Arteta and Arsenal continue to push for wins – an important sign of development
In the emotional rush of the final whistle, Gabriel Jesus He fired at the side of the field to greet his teammates as they made their way into the tunnel. This was the bear hug area. When Jesus in his bright puffy coat caught up with his companion Oleksandr Zinchenko – a man so excited that he played as if it were this very game – they jumped into a lump in the chest and shouted at each other.
These two know. They carry with them what they know. It has been said over and over again that their arrival at Arsenal Getting the rest of the team up to their standards and understanding of what is required to be a serious competitor.
Here’s Arsenal, with 50 points at the halfway point. They don’t mess around and Mikel Arteta wouldn’t have it any other way. A man spends his waking hours thinking like a winning monster.
Of course, Arsenal will not win every game, but in his preparation and ideology, in his team selections and motivational talks, Arteta sees every single game as winnable. This is why he signals such indifference on the sideline, whether the pundits like it or not. This is why he entered from day one and criticized a bunch of non-negotiables. That’s why Amazon’s All or Nothing documentary was a compelling window into how excited he was, changing how Arsenal fans view him. This is why his team, in his words, can continue to “push and push and push” for that victory.
At the height of this exciting competition, Arteta learned something about his players. The way they were determined to go looking for a match-winner when it wasn’t the end of the world to settle 2-2 was an important marker in the story of Arsenal’s development. “The initiative to make things happen when the game is in the ‘I don’t know what’s going to happen’ phase – they don’t look at each other saying, ‘He will do it.’ They say: I take responsibility. I will do it,” Arteta said, and I absolutely loved it today.
As it happened, they almost all took responsibility. The defining moment was a collective action driven by collective will. It took 26 seconds and 10 passes, from Bukayo SakaA throw-in from an innate point, with the ball passed all around except for one (Granite Shaka) player off the field.
Arteta never stopped believing in his point, and even when the forward felt the pain of a shot instinctively blocking it. David De Gea Five minutes ago, he had enough confidence that his player wouldn’t let that prey in his mind should another opportunity come his way.
immediately afterwards, Martin Odegaard Thinking about the impact of this goal on how Arsenal feel about themselves. The difference between a respectable tie and a wild win is no small feat. They found a way to make it happen. “It’s a big difference,” says the captain. “The three points are crucial but also the feeling and the momentum we get from this match is really important to win this way. To come back like we did gives us three points but also that special feeling. It keeps us more together.”
Arsenal keep pushing and pushing to get the most out of this team and this situation. These opportunities don’t come around often. As Odegaard says, a lot of that momentum comes from their principal. “Every day in the workouts pushes us,” he says. “The standards we have are unbelievable. Everyone has to be very sharp every single day. We come in and work hard and just want the best out of everyone. You see that in the game.”
This was not a perfect Arsenal performance. There was unusual confusion at times. Some players were below their best in the first half and it was neither Thomas Partey no Aaron Ramsdale It will be fondly reflected by them in both of United’s goals.
On the flip side, Saka was electric, and couldn’t be turned on. Nketiah excelled in his all-around game as well as his goalscoring, and Zinchenko was a man possessed. This reflected well on the wider team that Takehiro Tomiyasu He came in at half time, despite being used sparingly this season, to play comfortably. Leandro Trossardin what could have been a difficult and nerve-wracking situation, ran a few expert rounds which showed exactly why an experienced and versatile striker could be so useful over the coming months.
Jacob Kewer He was present, with the 22-year-old defender soon set to sign, Arsenal’s business not necessarily done, with the need to manage the team clearly presenting a new challenge for the second half of the season as European football returns soon. This would be a great insight into Arteta’s monster thinking while managing the European league Along with continuing hopes of Premier League. Maybe we should give something up there. Indeed, with Manchester city next in FA cup And before long, in the league, it will be curious to see if Arteta feels the need to temper his instincts and be more pragmatic than usual.
“I know my team very well,” he says. “I know where we are, I know why we are here and I know where we want to be while we are far from it. I know the levels of other teams, especially those that have won in the last five or six years and we are not there yet.”
Manchester United They have been the toughest opponents to visit the UAE so far this season. Marcus Rashford He was the player who was more exciting than the opponent to strut his stuff on this lawn. This was a complicated game, make no mistake.
Arsenal could have settled. But Arteta’s players have been instilled with this feeling that they must keep giving, keep chasing until they have no more to give, and nothing left to chase.
These past three games have been a particular test of Arsenal’s ability. As a mini-series, A.J Newcastle Team does not give up, Journey to spurs They haven’t won it in years, and facing a vastly improved Manchester United will always be a defining moment in their season.
“He was really electric, really emotional and really passionate and I loved him,” said Arteta. It’s only half way there, of course, but the home support seemed dumbfounded at the frightful joy of it all as they went into the night. fifty points. Things like this seemed light years away not so long ago.
There is a magnetic force in the Emirates right now, drawing people in or back. Arsenal people from the past appear in droves. Tomas Rosicky was in town. Emmanuel Petit was on the pitch during post-match interviews wearing an Arsenal scarf. Tony Adams was there with the family. Thierry Henry was hugging the players. Freddie Ljungberg was proud to follow. So was Cesc Fabregas.
How does Arteta maintain a clear mind after a tour like this? “I remind them every day,” he says. “This league demands a lot of opponents and they will make life very difficult, so make sure we allow ourselves every day to improve.”
(Top photo: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)