So tomorrow we are back at St Marys for Arsenal’s second clash with Southampton in three days, and we were very tamely despatched in the first meeting, although it must be said that Arteta chose a very weak line up for the FA cup.
So now Arteta needs to pick the squad up for Tuesday night’s crucial EPL fixture, and he is well aware that to come back so quickly is not going to be easy. He told Arsenal.com: “It’s always strange. I think nobody likes to play the same team twice in three days. It’s what it is so let’s review the game, try to lift the players up because that was a big disappointment for us, and be ready for another battle.”
The Gunners were hardly exciting on Saturday, and Arteta made a point of pointing out the things that his own team didn’t do very well, and also the reasons that Southampton made it hard for us. He said: “Very sad because we wanted to progress in the competition. Disappointed with the way we lost it and the way we conceded the goal but we know that we should not be doing that in that area of the pitch. Then when we had our moments and our chances, we didn’t hit the target. That is really complicated to go through.
“Sometimes because the opposition does well and forces you to make those errors. This is a really high-pressing team and you have to be really sharp and know really well what you have to do in every area. Then it’s about execution and it’s about the way you lose that ball, in which areas you lose it against these types of teams. It’s something that we have to be better at.”
We did have a lot of the possession especially in the second half, and he was asked why we didn’t convert that superiority into a win. “Because we missed the chances.” he continued. “You’re not going to have 10 or 12 chances against this team. They’re really organised, they make it hard for you. But when we have three or four, we didn’t hit the target. It could’ve been a different game if we did.”
Let’s hope that our fresher, more experienced side put away a few more chances tomorrow than they did on Saturday…