Last night’s 1-0 defeat to Man City may have been Arsenal’s 29th game away at our Top 6 rivals without a win, but to be fair we are used to being beaten easily, especially by Man City at the Etihad.
Many will say that City were weaker than usual without De Bruyne to lead them, but the fact is that the stats indicate that we were not as poor as some of our readers think they were. City only had 58% of the possession, and the Gunners managed 11 shots on their goal, only 2 less than the amount Leno had to deal with, and we actually came close to scoring a few times.
A lot of Arsenal fans may not be happy anyway, but Mikel Arteta knows how hard it is to win at the Etihad, and feels that our team put in a very spirited performance against his old side. “Well obviously I’m upset because we lost the game,” he told Arsenal.com after the game. “but I have to say that I’m extremely proud of the players for the performance they put in, and the type of game that we were able to play. Where we took the game, what we were able to do, how we were able to restrict them… and for me it was the attitude of the team, to come here and do what we did today… I was there for four years, I’ve seen a lot of teams come here and it’s very, very difficult to do that.”
And did he like the hard work and attitude showed by his team? “Yes, but the courage as well that we had without the ball and with the ball to play, and create the chances that we created. But at the end of the day, when you come here and create three or four big chances you have to put them in the net.”
Last time we went to the Etihad we had a very tough dayand lost 3-0, so does Arteta think this shows improvement? “I’m very encouraged because I see the progress every day.” he continued. “I see how united they come in, I see the chemistry that they are creating them, how much belief they have in what we are trying to do. To compare the two games, I don’t think it’s fair because we had two very early injuries [in June] and we played 45 minutes with 10 men. So it’s difficult.”
I am seeing a lot of despondency amongst our fans this morning, but I would just like to say that the fact is that in the 8 competitive games we have played so far this season, we have only lost the 2 games away at both Liverpool and Man City, who were far and away the top two teams last season. Is that such a bad record considering we are still in the early days of Arteta’s reign?