Hope we get rid of these city rejects


Fucking hell. First game we lose this year. The boys look tired!

Frog In Ze Roim

Lacazette better than Jesus as a 9.


Clueless comment.


We played Tuesday and Sunday. Villa played Thursday and Sunday. Not having the tired excuse, they’ve played just as much as us.


We don’t unless good offers come in for them and the managerhas other ideas in mind. They’re decent squad players. Nobody performed in the second half.


What an awful place this becomes after a bad result. I’m as depressed as you are, but how about we keep some class about ourselves and be respectful of players who’ve had some brilliant performances for our club as recently as this season (not to mention last one) instead of having the short term memory of a goldfish.


Indeed. I tend not to read too many comments after losses as all measure of sense and maturity is gone. Looking back on yesterday’s match, we really had enough to win in the first half — the right lineup, the right incision, the right moments in their box — but we didn’t do enough with it, lacking that final precision that champions have. It should have been 2-nil or more to us at halftime, and that feeling of cruising to another victory would have seen changes to both sides that would have, I think, ensured the victory. But alas, we… Read more »


One bad half in the last 14 PL games isn’t the time to say we are not a top side that we are, miki thinking much of the same in 2nd half like we all were expecting a goal early, of course Disappointing result to say the least, it shows how far we have come, unfortunately digging out our players and manager when we lose will always be there on forums for the few, onwards to Bayern a tough ask to get through but not impossible, keeping it 0-0 at half time is the key to our success

djourou's nutmeg

it’s too often we hear our opponents score with every shot on target they have. it certainly was the case at the start of the season. it hasn’t shown lately because our defense is great and we don’t allow many shots at all, and i don’t want to blame raya, but i can’t remember a world class save from him since he’s been with us. and if we’re trying to win premier league and champions league, you need a world class keeper. he’s on loan and worth 30 million. i would thank him for his effort and look elsewhere this… Read more »

Kevin Richardson / Jorginho

Look at our goals conceded.

djourou's nutmeg

i see it’s low, therefore raya must be good. great logic, marvelous debate


How about these penalties? It was quite entertaining.


*those penalties

djourou's nutmeg

i thought the same at the time! and then harry kane took a penalty and raya embarrassed himself diving 2 steps earlier. anyway im not saying he’s not good, i just think we can do better


Spurs at home early in the season, right after he took the role

El Mintero

What if we let Raya go back AND then sold Ramsdale. Clear the board entirely at GK and start again?


I agree with his lack of top quality. A decent keeper for Brentford, but is not someone any other club in the CL would be looking at.

But, sadly, he’s not worth £30 million and I very much suspect we are on the hook to complete the loan. We are stuck with him for the foreseeable and need to get on with it.

EL Chykes

Raya isn’t an upgrade to Ramsdale


Arteta lost that game by leaving Rice isolated in the middle. This forced Ordegaard to drop too deep thus not being able to influence the game. Harvertz was struggling in the middle and there was no use of keeping Gabriel Jesus coz we all know that he needs more than eight chances to score one. He had Jorginho and Partey to regain control of the game but he waited till late. He moved Harvertz up front when he was already gassed out. Zinchenko and Jesus should have been removed at the beginning of the second half.


Yeah, it was a strange to wait so long in the second half to change it. I mean, we could all see by 55mins mark we needed to get jorgs or Partey on for Jesus and push Havertz on…

Spanish Gooner

It really is a terrible state of affairs for the PL that we can be two points behind with 8 games to go and absolutely nobody thinks there is any hope for us or Liverpool. It really is all about the money, and those who say otherwise don’t realise the money doesn’t only buy the best players – it bought the best manager, the best Talent ID team, the best facilities and the best data analytics. It bought whole football clubs with decades of history like Palermo and Bahia, and it’s bought a level of domination the Premier League (and… Read more »


They also bought the best lawyers and own the PGMOL.

Spanish Gooner

Yup. Between that and convincing the pundits that the transfer fees as reported by the Sun are the only ways you can measure what a team has spent, I have no faith in city being held to task


It’s six games to go


Let’s not kids ourselves. Kroenke could spend as much as City if he wanted to. Aside from his own personal billions in wealth, he’s married into the family that owns Walmart.

Greg in Seattle

Are you actually bitching about Kroenke? That ownership group is pretty much redeemed.


You’re actually praising a billionaire? FFS man, he’s not some hero. He’s a greedy fucker with too much money. Him and People exactly like him have fucked up football and the world.




It blows my mind all the fanboyism for billionaires, when they are the source of ALL the problems. They’re they ones exploiting people and the planet for their own greed that is infinite. You don’t become a billionaire by being nice. Philanthropy is nothing but rich person PR and tax avoidance. And the ones pulling the strings of our corrupt politicians? Yup, you guessed it, the same billionaires. And in football – it’s these same grease balls attempting to play real life football manager that have destroyed the game.

Greg in Seattle

FFS yourself. You know full well we are talking about the fairyland of football, where it’s all relative. Of course billionaires are the exploitative pigs at the top of the pyramid scheme called capitalism but what does that have to do with Kroenke having evolved from the whipping boy to being a solid and largely supportive financial base for this club? Such that we now are thinking he may have never been the problem in the bad years? We are not in FFP trouble, we aren’t based on petrol dollars, aren’t associated with human rights abuses or sportswashing. He’s not… Read more »

Santi’s Phonebox

Ever heard of FFP, 115 charges?

Spanish Gooner

The only thing stopping Arteta being a truly world class manager is learning to make little adjustments game-to-game to keep players fresh and keep opponents guessing. If we were about to play Arsenal, we’d all know to play Tomiyasu at LB because everybody knows Saka will be playing at inverted RW regardless of form or fitness. This is predictability lets teams set up to expose our players’ weaknesses far more than for any other team. Zinchenko would look a whole lot better if the opposing manager had to spent half the week preparing to face Tomiyasu, or if he suddenly… Read more »


The only thing that is stopping Arteta from being a great manager is Man City who can buy the best players and win all the best prizes because of that.
I feel the only hope for Arsenal is the Carabao Cup or, if they are lucky the FA Cup

Def Kaiser

Fatigue tells as does Man City squad depth I think you must always play with two central midfielders – so today Rice and Partey or Jorginho. Harvetz is not a central midfielder and has been doing well up front Ultimately Zinchenko is not top class defensively. Jesus never scores 30 plus and his injury record is becoming concerning The building programme goes on. We need a central striker a central midfielder beside Rice ( Partey and Jorginho injury prone and ageing) Arteta must start trusting ESR, Nelson and Eddie However, last two seasons the performances and football have been amazing… Read more »

I miss santi cazorla

Anyone but eddie


Eddie not up to it, ESR jury is still out.
Zinky is easy to play against, Arteta got his tactics wrong.


I’m feeling defiant already. We should all refuse to accept things will be like last season, players and fans alike. We can go 4 points clear of City with our next two games. Let’s pile on every single bit of pressure we can. I refuse to concede it after one league defeat this year. 31 points from 36. Fuck City, and fuck their ‘aura’ or whatever, they still look more vulnerable this year than they have done previously. They are not gods. I still believe, and everyone still should.


That’s the spirit! I don’t currently have that spirit, but I love that you do.

Tomaury Bischfeld

Here here

Tomaury Bischfeld

Hear hear *

Lord Bendnter

Blogs I don’t know how he does it. I don’t have the energy to read all those Arteta and player quotes. Cheers Blogs for still getting yourself the energy to write articles after such performances.


Yes to the general point but it’s the other Andrew. Blogs Jr? Newsblogs?

Santi’s Phonebox

I like Newsblogs.


Its over.


It sure is.
Done. And. Dusted.


It is in Man City’s hands now with six games to go so, for me its done and dusted. They will win all of their games.
If he had played Havertz up front and Jorginho in midfield with Kiwior at left back – a combination that brought us tremendous success this year the result would have been different but no – he HAD to have his City mates Zinchenko and Jesus play – two players who offer this team absolutely fucking nothing.
Arteta’s tinkering cost us..

Declan Fried Rice with Egg

Reactionary response. Hindsight is always 20/20.

Surely you don’t mean THE Zinchenko whose inverted position last season got us well and truly back in the thick of things?!

And surely not THE Jesus whose pressing from the front and twinkly toed dribbling which got us the equaliser against Bayern?


quite a few people here, on announcement of team news, moaned about the inclusion of Jesus and Zink in the team, and lack of Jorginho and Kiwior.
I always said that against top 6, we need someone else in midfield with Rice


It is the hope that kills…

We knew the dubai refresher would lose its effectiveness. Amazed we went that far actually.

Kevin Richardson / Jorginho

If we had gone to Spain or Portugal would it have had the same effect though?

Crash Fistfight

According to the commentators on Sky, Aston Villa conceding nearly 1.5 xG in the first half was a defensive masterclass.

Nothing to do with Arsenal being shit in front of goal, clearly.

Declan Fried Rice with Egg

Slightly traumatic reminder of league games post European nights under late-era Wenger.

Villa played in Europe on Thursday whereas we played on Tuesday with two extra days to recover and they were without Douglas Luiz.

Yet, here we are…


and Villa have already played more game than us, 45 to 48, and they have fewer players on plus than 3000 minutes, 5 agaist our 8, . which means our line up is highly predictable and our players are tired because they also play international football.


We forget how physically dominant Arsenal usually are – winning challenges and outmuscling opponents. Second half we were losing loads of physical battles it looked like villa wanted it more. I can’t believe that’s the case so I think that we were gassed. Need another high energy midfielder for when rice injured knackered or outnumbered. Hopefully Nwaneri comes through next season.


And not wanting to pick on Jesus and zinchenko because they helped us advance a lot last season, but their inclusion right now does not help us. Zinny is too ponderous and not strong enough. He gives us “control” at a slow pace but other players seem to play less well when he’s there eg rice and Havertz. He gets in the way. Meanwhile he lives a big hole at left back that the midfielders have to try to cover. The experiment is over. Jesus I have more time for but he’s not fully fit. Plus he needs to stop… Read more »


They are players to get you into top 4, at their best, not to win the league. with regard to Jesus is he going to outscore his younger self or get fitter, Unlikely,

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