Mikel Arteta has praised Arsenal’s ‘effort and spirit’ during the club’s 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace this weekend, but has called for better ‘game management’ as they bid to deliver consistent results in the coming weeks.
The North London side were held to a draw at Selhurst Park after Jordan Ayew’s deflected equaliser cancelled out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s opener, though the Gunners were made to hold on in the closing stages following the second-half red card for goalscorer Aubameyang.
The result leaves Arsenal 10th in the Premier League and 11 points adrift of the Champions League places, and whilst admitting he was pleased with aspects of his side’s display, Arteta says the club must work on being more pragmatic in game-defining moments.
“I asked them to go 100 miles per hour to chase the ball, to be very aggressive when we didn’t have it, to win it back as quickly as possible and they tried to do that,” Arteta told arsenal.com.
“We need to know that there are certain areas we can do it. Against these kinds of teams, it’s dangerous because they bring the two centre backs up. They put the ball in the box and you have to defend.
“Their goal was a consequence of a sequence of a number of things that happened afterwards. We have to know to play these situations a little bit better. In terms of effort and spirit that they showed – it was top.
“It’s game management, it’s game moments, and we’ll get better at it. We need to know that at this type of ground, that we don’t want to put ourselves on the back foot in set-piece situations because they are really good and work a lot on it.”