Arsenal have won 10 of their 12 home PL matches against West Brom.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has admitted to feeling a “deep pain” following the team’s exit from the Europa League, after a defeat in the semi-finals against Villareal. Arteta however is looking to adopt a professional outlook when it comes to the rest of the campaign, starting with the Premier League encounter against West Bromwich Albion (WBA). The 39-year-old urged his players to go out and show much they cared about the club, by trying to win matches.
“Well, first of all you have to go through the pain that caused disappointment. After that, we have a responsibility and we have to be professional,” said Arteta as quoted by the official website of the London-based club.
“We know that we have four games to play, which still have things to define, and the best way to do that is on Sunday go out there and show how much we care, how painful that [was] and win the football match,” he added.
The 39-year-old stated that his players do feel the pain of the defeat against Villareal, and were sad having put in so much effort.
“[The players] do feel the pain when you look at the state of that dressing room. It was sad because they put so much into it. They tried to go through every obstacle that we had in the competition. This is a results-based sport and an inch can define success or failure, and it happened. We have no time [to think too deeply about that pain] because we have a game on Sunday, we have a training session this morning and it has to be by today when you leave the training ground, most of it has to be out of the system. I think you have to leave some of it in some of your system, and use some of it in the right way as an energy driver in the game on Sunday,” said Arteta.
WBA manager Sam Allardyce expressed his desire to take advantage of Arsenal’s nervousness having been knocked out.
“We’re up against Arsenal at their home ground and it’s up to us to make sure our tactics are spot on to give us the best chance of winning the game. I don’t want to be sitting back in our final third for too long because that puts extra pressure on us and means an error in that area gives them an opportunity to score. We will have to defend that area on some occasions, but we will try and defend higher up the pitch and win the ball back higher up in attacking areas,” he said.
“The more we can win the ball back higher up the pitch, the easier it is to create chances to score. When that chance comes along, we have to bag it. If we can get the first goal, it could make Arsenal nervous given the fact they’ve just been knocked out the UEFA Europa League. We need to see if there are any advantages we can take from that to try and open them up from there,” concluded Allardyce.