Mikel Arteta sent out a much-changed Arsenal team to face Bodo/Glimt at the Emirates last night, and considering how little this group has played together before, it cannot be denied that 3-0 is an excellent result whatever the opposition. But it seems that Arteta still expected more from his team: He told Arsenal.com: “What I would give is that every game is difficult to win and what we done today is make a lot of changes and giving players who fully deserve the minutes to play, so I’m really happy with the result, scoring three goals and keeping a clean sheet, but as well I’m very conscious that there are many things that we can do much better, especially the way we dominated the game in certain periods.”
After being two goals clear by half time, the Gunners just seemed to be cruising but, to be fair, other than Martinelli, Tierney and Xhaka, most players were making their 1st or 2nd appearance of the season, and the boss sill made a raft of changes in the second half. He explained that when he said that he still had an eye on Sunday’s big game against Liverpool: “Well, some of them haven’t played a lot of minutes and we could tell that they were getting tired as well. There were players that needed minutes without overloading them for Sunday and it worked pretty well.”
The boss then went on to list the things that he thought were not good about the performance: “We had spells that we were too rushed, and we didn’t win enough duels. We didn’t manage the ball well enough when we won it back, so it became a really open game with a lot of transitions, and when you have the result in your hand you need to manage the game much better.
“We didn’t put 10 or 15 passes together enough times in the game to try to get the ball more in the final third. We were really effective in the final third and we looked a threat, but in terms of composure and sometimes the timing between the units because they haven’t played together much, some levels were lacking a little bit and in football timing is everything.”
He also told the the current backup players what they needed to do to force their way into the starting XI. “The same as the others, keep doing better and better. There are still a lot of things individually and collectively that need to be done better and they need to keep their standards as high as possible and to try to reach the next level and the next level. It’s nothing different to the ones that didn’t play.”
It looks to me that Arteta is trying to create the option of playing two nearly completely different teams during this incredible glut of games coming up, and I think that once last night’s group have got a bit more playing time under their belts, he will be able to do that.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a completely fresh team to play in every game?
Arteta is getting there….
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A happy Arteta talks about Bodo, Vieira, subs, Jesus, Nketiah and the performance.
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