Arteta to go big in first Euro game

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Arsenal head to Greece for an epic battle in the mightiest of all competitions, ‘The Champions of 5th & 6th Place League.’

Mikel Arteta wants a trophy. This might present the path of least resistance when you consider we’re 10th in the league in the worst form since history began. It’ll still be hard, but we’ve had a fair amount of joy progressing in this tier of Europe over the past couple of season, so there’s no reason to think we’ll not be giving it a good go this evening.

The biggest challenge we will face is our own complacency. Even I’m complacent. It’s embarrassing. But we’ve been here before, we’ve taken losses and draws against some pretty smelly opposition we’ve not given enough respect to. I’m thinking Graham Potter’s Ostersunds a couple of seasons back as the standout.

Mikel is starting to have a fullish squad to pick from. He’ll have Mari in contention this evening. The Spaniard might find himself a place on the bench. We also have Nelson back in the mixer… and, Matteo. The bad boy with the big hair appears to have earned forgiveness and that’s great news. The manager didn’t shy away from why he was dropped.

‘I want the best players for the game and I select them in relation to what I see on a daily basis.’

It’s clear. It’s consistent. He delivers on his word if you fail him. The positive so far is he doesn’t hold grudges. Do the work and you’ll earn an opportunity again. I don’t think it’s a surprise it’s the younger chaps with the issues, they are pushing boundaries to see how far they can flex those rules. Not very far it would seem.

The Greek team are top of their league after two seasons in the relative wilderness for side that has monopolised trophies over the last decade in Greece. Sokratis has been a key source of ‘DON’T FUCK IT UP’ advice to the backroom team. This from Arteta.

‘He knows everything about Olympiacos, about the country, about the type of fans that we are going to find here. I’ve been very aware from the games that I’ve watched about them and their passion, their quality and the atmosphere that we are going to have to be playing in tomorrow. So yes, it’s a difficult trip away from home and we’re going to expect a tough game and we’ve prepared for the game knowing that it’s going to be a difficult challenge.’

I think the atmosphere is a key advantage for the Greeks. They’ll know that we’re drunks when we’re on the road, we are there to be had, easily rattled, quick to drop out heads. I’d imagine the key focus for Arsenal is going to be about solidity again. Come back to London with an easy job. Best way to ensure that is a focused defensive performance. We certainly aren’t going into a heavy rotation per the manager.

‘We’ve had a break of 15 days and we’ve played just one game. So tomorrow I’m going to put out a team that I think is the best to play. Then the rest of the games will take care of themselves. You cannot control that sometimes you are thinking about resting somebody and in training he gets a little issue or he gets sick. So tomorrow we are going to put out the team that we think is the best to play Olympiacos and the rest of the teams and games will follow.’

One eye will have to be on Sunday because Everton don’t have a game tonight and they will have had over a week to prepare against us, so super fresh legs and minds. Interestingly, the backroom team have elected to sleep the night in Greece versus making the sprint back home. I would assume that is to ensure two nights of rest don’t get ruined and the players can do some sort of warm down tomorrow.

There’s a good piece in The Athletic about Arsenal being in the top 2 for tactical fouls. I know it’s a bit grim, but I still love it. We’ve not been a team of dark arts for 20 odd years. That we’re moving into the modern era with a win at all costs mentality makes me happy, it has to work first, but at least we’re thinking about it.

Big game. See you in the comments. x

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462 Responses to “Arteta to go big in first Euro game”

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  1. Tee


    Arteta wasn’t even mentioned in my post. So, don’t know where you conjured that from.

    Try to read and comprehend well to get my drift. We just won an away match and what you read from same posters are this and that player are bad.

    Ask them what those players did wrong in that March and they keep mute.

    This isn’t the summer tw. Why keep repeating the same thing against selected players or do you think
    it will help arsenal pull out a Barca non tw transfer?

    A poster asked if based on current performance, Luiz, mustafi, Saka and bellerin are not supposed to form our defence line but non of them was able to say anything meaningful.

    Luiz this, mustafi and the rest that, won’t change anything till the next tw.

    So, Roy keaneing us on how we are suppose to enjoy and praise the players and away win.

    I will rather support the present manager and players till when the time comes to make changes in the team than keep repeating myself
    on how mustafi, xhaka, Luiz and the rest should be sold (tw is closed) with the hope it becomes a golden nugget.

  2. Graham62

    Bamford 10

    Based on your considerable footballing knowledge, where do you think Arsenal would be if Emery had still been in charge?

    Our squad is perfectly good enough to compete with teams in the EPL, bar Liverpool and Man City and is capable of moving up the league and progressing deep into the EL.

    We fell apart under Emery, you know that. Arteta still has a great deal of work to do but your perceptions that this squad of players are not good enough is based on what exactly? The gulf between Liverpool and the rest?

    If you can’t see improvements under Arteta, then I would put that down to your limited knowledge of the game in general, as well as a desire to follow your usual confrontational agenda on here.

    Why bother?

  3. Luteo Guenreira

    Sorry I’m late I had to let dna’s mother finish sucking my toes. Then I had to fill Bamford’s mum’s water bowl.

    These fans that want a peak performance every time out are so boring. They think they’re so smart to recognize that Arsenal aren’t amongst the best and most talented squads in the world right now. Then they take something so painfully obvious and shove it down other fan’s throats when they just want to enjoy a win.

    It was an important away win against an in form team. We kept a clean sheet with fucking Sokratis playing right back for 85 minutes. Could have should have scored more and likely would have conceded maybe one at least if not for Leno. So I’ll take the result any day thanks.

  4. Pierre

    I’m pretty much in agreement with your perceptions on the youth products breaking into the side.

    Azeez and Smith Rowe could be the players,alongnwith Saka who provide the creativity in this Arsenal side for years to come.

    To have a manager who will do his utmost to help them fulfil their potential is a blessing for them.

    At least we know that if they fail at Arsenal it will be because they are not quite up to standard.

  5. Batistuta

    Think everyone who’s an actual fan is behind the manager, if I’m choosing to wait till the summer to properly gauge his work, that’s my choice/opinion. Maybe read up on what i posted and also comprehend before replying too.

    Like I’ve maintained since his first 2 games, I’m very impressed with the work he’s doing on our defence, that’s the first step to getting us better, doesn’t mean i don’t hope we get better, less error prone players to come in much later as we know what we’ll get in the long run with certain types. Again, hoping for better in the future doesn’t equate not supporting the team now…. I’ve maintained since the start of the season that the Europa league is our best chance so was very happy with the result yesterday, onwards we move

  6. Pierre

    It’s Le Grove , Guendouzi is the whipping boy at the moment .
    Performance on the pitch is never taken into account when you’re the whipping boy ..

    Next week it will probably be back to ozil , mustafi or xhaka….

  7. Thierry Henry

    I’ve been following le grove since 2016 and i just know that many people on here doesn’t know about football. If you think there is no improvement under Arteta, then just watch badminton or bowling.

  8. RockyRoe

    It would be an interesting matchup this weekend – aged wine vs new age sauce.

    If Arteta does a number on Ancelotti, he will undoubtedly look like a good decision, if it’s the other way round, justifiable questions will be raised on how Carlo is doing a better job, starting the same day as Arteta, with a worse set of players, at a smaller club that was as adrift under Silva as arsenal was under emery.