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Arteta believes Arsenal are ready ‘to go to a different level’

After their win against struggling Newcastle, Arteta believes his side have to keep going to reach the next next level.


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What was said by the Arsenal boss?

"Yeah, after the 2-0 we know we have to go to a different level as a team. We gave too many sloppy balls away and weren't organised in the press and we allowed them to run a few times and it created a different feeling.

"That's the moment that we have to give even more, and go for the third or the fourth and make another step forward."

"We had moments in the first half when we took the game where we wanted, but without really hurting them enough, and not playing with enough urgency and probably quality as well."

"You mention with the number of games that we have to play, and you will see what happens in the league table, so let's go game by game."

In the press conference, he was asked about the significance of the win.  He replied, “It was really important to win and bounce back as you mentioned. It was a game that had different phases in the first half and we were able to change the game when we wanted, but without really threatening or hurting them enough. We lacked some urgency and some composure in the final third to deliver better balls.

He added, "we didn’t hit the target enough with the attempts that we had and in the second half we had to maintain and not be impatient to lose any structure in our play because we were controlling them quite well, but we needed to threaten much more certain spaces and I think we did. We scored the two goals and after that, the game was in our control.”

When asked about his trust in youth, Arteta said, “If you trust them then you have to trust them and it gives them confidence even after in difficult moments. If not, it’s not real, trust me. They were given another chance and they’ve done it today because they showed during the week how hurting they were after that defeat and how willing they were to put it right today.”

How good was Arsenal’s performance against Newcastle?

It was another strong performance by the gunners, with the clean sheet adding extra importance to it. Interestingly, Arsenal were more dominant in the first half but weren’t taking their chances. P. Aubameyang missed an opportunity that seemed impossible to miss. Arsenal weren’t as dominant in the second half as in the first but scored two lovely goals.

Newcastle United never really carried much threat as Arsenal’s ball retention was also excellent. Tomiyasu was doing a great job up against A. Saint-Maximin, and Wilson wasn’t getting much service. J. Shelvey did have a couple of powerful long-range efforts, which A. Ramsdale saved.

Arsenal undoubtedly are improving under Arteta. The back-four now looks strong with all of his first-choice players returning to fitness. The new right-back, T. Tomiyasu, has been a breath of fresh air. They have now got two left-backs with so much quality going forward. N. Varela Tavares is currently keeping K. Tierney out of the eleven. Also, B. White and G. dos Santos Magalhães's partnership looks absolutely brilliant. The right balance of pace, aggression and they also got a great passing range.

T. Partey’s presence in the midfield is significant. Without him, they lack direction while progressing the ball. His work in possession and out of possession is key for Arteta’s plans to work. Alongside him, it could be A. Sambi Lokonga or G. Xhaka, but Partey is the most important piece in the crucial midfield area.

Arsenal did not thrash Newcastle but were fairly comfortable all game. C. Wilson did have a slight penalty shout, but there wasn’t enough in the challenge from Tavares to force a decision. However, there was a massive penalty shout when F. Schär was pulled and brought down by M. Ødegaard during Newcastle’s corner. It is beyond my understanding that VAR did not overturn that decision.

Arsenal are in great form and could well finish in the Premier League top four. They play with a plan, a structure that suits them. With more investment and improving young players, this could be the beginning of something big for Arsenal under the leadership of M. Arteta Amatriain.

Author: Devashish Akolekar