Mikel Arteta outlines plans to improve Arsenal’s defensive record as Virgil van Dijk leads way

Losing the north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur meant Arsenal had dropped more points from winning positions than any team in the Premier League [15] since Mikel Arteta’s appointment, reports
In the early weeks of his reign, disappointing results against Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Sheffield United were put down to fitness, and while things improved after February’s winter break, Arsenal have given away three leads since football’s return.
The first came at Brighton before the draw against Leicester and loss to Spurs. Arteta addressed why this could be happening so often and what he is planning to do to improve this record.
“[There are] various different ones [reasons],” he said ahead of facing Liverpool.
“Some of them have been a lack of concentration, some of them have been individual errors and some has been because the opponent has done something in the last 15 minutes which is very common in the Premier League.
“To push you and concede goals. From my side I have to look at ways to prevent that much more and improve on that situation because it’s a big margin.”
While the manner in which Arsenal have thrown leads away recently has been disappointing, their failure to put games to bed has been the key reason why this has been possible, a factor Arteta also acknowledged.
“There are things that were in our hands that we have given away and that cannot happen. It’s normal that you’re not going to maintain every time you’re ahead,” he added.
“Sometimes it’s not just about conceding goals, if you concede one, you should have killed the game by scoring the second much earlier when you had the chance. If you don’t do that, but do the other, you are exposed until the 94th or 95th minute.”
“That’s a mentality, a mindset thing and that’s the way we have to play in every ground. It’s much harder to do what we done at White Hart Lane and propose the game the way we did, play with the personality, direction and dominance that we did than to resolve an individual error.
“It’s much [more] complicated to put your team to play that way than just minimise just one individual error so I’m pretty confident that medium-term, that will be resolved.”
Facing Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool has led to many comparisons between the German’s rise with the Reds and the potential of the task Arteta took on in December.
A key factor to the success of Liverpool under Klopp has been the arrival of Virgil van Dijk to sure up their defence. Before going to battle with the champions, Arteta was also asked whether that should be a template for what he wants to achieve at Arsenal.
“The market Liverpool had in the previous seasons, the goals they were conceding and how they were conceding those goal, some [were] individual errors, set pieces as well, for example. The moment they touched the spine of the team, that changed dramatically. Same team, same players, same amount of arrivals in the final third, same recovery time after losing possession, but completely different numbers. So, that’s a quick fix,” he explained.
“You get one of the best defenders in the world with one of the best goalkeepers in the world and one of the best holding midfielders in the world and you change pretty quickly. You can see that at City when Laporte came in.
“That’s the way I believe a team has to be built.”

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button