e will have to wait until Amazon release their fly-on-the-wall Arsenal documentary to really know what the dressing room at Anfield was like after last weekend’s 4-0 defeat Liverpool.
But, according to Mikel Arteta, the cameras will have picked up something he has not seen before. Something he believes shows the progress his young team is making and gives him confidence that he will see a positive reaction against Newcastle on Saturday.
After Arsenal’s 10-match unbeaten run came to an abrupt end on Merseyside, the players took it upon themselves to hold an inquest at full-time. Harsh words were exchanged, but Arteta believes those frank discussions are a positive sign.
“I really liked the reaction that we had already in the dressing room at Anfield after the game,” he said.
“This is something that didn’t happen before, and I am really pleased it is happening at the moment. How some players showed leadership and described what happened in a really honest way, and looked forward.
“There are always bumps in the road, there are results, there are injuries, there are issues you have to deal with and I really like how the team has reacted through the week.”
Arteta has not divulged exactly what was said in the dressing room, but you suspect players didn’t hold back after they were blown away by Liverpool.
For this young Arsenal side, the loss at Anfield was a new experience. Since all their summer signings were put together after the transfer window shut at the end of August, the Gunners have not lost a game. Now is a chance to show what they are really made of.
Riding the wave of positivity in recent months, this team Arteta is moulding has not had to deal with many bumps in the road. The match against Newcastle, though, feels like a moment where they need to show there is substance to go with their style.
After Newcastle, Arsenal face trips to Manchester United and Everton before the busy Christmas schedule gets into full swing. Now is not the moment for the wheels to come off, and nor were there any signs in training this week that they will.
“After a defeat we want to play straight away in a different context,” said Arteta. “We are on a good run, we play at home, we will have our people right behind us and we are going to perform well. First of all, play as well as we can and then we will be closer to winning the match.”
Arsenal teams in recent years have flattered to deceive, with setbacks like last week’s defeat to Liverpool showing how sometimes a run of wins can be a false dawn.
Arteta, however, is convinced that is not the case this time and he has full faith that he is building something at Emirates Stadium.
“Absolutely,” said Arteta, when asked about trying to take positives from the defeat to Liverpool. “There are a lot of things you can learn, you see the standards you have to raise to compete with those teams in that League, and how consistent they do it for every game.
“But as well how consistent they do it throughout the game. They dominate every area, and that’s why they’ve been so successful.”