Arteta happy with win over Dundalk but wants more improvement

There was zero pressure on Arsenal last night as they took on the Irish minnows Dundalk, and Mikel Arteta took the opportunity to rest most of his first team players to keep them fresh to face Burnley on Sunday.

The gunners raced into a two-goal lead through Nketiah and Elneny, but then seemed to take their feet off the pedal and allowed Dundalk some space to play, before regaining their urgency with another couple of goals in the second half, courtesy of Willock and Balogun, who is looking lively every time he gets an opportunity.

Arteta was pleased with the youngsters, but was not happy that they relaxed and allowed a couple of goals to get past Runnarsson. The boss told Arsenal.com after the game: “Well the group stage in general has been very positive, obviously. It’s never easy to win these games in Europe. I think we’ve been really consistent and performing well.

“Today’s performance was overall positive because we won the game but as well we had some moments after scoring the first two goals where we were a little bit disconnected and we got a little bit confused by what the game required. That is normal because the job is done in the group but as well it is not the standards that we need.

“Then we reacted, we got better, it’s true that we rotated a lot of players. We gave players who haven’t played any football some [minutes], and some young players too. There were a lot of positives but some things as well that we have to improve.”

Considering that this group of players haven’t had much time to play as a unit competitively, I think Arteta has been a little bit harsh. At least they have now had some much-needed game time, perhaps the boss can start integrating some youngsters into our weekend squads as well…

Tags Arteta Dundalk

2 Comments

  1. MrLucky says:

    I do think some players should be awarded for their good games in EL with a chance to start. Not all of course, but Elneny, AMN and Cedric should be given a chance from the start and maybe Nelson as Willian and Pepe have been underwhelming. ESR and Balogun should also get a chance from the bench.

  2. gunnerforlife says:

    MA should start trusting the youth more and more since they have delivered for him in all the six EuL group games. Although the opposition was not PL level by any means, it certainly takes effort to win all 6 games in the group and score 20 goals. I would like to see Balogun, ESR, Elneny, AMN, Soares and Nelson on Sunday, out of which Elneny, AMN, ESR and Nelson should be starters. We have to start winning now at all costs and there is no second thought about that and no more excuses. Willian and Pepe have been given many games but they are not very effective, so bench them and start the youngsters and see what happens.

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