Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has highlighted the strengths of Slavia Prague ahead of their clash this evening.
The Gunners will be hoping to earn a decent advantage tonight when they welcome the Czech First League champions to the Emirates, but the manager is aware that it will be no easy feat.
Their opponents have already eliminated two British sides from the competition in Rangers FC and Leicester City, winning both legs that were played inside the United Kingdom.
We will need to be aware of their strong showing away from home when they arrive this evening, and Arteta certainly sounds like he will not be taking anything for granted.
“They are a really strong side,” Arteta said on Slavia Prague (via Arsenal.com). “They’ve been unbeaten in the league. You see how they have the ball. I think in the last few years, competing at the highest level, they’ve always been in the game and made it really difficult.
“[They’re] really competitive, brave, very direct and incisive and a team that can cause you problems throughout the game. They never give up, they have a top attitude all the time and that’s why they beat teams because they’re a really good side.”
Arsenal have had a habit of beating themselves recently when giving away silly goals, or simply not showing up to play like they did at the weekend, and I can’t help but believe today’s result will also depend on whether we are performing.
At our best, Slavia will struggle to deal with our talents, but unfortunately it is difficult to be confident on the right mentality being shown on the night.
We definitely cannot afford to play anything like we did at the weekend, but we have saved many of our best performances for Thursday nights.
Im starting to think that Arteta shows too much respect, almost fear for the teams we are about to meet. He always talks highly of the opposition and what they are good at before a game, making everyone sound like world beaters, and as it turns out many teams have been beating us this season. If that is the case, it would probably have an impact on the players as well. If the manager always makes it sound like the opposition is almost unbeatable, wouldn’t that effect our dressing room beliefs as well?
@Kent- I totally agree. FFS we are supposed to be a big club are we not? How about Arteta reminds our players of this for a change and perhaps let them worry about us
I understand that we should respect our opponents, but hearing the manager of Arsenal football club heap praise on the likes of Newcastle and West brom which we should normally swipe aside makes me wonder where our stature as a big club has gone. He should focus more on the strength of our team, thereby showing the players that he believes in them and maybe give them belief and the feeling that they can beat the team in front of them. He talks too much about our players not having the ability to play the way he wants, who would get in high spirits by hearing they are sh1t?
Couldn’t agree more. Couple that with warnings about starting cautiously and nor making individual errors and it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. We play too tentatively and that in itsell creates those mistakes. Im sorry I read this article – even I’m nervous now!