EPL

Lacazette right to say Arsenal should be nastier, says Arteta

By Sports Desk January 20, 2020

Mikel Arteta agrees with Alexandre Lacazette's assessment that Arsenal need to be a nastier team ahead of a must-win encounter against Chelsea.

A 1-1 draw at home to Sheffield United on Saturday left the Gunners 10 points adrift of the top four and Lacazette urged his team-mates to become "nastier", branding the team "naive".

Ahead of Tuesday's key Premier League contest away to rivals Chelsea, head coach Arteta was asked if he agreed with the striker.

"Yes, I think it's part of the game management," he said of Lacazette's comments at his pre-match news conference.

"I think there were things we could have done better to put more pressure on the opponent, to bring the ball into certain areas where we could rest with the ball and control the game better. 

"That will come. It's a good process for us to learn about those situations."

Arteta, whose side lost 2-1 to Chelsea at Emirates Stadium last month, agreed Arsenal needed a victory to keep their top-four hopes alive, adding: "It's very important if we want to have the aim to fight for that. 

"The game at home could have made a big difference as well and we were very close to it, so Tuesday, we need a win."

The 37-year-old insisted his players were buying into his methods as he responded to a question asking if it was proving difficult to convince the squad about progress while results remained disappointing, Arsenal having won just two of his first six games in charge.

Arteta said: "I don't have that feeling. The feedback I'm getting from them is very positive, they know when we haven't won the reasons why and there are many different aspects to that.

"Some aspects we can influence, some we cannot influence, but they are there, and they are very aware of that.

"A lot of things have happened, and it feels longer than a month to be fair. The amount of games, the amount we've trained, the amount of things that happened. 

"Yes, a lot of things changed, a lot of positives in terms of reactions and the things they are taking on board, the way we have managed to change the energy, atmosphere, relationship and chemistry with our fans was massively important for us. 

"So yes, in terms of results it could have been a little bit different. I think we have been very unlucky and other aspects have influenced that."

Related items

  • Dortmund loanee Achraf: Real Madrid return? I want to play Dortmund loanee Achraf: Real Madrid return? I want to play

    Real Madrid full-back Achraf Hakimi said he wants to play and continue growing as his loan deal with Borussia Dortmund expires at the end of the season.

    Achraf has starred for Bundesliga side Dortmund since arriving from LaLiga giants Madrid on a two-season loan contract in 2018.

    The 21-year-old produced another solid performance as Dortmund defeated Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 in Tuesday's Champions League last-16 first leg.

    Achraf is set to return to Madrid at season's end but the Morocco international said anything is possible as he looks to further his development.

    "That's what people say and the contract I have signed," Achraf said when asked about his loan spell ending in June. "Everything can happen in June, but we'll see what the summer holds.

    "In my head is that I want to play and I want to continue growing. Here in Germany they are giving me the opportunity."

    Erling Haaland scored a quick-fire second-half brace to lead Dortmund past visiting French champions PSG on Tuesday.

    Haaland has been a revelation since swapping Salzburg for Dortmund in January, scoring 11 goals in all competitions and Achraf hailed his team-mate post-game.

    "We have prepared the game quite well and it worked out well," Achraf added. "Haaland has helped us a lot and we hope it stays that way.

    "He [Haaland] has been smart. He is still young and knows he has to play."

  • Robertson: Liverpool can't take Anfield for granted Robertson: Liverpool can't take Anfield for granted

    Andy Robertson warned Liverpool not to take Anfield for granted in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid.

    Champions League holders Liverpool will go into the return leg against Atletico on March 11 trailing 1-0 on aggregate after their loss at the Wanda Metropolitano on Tuesday.

    But while the Premier League leaders will be eyeing yet another special European outing at Anfield, Robertson said his team had to make sure they got the job done.

    "We can't take that for granted. Anfield's big, Anfield's amazing for us but we can't take it for granted," he told reporters.

    "I know the fans won't but the fans can't take it for granted either that it will just be another special Anfield night. We need to try and make it an Anfield night.

    "And that's up to the players and it's up to the fans to all come together to try and make it a special night and hopefully we can do it."

    Liverpool failed to have a shot on target in Madrid, where they were frustrated by Atletico after Saul Niguez's fourth-minute opener.

    Robertson, whose team are 25 points clear atop the Premier League, said Jurgen Klopp's side would need to be at their best in the return leg.

    "We are confident that we can win any game so we need to win this game. We know we need to beat them and we need to beat them with a scoreline that suits us," the left-back said.

    "We, obviously, can't really concede. We have been in this position before. You know Napoli at home, we had that same situation in the group stages [last season].

    "We have had these situations before but if we are not at 100 per cent then we will not win the game. We've got a couple of games before then and then we will be 100 per cent ready for this game."

  • Tuchel felt Neymar lacked rhythm, backs Mbappe after Dortmund loss Tuchel felt Neymar lacked rhythm, backs Mbappe after Dortmund loss

    Thomas Tuchel felt Neymar's lack of competitive matches showed and he backed Kylian Mbappe after Paris Saint-Germain's loss to Borussia Dortmund.

    Erling Haaland's brace inspired Dortmund to a 2-1 home victory in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday.

    Neymar was on the scoresheet on his return from a rib injury, while Mbappe also missed PSG's draw with Amiens on Saturday.

    Tuchel felt PSG's busy schedule and injuries to their stars had played a part at Signal Iduna Park.

    "We have made twice as many matches as Dortmund in recent weeks. We have had injury concerns with key players, they lack the rhythm, the hardness of the competition, as we saw with Neymar," he said, via L'Equipe.

    "Our possession of the ball was not stable enough for this not to be a physical match. There was this physical side to this match, in addition, we made too many mistakes in unnecessary positions.

    "We were lacking in timing. We lost a little confidence, and form. I thought it would be a more open game."

    Neymar said post-match he had been unhappy with PSG's management of his injury, insisting he was ready to return earlier.

    Tuchel, who felt his side played with fear, also backed Mbappe to learn from a difficult outing.

    "I knew it would be a tough game for him. He had to be very, very patient," he said.

    "We know that the technical relationship between him and Ney is good. Ney lacked rhythm, competition.

    "Kylian made an assist. It's a tough game for him, a game to grow. I trust him. We're going to have a good game at the Parc [des Princes]."

    PSG host the second leg on March 11.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.