Arsenal finally got our first three points of the season in front of a full house at the Emirates, and it is no surprise that Mikel Arteta was feeling nervous after seeing three defeats in a row, especially as we stayed goaless for most of the match.
But he was very pleasedwith the performance, right from kick off, and hecertainly feels that we dominated completely and should have won by a bigger margin.
“Emotionally it was a very tough game to play, after the three defeats, playing here in front of your crowd.” the Boss told Arsenal.com. “It was a must-win game and I saw [us] straight away come out of the blocks really quickly, really aggressively, wanting to score and please everybody. We had a period after 20 or 25 minutes where we started to [look] a little bit shaky, trying to attack too quickly and giving the ball away. It was an open game. In the second half, we took control of the game again and we should have scored many more.”
It must have been difficult to get the squad’s heads back up after our awful start to the season, but he he has ended up proud of the way the whole club has reacted and stuck together to believe they could pull themselves out of adversity together. “I must say, it’s probably been the best 10 to 15 days I’ve ever had since I’ve been in football.” he declared. “I’m not saying they were the easiest, but probably the best. You have to find a purpose for why you do what you do and why you’ve made the decision to be a football player or a coach. It’s all made sense in the last week or so. It’s about the relationship we have built. It’s about the level of trust that everybody at the club has. It’s about connections and emotionally how players react, how everybody in the team – and I’m talking about every department at the club – supports and tries to improve and be positive around the situation. You have to win football matches but, for me, that’s an absolute joy to watch, how everybody has been behaving around the context that we had around us.”
Arteta also admits that he was worried about the reaction of the home fans to being bottom of the League, because although everything was going positively within the club, there was a lot of negative reaction from a lot of Arsenal fans on social media (and a lot of negativity at times on JustArsenal to be honest), but again the Boss was very pleased with the way the fans got behind his tea. “What I’m describing is probably what you guys don’t see – what happens internally. I had doubts, I had question marks because I had to read and I had to understand and I had to reflect a little bit on different opinions and criticism. I don’t know how much they’re going to be affected. I think the club has been extremely open to send a message across of what we are trying to do.
“I had a question mark, I have to be honest. But I just saw incredible fans trying to inspire a team, trying to tell them ‘we are ready to suffer with you and we’re going to support you’. The rest, it doesn’t matter. I’m extremely grateful and I got pretty emotional to see that because I think it’s pretty difficult to see in football. People are maybe expecting something or they want to go down other roads and try to transmit hate or whatever, and it wasn’t the case at all – so thank you so much.
I’m not surprised the fans got behind the team though, they could see they were trying right from kickoff and they had positive energy to feed off. 30 attempts on goal is not a bad return in my book.
Now we just want to see more of those go in the net in future games…