Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Lacazette right to say Arsenal should be nastier, says Arteta

SoccerNews in English Premier League 20 Jan 2020

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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.”

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