Arteta guns for his 3rd FA Cup win with Arsenal

by & filed under News Review.

It’s FA Cup time for us. We’ve watched Jose Mourinho and OGS lead their teams to magnificent replays after embarrassing stalemates, we have to avoid that sort of indignity at all costs.

Mikel Arteta might look to Jose Mourinho for a little inspiration. When the ‘Special One’ first landed at Chelsea, he went all guns blazing in the cups, making the league cup the first win of historic tenure.

We don’t have the luxury of a league cup run, but we do have a great opportunity to progress today against a Leeds side that has promotion on their mind.

I don’t know how the manager will line up for this one, but he’s making big noises about winning something.

“I think winning brings togetherness and when you have beautiful experiences together and you win trophies, those experiences stay within that group,” Arteta said.

“You like more the people you work with and you believe more in them and share some fantastic moments and that stays.

“That habit of winning, winning and winning. After you win, you don’t want to stop winning and you become addicted to that and that is what we have to try and implement at this club.”

There’s no lack of clarity there, he’s not a top 4 merchant, he wants to build a winning machine.

I suspect the pumped-up rhetoric is part for the fans, but more for the second string players he’s going to likely have to pick this evening. We’ve had problems the last few seasons raising our levels with players who sit on the bench. Rotation of the squad hasn’t always been fair and to be honest, the depth of our bench has been fairly poor. This season, the main difference is we have a lot of kids who intro’d last season who are year older, and all should be desperate to impress the new management team.

Matteo G and Dani Ceballos are probably the two closest to the first team with the most to prove. Matteo has been all over the place this season, far too much responsibility was put on his shoulders and he’s struggling for form… worse, his attitude has been less than spotless. He has the chance to show he can play with discipline and listen to a manager that will be good for him. I’d really love him to blow up under Arteta.

Dani is very different, there’s been no lack of enthusiasm, more a struggle to keep pace with the relentless physicality of the Premier League. I think his attitude is there, the talent is not in doubt, he just needs to be given a clear role and deliver against it. No way his energy isn’t going to be useful over the next 5 months.

Nicolas Pepe could start again, if he does, this is a huge test of attitude. It’s all well and good putting on a show against United, but can you motivate yourself against a Championship side? I hope so.

As for the kids, I’d love to see Saka have a chance further up the pitch. I think this could be a good game for ESR to show what he’s made of. I’d also love Willock to deliver to productivity in the final third, the club are clearly excited about him, hopefully he can show the fans why.

… could also be a bit tasty to see Eddie land some minutes.

No idea who else is going to play, but I do think it’d be wise to put some heavy rotation into the starting 11 so we don’t suffer any more injuries to key players.

It’s a home game, Arteta is clearly looking for a performance from the fans after seeing a lot of empty seats this weekend (shame on you, Stoke City fans).

“It is too powerful, with the fanbase we have, our history and the great players they have seen and the great teams they have seen, if we get that connected it is so powerful. Without that, I think it is impossible to do it.”

You heard the man, take your vuvuzelas and makes some noise.

Enjoy the evening, I’m very sad not to be there… also listen to my podcast with Matt.

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792 Responses to “Arteta guns for his 3rd FA Cup win with Arsenal”

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  1. Emiratesstroller


    I omitted two other features of yesterday’s game.

    1. The improved fitness level of the team since Chelsea game. No-one was dying on his feet at end of match.

    2. There was also control and “football intelligence” not seen in any team under Emery. The players were playing to win and keeping the ball in Leeds
    half in l atter stages. Watching Sokratis and Martinelli controlling ball near
    corner flag was something you would not have seen earlier in season.

  2. MidwestGun

    Leeds United to be in the Top 4 contention next season.- if they find their own PEA.
    Arteta and Arsenal have a mountain to climb to get top six in the seasons ahead.
    Huh? so Leeds will be battling for top 4 after getting promoted which hasn’t happened since the 90’s. That’s even if they make promotion. But Arsenal… will struggle to get 6th next season even though they haven’t finished below 6th since 94.

    That’s some serious troll hot take.

  3. Sid

    Clearly the team is not good enough, what is keeping them going is motivation levels are up, if the manager can keep that up till season end is the big question.

    Im telling you this for free!

  4. Northbanker

    Emiratesstroller – the team are fitter – I hope you’re right but must be borne in mind they still only put in a one-half shift in this match. Overall though Arteta seems to be quite clear in his mind as to the direction he will take the team in re both tactics and fitness training.

    It is still work in progress but very encouraging.

  5. Tony

    Just watched the game but no time today to read the posts from last night so will assume all that needed to be said has been.

    Happy for the win but like Bats said yesterday I’m not bothered about the FA or League cups and our focus needs to be fully driven to the PL and EL cup.

    Just use those cup games for youth and new ideas Arteta wants to trial away from the training ground.

  6. Unai

    Thought Arteta made a couple of questionable decisions last night although they were more decisions under duress than anything else.

    Sok at RB was completely overrun in the first half and we didn’t have the personnel on the field to adjust tactically.

    We left huge spaces down both wings for Leeds to create attacks in.

    Holding didn’t look sharp enough to start the game and typified the teams tepid start.

    However, the first 11, as good as some say it is, lacks any depth to back it up, rotating inevitably means we’re bringing substandard or unfit players.

    Very happy with the response second half, good that Arteta got them going again but also worrying that heads had already dropped.

    Its going to be very hard to get this already injury ravaged squad to find that intensity, consistently, without losing more players or players burning out.

    Not Arteta’s fault, he need reinforcements.

  7. China1

    ‘Leeds to get top 4 next season if they find their own PEA’

    Yeah because there are loads of elite poachers currently available for newly promoted clubs who don’t have much money and the players themselves will surely choose Leeds over the elite clubs that come knocking for them

    Arsenal to get relegated next season

  8. Chris

    Thankful for the win last night and on we go.

    We weren’t at our best by any stretch on the first half, however Leeds were superb and, annoyingly as I have a dislike for them that goes back years, a joy to watch with their attacking prowess. They just lacked the cutting edge. In that respect we were fortunate. However the team and Arteta deserve credit for a much improved second half. I think by the time round 4 rolls around we will be too good for Bournemouth.

  9. China1

    I’d have liked us to have rested 1 or two more players.

    Asking ozil to run around for example seems like an accident waiting to happen.

    Glad we won tho. Give the players a day or two off. We need that intensity. As I mentioned previously I have concerns that arteta will generally beast his best 11.

  10. Valentin

    I thought that Martinez had a good game. Calm, but alert, decent distribution, made routine saves look routine rather than world class exploits.
    But as good a game Martinez had, I was really impressed by Leeds on loan goalkeeper Meslier. His distribution was on par with the best I have seen. It really put to shame Leno’s performance in that department.

    Regarding Leeds, I hope that they get promoted because their football is a thing of beauty, but as it has been said before, they need a world class striker to finish those chances. Bamford will not cut it at the premiership level.

  11. China1

    It’s frankly ridiculous that any player can become a professional without having excellent control and passing, whether you are a n10, a CB or a GK…

    They have been playing football basically for hours daily since they were little kids and now they’re paid a fortune for it. It says a lot when we still have to be impressed by such things as a defensive player who can pass

  12. China1

    As an amateur myself who also stopped playing entirely from 16-26 I can still pick out a good 25 yard pass 7 times out of ten. How on earth are pros in any position not able to do that reliably???

  13. Habesha Gooner

    No amount of motivation is going to get us to where we want to be. If arteta meant what he said about being ruthless we should overhaul the defence and some midfield players. Sure I see performances are getting better but You can’t teach new habits and make them stick to players who haven’t worked this hard for four years. If he gets new players who are good to great with good habits we will go places. See Wjinaldum, Robertson of liverpool.

  14. China1

    I don’t care what position you play, you should be able to expect a bloody CB to whip a nice cross in, or hit a decent volley,m and have some flare up their sleaves

    It’s mad that pro footballers are actually for the most part not really that great

  15. Emiratesstroller

    The point about yesterday’s performance was that we started badly and were
    awful in first half BUT we took control of game in second half AND finished strongly.

    That was the opposite of how we played against Chelsea and for that matter our poor performance level in most games this season.

    There is a glimmer of light at the end of a dark tunnel that we can finish this
    season a lot better than in our first half.

    Let’s be honest we are not a great team and we do need to recruit new players,
    but the team is clearly improvable under Arteta and most importantly he has
    improved the performance level and motivation particularly of some of the
    more experienced players in squad.

  16. Valentin

    Like most people expected better coaching lead to better performance and better performance lead to better results.
    Two successive clean sheets seem to prove that those players can be coached to play at a higher level than they did during the first half of the season.

  17. Cesc Appeal

    Not sure the second half performance in itself is anything to be hopeful about.

    Basically the reverse on Chelsea and United and very similar to Emery’s early performances.

    What is exciting is the fact that Arteta put them on blast. Says a lot about this squad that despite Arteta telling them they should expect a team of real quality in Leeds they were busy patting themselves on the back for winning a single game.

    That sort of disciplinarian approach is very welcome. I like that Arteta was made because they disrespected his instructions, disrespected Leeds and were congratulating themselves with a day off.

  18. China1

    Agreed cesc

    Under wenger there was bigger all said at half time except keep going and express yourself

    Under emery he probably said loads but nobody could fucking understand and the instructions were no doubt dubious

    At least with arteta you feel he’s taking every match seriously. Long may that last. There’s a reason why Ferguson was the best ever PL manager. Partly because he was a smart tactician and bought excellent players, but crucially he didn’t accept substandard performances. You play well or you fuck off was the attitude and it worked.

    Shocking that this should be an exciting novelty for us but really the players needed that clip round the ear at half time. Save for relaxing for the summer holidays

  19. China1

    Valentin in the first half of the season we looked like a championship team so I’d say it was always possible to get more out of them

  20. Valentin


    And yet on this blog a few were arguing that Emery was overachieving and that without a complete clear out of those players there would not be any improvement possible.

  21. Un na naai

    MarkoJanuary 7, 2020 00:26:21
    Arteta: ”Now, we are not in a position to relax because we are not good enough to relax.”I feel like some fans need to remember this just as much. I like this

    Marko you bell I know you won’t be awake until mid day but anyway../

    He said we aren’t good enough to relax
    Not that we aren’t good enough to beat Chelsea and untied and spurs
    Not that we can’t reach the top 4
    The fact he’s looking at “things” indicates to me that he’s trying to get something short term to manage the 8 player injury crisis we are currently suffering

    Your answer to everything is the PlayStation transfer market but don’t worry, 6 months in when your shiny new toy has bedding in issues you will turn on them and demand another new toy as you have with every single one of them bar Aubameyang and Leno

    You over grown child
    Don’t think you’re ever going to be allowed to forget backing emery and skating Arteta while condemning coaching practices as 10-20%
    What a dunce

  22. Cesc Appeal



    This squad isn’t good enough, many need selling but those that remain have to be whipped into shape.

    For too long they’ve got away with bottling and coasting.

    The fact that they thought they could have a day off speaks volumes about their character and really Arteta needs to make the point to them that the difference between their first half and second half performance is unacceptable.

    Applause for the second half but questions as to the difference in quality between the two halves.

    Arteta has some injuries to deal with, but if he’s too cautious to reach into his squad depth that, again, speaks volumes about this squad.

    One of my big worries with him was whether he had the balls or authority to discipline them…that has been answered.

  23. Pierre

    I like this Leeds team , I think Calvin Phillips was mentioned in one of those McDonald articles on players to watch, he looks a player with a bit of bite about him in midfield , good engine, good passer and technically good…

    I said before the game that I thought it would be 4-2-3-1 with holding at right back , Arteta went with Sokratis at right back..

    The introverted right back didn’t work because the Leeds manager had done his homework and negated the threat of Kolasinac on the left and Arsenal had no answer to Leeds tactics in the first half.

    I think we got into the game by sheer desire, Arteta didn’t change too much tactically other than to push the team higher up the pitch to negate the space and to play with more intensity, and it worked.

    Arteta needs to find a plan B if plan A isn’t working as we could have been 2 or 3:down by half time.

    Maybe if the introverted right back isn’t working as the opposition are overloading on our left side , then switch to an inverted left back as there should be space on the other side of the pitch.

  24. Pierre

    When xhaka gets frustrated in a game, his head goes .
    He becomes a liability though to his credit he does battle and gives 100%.

    His play becomes too erratic and he loses his discipline and for a midfield player,, discipline is everything.

    Maybe Xhaka feels more comfortable with a proper DM ( Torreira) beside him as he always looks a better play playing alongside Torreira.

  25. Un na naai


    Would you go in for Phillips? Play him alongside Torreira? Lord knows we need an alternative as we do look light weight (I know) in midfield without Torreira as odd as that sounds.
    To think, half of the fools here would have had him sold earlier this season, writing him off as not physical enough.
    What do these clowns see?

  26. Pierre

    Phillips performance last night was outstanding, he had Ozil in his pocket for the opening half.

    We do need another player of Phillips style who gets about the pitch, loves a tackle, reads the game well and just looks a very good midfielder.

    He is similar to Torreira but having a couple of terriers in midfield biting at the opposition ankles sounds good to me .
    plus they are both decent on the ball.

  27. shaun

    Soc at right back was a pretty odd decision but think we all wanted a youthful team out there just shows how much we know ,that said you got to love Soc fighting spirit, Xhaka awful first half but actually had me laughing second half with some of his foul getting play lol……………………… I think the game highlighted the need for that athletic CDM , I would say that is probably the most important requirement along with upamecano as speed and power are the requirements needed to combat the really aggressive pressing teams , holding and Luiz are way to slow .Not sure if i am just nit picking but holding seems to really struggle against pace and power .I saw that last season when he was supposedly the defensive saviour and then got taken to the cleaners when utd ‘s front three got hold of him .Different game if Torriea was playing CDM

  28. Spanishdave

    Pepe is worrying.
    He doesn’t look up much and vastly overcomplicates things.
    He holds onto the ball far too long and goes nowhere with it.
    He needs a lot of extra coaching to fit into the team better

  29. Dolomite

    SpanishdaveJanuary 7, 2020 08:53:18

    Pepe is worrying.
    He doesn’t look up much and vastly overcomplicates things.
    He holds onto the ball far too long and goes nowhere with it.

    Pepes creativity made our only goal of the match
    Patience still required

  30. China1

    Calvin Phillips is a really good prospect

    His long passing range is better than xhaka’s, which considering that’s xhaka’s stand out trait tells you something. He also great in the tackle, off the ball, a proper battler and quick of mind

    Him with torreira would be a really action heavy CM haha. Id be all for it if we could…

  31. London gunner

    Yeah especially with the clean sheets more and more Emery is looking to have been a disaster. Not to completely absolve the defense though who should mostly be shipped off come summer.