Mikel Arteta reveals how Arsenal squad reacted to Tottenham defeat ahead of Liverpool clash

Mikel Arteta talks to his players during Arsenal's Premier League defeat at Tottenham
Toby Alderweireld’s late goal sealed a 2-1 win for Tottenham over Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal’s squad were ‘touchy’ and immensely ‘disappointed’ in the wake of their north London derby defeat but he’s confident his players are ‘ready’ again ahead of a big week for the club.

Son Heung-min almost immediately cancelled out Alexandre Lacazette sublime opener on Sunday afternoon to set up an enthralling match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and the hosts came away with all three points thanks to an 81st-minute header from Toby Alderweireld.

The Gunners loss’ put a massive dent in their hopes of securing European football for next season but Arteta’s men must quickly pick themselves up again as they prepare to face Liverpool and Manchester City in the Premier League and FA Cup respectively.

Asked how his players have felt following the defeat at Spurs, Arteta responded: ‘They were touchy yesterday.

‘They know what it means to everybody, that kind of game.

‘They felt disappointed because of the way the game went, they feel they deserved much more but as well that the reflection of the game is that we lost the game.

‘But they are ready, they know that the games coming up in the next few days are massive for us, for the future of next season as well and they are willing to go and try again and put the same effort and commitment.’

Toby Alderweireld celebrates his late goal against Arsenal in Tottenham's Premier League victory
Spurs came out on top in last weekend’s north London derby (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal had 63 per cent of the possession in their defeat at Tottenham and Arteta believes it shows just how far the team have come since he took over the reins from Unai Emery.

Asked whether the statistic pleased or frustrated him, the Arsenal head coach replied: ‘I’m not too concerned about the possession.

‘It’s how we attack the opponent’s box, how we generate situations to score goals, the dominance, how quickly we regain the ball, how close we do it next to the opponent’s goal.

‘Obviously it tells you how far we’ve come to be able to do that in an away ground against one of the biggest rivals.

‘It shows the personality and what the team wants to do and it’s going to be a big part of our identity but we are going to finish that having produced the three points and the security that we can control and dominate games against any opponent.’

Liverpool Training Session
Arteta sung Klopp’s praises ahead of Wednesday evening’s clash (Picture: Getty)

There’s a massive 43 point difference between Arsenal and Liverpool as it stands in the Premier League table and Arteta waxed lyrical about the job Jurgen Klopp has done ahead of Wednesday night’s clash.

‘What they’ve done is phenomenal,’ Arteta added.

‘The first two years took them some time to build the squad and create a new culture, a new philosophy and a game model that suited the coach.

‘Then they started recruiting every single player in relation to what they needed and that’s where I think they were really smart because they bought a specificity for every position that was required.

‘Financially they had a big backing and made some big signings which completely changed the club in my opinion.’

Arteta could be tempted to rest players at home to Liverpool, given they take on Manchester City this coming weekend, but the Spaniard insists he will field the ‘strongest team possible’ against the newly-crowned champions.

He said: ‘I believe that it’s very important to have energy and momentum going into important matches, and in order to do that you have to go game by game.

‘Today and tomorrow we will asses the players and how they are, and obviously they’ve been hit and a lot of them have played some crazy minutes up until now and again we’re going to have games every two and a half days.

‘We will try to put out the strongest team possible here and as well on Saturday, and to do that we need to know how everyone recovers from the game.’

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