Friday, December 8, 2023

Jesus challenged by Arteta in press conference

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Arsenal host Nottingham Forest on Sunday with Arteta hoping his strikers, especially Jesus, can end their goal droughts and saying centre-forwards need to be able to cope psychologically with barren spells.

He added: “Sometimes there are a lot of mental things you can work on and discuss. And experiences they have had – it’s not the first time Eddie or Gabi have been five games without scoring in their career, that happens to any striker that I’ve known of. And you have to deal with it, it’s part of their job.”

Arteta is looking for a response after Arsenal lost for the first time in 10 games on Thursday, saying: “The best way after a defeat is to win the next game. That’s 100 percent for sure. We have a great opportunity on Sunday, in front of our crowd. We have been incredibly good at home and we have to see a different side.”

Despite their fine run, summer signing Gabriel Jesus is goalless in his last six appearances, while Eddie Nketiah’s strike against Bodo/Glimt on October 6 was the last time an Arsenal striker found the back of the net.

Gabriel Jesus has been majestic for the most part, but he’s struggled in the past couple of games.

A few weeks ago, I highlighted how he was the essential new cog in making the attack click and, unfortunately for Arsenal, it seems when he’s not at his magical best, the team struggles to be devastating enough to kill off games in their dominant spells, particularly away from home.

In similar away games against Bournemouth and Brentford this season, we saw Arsenal score a crucial second in the first half. Because of Jesus missed chances and a couple of questionable non-penalty calls, Arsenal were not able to double their lead at St Mary’s, and nervousness spread throughout the team in the second half.

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