Europa League does not distract us in the English Premier League,” Arteta said on March 15 at a press conference before the second leg of the Europa League round of 16 against Sporting. He also emphasized that the current Arsenal meets all the criteria that Man City has set for a champion in the Premier League for many years.
According to the Spanish coach, the Sporting rematch at the Emirates Stadium is Arsenal’s biggest match in the continental arena in the past three years, after a long time fans were banned from the field due to Covid-19. So he wanted to build a really good atmosphere and enjoy it. Arteta added: “The fans will join the club against a nasty opponent and certainly pose a great challenge.”
In the first leg on Portuguese soil, Arsenal played poorly and thanks to a counter-kick by Japanese midfielder Hidemasa Morita to draw 2-2 . But three days later, the “Gunners” had a jubilant performance when they crushed the host Fulham 3-0 thanks to Gabriel Magalhaes, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard, thereby maintaining a five-point gap with Man City.
Arteta admitted his players had two performances with a big difference, when showing their desire to win the ball back, playing fiercely and especially defending in the penalty area in the win against Fulham. He emphasized that Arsenal need a similar performance when against Sporting, minimizing the gaps if they do not want to be punished like the first leg.
The Arsenal manager also said that one of the things he cares about right now about the staff is finding people who can influence to make changes every game, not just see them as players. bag. “We wanted to find something special from this team,” said Arteta . “I think that’s the best way to express how I feel about the players who don’t start, and how they feel about the team, especially on game day. I think that description is similar to that. what Arsenal are aiming for right now.”
According to Goal , this is one of Arteta’s moves to make the Arsenal team more comfortable and united, in addition to carrying a large replica watch , badge and official poster of the club during matches. away. Asked if these changes would make a big difference in a top-flight environment, the Spaniard replied: “I can’t measure that. It’s about changing players mid-game and mid-game. help the whole team improve, or do other related things towards victory. In the end, improving the mentality has the same purpose, to make an impact on the game and win.”
On the opposite side, Sporting coach Ruben Amorim predicts Arsenal will change their approach and play at a higher pace than in the first leg. The Portuguese coach praised a very strong opponent when playing at home and said that the first ten minutes could decide the match.