Friday 17 January 2020

Arteta admits that aggressive approach needs more work after Aubameyang red

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta. Photo: Tess Derry/PA Wire
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta. Photo: Tess Derry/PA Wire

Nick Callow

Mikel Arteta promised a ruthless approach on and off the pitch when he succeeded Unai Emery and Arsenal's steel was possibly too sharp at stages of their spiky 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace. It is something Arteta recognises needs to be tempered.

The Spanish coach explained: "I asked them to go 100mph to chase the ball, to be very aggressive and when we don't have it to win it as quickly as possible.

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"We need to know there are areas we can do that. What happened (Palace coming back) is a consequence of a sequence of many things that happened afterwards and we have to know how to play this situation a little bit better."

Roy Hodgson, the Palace manager, acknowledged how Arteta had changed Arsenal when he observed: "We expected them to be more of a pressurising team than the one we faced at the Emirates (under Emery) and expected them to be more aggressive.

"I am not complaining. I didn't think they were particularly nasty or dirty, but if he wants to get the team up the table he has to maybe add that to the incredible quality the club has."


Arsenal were so dominant in the first half, as they were in recent home games against Chelsea and Manchester United, only to fall away after the break.

Arteta has them playing at an intensity they are finding hard to sustain, physically and mentally.

Arsene Wenger was famed for having a hazy or non-existent memory of controversial incidents that favoured his Arsenal team but Arteta was refreshingly unequivocal in his view that Aubameyang deserved a red card for the mistimed challenge that put Palace midfielder Max Meyer out of the game.

Referee Paul Tierney's initial yellow card was overruled by the video assistant referee and put a dampener on the protest being staged by Palace fans against VAR.

Arteta even apologised to Meyer over the incident, saying: "Hopefully he hasn't been injured."

Arteta starts preparing to play without leading scorer Aubameyang for three games, beginning with Saturday's visit of Sheffield United.

Alexandre Lacazette is favourite to lead the line and Arteta commented: "It is a massive blow (to lose Aubameyang). You know how important 'Auba' is for the team. We are losing probably the most important player, this is never nice, we have other players that can play in that position, we will try to be as competitive as possible." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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