When I read the headline on Sky Sports asking whether Gabriel Martinelli is proving Jurgen Klopp right, I wondered why on earth they would think anyone gives a toss what Klopp thinks. He’s done nothing but ‘tap him up’ since the day he clapped eyes on him. A shake of a hand, an arm round his shoulder, you name it, Klopp’s done it. Let’s be honest too, did/do you need Klopp, or any other manager for that matter, to tell you how good Gabriel Martinelli is? No, of course not because from the very first time Unai Emery played him, it was clear to see how talented he was and how good he might become. I really can’t wait to see the battle between him and Trent Alexander-Arnold tomorrow afternoon.
Mikel Arteta held his pre match press conference yesterday and he was asked about Liverpool’s perceived drop in form this year and I liked his reply: “I’m not here to talk about them”. He was open and honest about where are are now.
On how happy he is with the club’s spirit…
I’m really happy. I’m proud, obviously of the change, the dynamics, the atmosphere and the belief around the club. But as we’re looking ahead, again, to where we want to be and at the moment, we are not there yet.
On how he’s helped to bring the whole club closer together…
I think one of the things in terms of how you measure success, as well as lifting trophies, is needing to understand where we were. And as you said, how fractured the club and environment was, how we looked at the time and how it looks right now – it’s a credit to everybody that has been involved in the last few seasons to achieve that.
On what success at the club looks like…
If you win but you don’t have that connection, is that really the meaning and the purpose of how you do things? For me, the answer is no. If you’re able to win, we set an atmosphere and such a feeling of belonging and participation, I think it’s much better.
He also said the club are not yet where he wants to take it. Is a club ever really there I wonder because unless it’s winning every trophy on offer, there’s always room for improvement. Look at what Man City have done in terms of transfers yet still they haven’t managed to win the Champions League. I’ve a feeling this might be their year though, unless Erling Haaland picks up a long term injury.
To see the fans happy each week before, during and after a game is brilliant. To witness players playing hard and fast football with commitment and passion on a weekly basis is also brilliant. It feels like years since that’s been the case. Probably because it has been. Actually, thinking about the Emirates only, I don’t think it’s ever sounded so good. We even have a proper Arsenal tune. The devil is in the detail eh.
A player’s body language speaks volumes and I don’t know about you guys but I don’t think there is a single player whose body language doesn’t seem quite right. Having 25 odd players (no, players who are odd) all believing in ‘the process’ must be a hard thing to achieve but Mikel Arteta has achieved it in my opinion.
This is one of our unused substitutes on Thursday night.
— Cirjan Catalin (@CirjanCatalin1) October 7, 2022
When the youngsters are saying positive things without even getting on the pitch, it’s clear there’s a good feeling around the club. You and I might wonder why the younger players are named in the squad but seldom get on the pitch, imagine how good it must feel to be part of nights like Thursday. To feel the atmosphere as a squad player rather than as a spectator at home or somewhere else in the stadium. Imagine how Ethan Nwaneri felt when he walked onto the Emirates turf for the first time in a Premier League game. We might be tempted to wonder what the point is of five minutes on the pitch but for him, he must have been living his dream at just 15 years old. Even Reiss Nelson must have felt great when finally, probably after years of wondering whether he’d play for Arsenal again, he got minutes. Whether he proves he’s good enough to be part of the club longer term is another matter but at least he’s back in contention. All it takes is an injury or two and he, others too, could be in. That’s what I think keeps players happy, knowing their chance will come if they have what it takes and attitude is surely a big part of that. Rightly so.
Regardless of our results, I think what Mikel Arteta, Edu, the coaching staff, owners and everyone else at the club has done a great job at turning things around. Talking of turning things around, I hope that tomorrow, we can put an end to Liverpool coming to our place and getting a result.
See you in the comments.