Arsenal

Mikel on improving marginal gains in front of goal

Ahead of Saturday’s game against Crystal Palace, Mikel Arteta says we mustn’t lose sight of our beliefs following a run of four games without a win.

We’ve only scored two goals during those games, but chance creation hasn’t been the issue for Mikel’s side.

“We need to continue with who we are,” he explained in his pre-match press conference on Friday. “Defeats cannot make you lose who you are because if you do that, then you were never who you said you were.

“We have to continue to be ourselves but there are certain details and marginal gains that we have to improve and evolve, and the beautiful thing about my job is to constantly find the evolution of a team and what it needs to keep winning.”

Asked if Gabriel Jesus needs to chip in with more goals in the second half of the season, Mikel said it’s a responsibility that must be shared by the whole team.

“We have to share goals, and we are responsible for everything. On set pieces, the goalkeeper is responsible, the striker is responsible and when there is a throw-in everybody is responsible for whatever happens with that throw-in. We have to share that responsibility, like we have always done.

“In football, what you merit and what you actually have are not always at the same level, and that’s been the case. But I think overall in the season, where we are, there’s things that we can improve on and do better, and those marginal gains have to be installed. They have been installed in the last 10 days and we have to see them coming out.”

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Mikel on improving marginal gains in front of goal
Stephen Wright
19 Jan 2024
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Mikel pre palace
Ahead of Saturday’s game against Crystal Palace, Mikel Arteta says we mustn’t lose sight of our beliefs following a run of four games without a win.

We’ve only scored two goals during those games, but chance creation hasn’t been the issue for Mikel’s side.

“We need to continue with who we are,” he explained in his pre-match press conference on Friday. “Defeats cannot make you lose who you are because if you do that, then you were never who you said you were.

“We have to continue to be ourselves but there are certain details and marginal gains that we have to improve and evolve, and the beautiful thing about my job is to constantly find the evolution of a team and what it needs to keep winning.”

Asked if Gabriel Jesus needs to chip in with more goals in the second half of the season, Mikel said it’s a responsibility that must be shared by the whole team.

“We have to share goals, and we are responsible for everything. On set pieces, the goalkeeper is responsible, the striker is responsible and when there is a throw-in everybody is responsible for whatever happens with that throw-in. We have to share that responsibility, like we have always done.

“In football, what you merit and what you actually have are not always at the same level, and that’s been the case. But I think overall in the season, where we are, there’s things that we can improve on and do better, and those marginal gains have to be installed. They have been installed in the last 10 days and we have to see them coming out.”

Mikel Arteta’s pre-Crystal Palace press conference
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The boss was also asked about how he will look to turn around our recent run of three defeats, and said that he is optimistic for the months ahead.

“A lot of times, it’s not what you have to do, it’s just looking around and [seeing] how people behave,” he said. “When I say that I love my job so much, it’s because I love so much the people that I have next to me, that they are with me every day.

“OK, we had a difficult time, and it’s true that we played in a certain way against big teams and we didn’t win, but we know what we produced. They are a joy to work with and they give me every reason to be super positive for the second half of the season.”

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