SOUVENIR PROGRAMME

Mikel Arteta admits he “needs to reset” – but Jurgen Klopp happy to avoid “excuses”

Mikel Arteta admitted Arsenal need a psychological “reset” after they could not capitalise on chances in their 2-0 FA Cup third-round loss to Liverpool at the Emirates.

The Gunners dominated the first half but Jakub Kiwior conceded an own goal after 80 minutes before Luis Diaz‘s neat finish in second half added-time was enough for Jurgen Klopp‘s men to claim victory.

Arteta’s side now have just one win in seven matches across all competitions and the boss agreed his side risk falling into a mental slump after failing to find the finishing touch.

He said: “Probably it has [become a psychological issue]. Especially after today, more than it was against Fulham or West Ham before that. That’s why I think we need to reset. This break is good. It comes in a good time.

“We’re going to as well feel how we feel and how I feel about them in difficult moments. Hopefully I can see that from other people too. When things are going well they jump on the train. Now things are difficult, let’s see where they stand.

“We haven’t capitalised. Not just today, but in the last few games as well. That’s why we’re not winning games. Merit-wise there is no question that we deserve to win the games but the results are very different.

“But when my team plays with that courage and attitude against probably the best team in Europe right now in terms of momentum what can I do but stick by them and support them?

“What we need to do now is stick behind those players, give them some love, train them and make sure they visualise something very different to what is actually happening now.

“They’ve done it. We’re not going to reinvent the wheel, because they’ve done it.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 7, 2024: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates after the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. Liverpool won 2-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was delighted by his side’s second-half reply, but brushed aside any suggestion he might look at the result as a harbinger for the Premier League title race, or even a boost for the Reds’ confidence in that chase.

He said: “No. I can’t [read into it]. It doesn’t mean nobody can, but I can’t. We don’t have a problem with belief and confidence, we are not really bothered about the things you are talking about because we can read the calendar.

“We see it’s January; it’s cold outside, stuff like this, and you just have to stay warm and play as good as you can, and that’s what we try.”

Klopp was more forthcoming about his squad, rattling off a list of injured and absent, including Virgil van Dijk, who was ruled out with illness before the contest but remains a “hopeful” return for Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg with Fulham.

He added: “It’s a tough game, nobody comes to Arsenal and wins just like this (clicks fingers), so in this game there will be difficult moments [and] if we start in these moments – which humans very often do – [looking] for excuses and then we realise who else is not here, it’s normal that we have these problems, then we are screwed.

“But if you know these kinds of things you can avoid it – and that’s what we did. The boys enjoyed the game, at least in the second half. That’s really cool.

“Staying in a game that looked in the first half like that, then growing into a game, is a pretty special thing to do.”