Mikel Arteta said that Arsenal ‘showed the level they they can play’ after they beat Aston Villa on Friday night and highlighted the dressing room’s mood after the draw against Palace as a catalyst.
Arsenal were awful against Crystal Palace on Monday night.
Robbing a draw at the death, Patrick Vieira and his men were right to feel robbed.
With Aston Villa up next just four days later, it looked certain to be yet another miserable weekend. After all, what could Arteta do in four days that he hadn’t been able to do in the previous two years?
Well, he did something, because the football that was played against Villa was world’s apart from the dross we’ve been watching all season.
There was a freedom in the team and a belief in themselves that they could actually play football.
“I really enjoyed watching them play and the way they started right from the beginning,” Arteta told Arsenal Media.
“I always said the way they were in the dressing room after Palace, I think that was when we started to win this game. They weren’t happy with some moments we had in that game and they know they have more ability, more quality to do it.
“We talked about it, they had a great reaction and they know that the age is not going to be an excuse. We cannot change it. We are the youngest team in the league and we can change other things, we can improve other things and it has to happen now. Today they showed the level that they can play and I think the fans enjoyed it.”
Arsenal now sit level on points with ‘title-contenders’ Manchester United who have a game in hand against Liverpool later on Sunday.
I’m not expecting them to get much out of that game, but you never know. Matches like that are unpredictable.
But, still, quite how Arsenal sit level on points with United at this point, after what we’ve watched this season, is a mystery to me.
An hilarious, mystery, for sure, but a mystery all the same.
Next up for Arsenal is Leeds United in the League Cup, and we expect Gabriel Martinelli to start that game.