Mikel Arteta urges Arsenal’s senior stars to ‘drive us forward’ after David Luiz, Alexandre Lacazette and Co produced the goods in Leicester win… as he insists they ‘need to show that leadership and be accountable week in week out for stability’
- Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta praised his senior players in win against Leicester
- David Luiz, Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe all scored in the 3-1 victory
- Arteta urged his senior stars to ‘be accountable’ and perform ‘week in, week out’
Mikel Arteta has praised Arsenal‘s senior players for showing leadership and character to help the Gunners secure a 3-1 victory at Leicester on Sunday.
Arsenal produced some woeful defending to go a goal down inside six minutes when Youri Tielemans glided through and buried past Bernd Leno.
However, Arsenal got their act together and showed significant verve to overturn the deficit and take all three points at the King Power stadium on Sunday.
Mikel Arteta (right) congratulates Willian (left), whose sweet free-kick led to the first goal
David Luiz (centre) headed home Willian’s cross to equalise for Arsenal against Leicester City
David Luiz scored the first with a perfectly-placed header from a well-worked Willian free-kick, while Alexandre Lacazette took responsibility for scoring the penalty that put the Gunners ahead in first-half injury time. Club record signing Nicolas Pepe then tapped in the third to seal the win.
‘They (the senior players) are the ones that have to drive us forward and then we can have something with the young talented players that we have but it can’t be the opposite way around,’ Arteta told BT Sport after the match.
‘They need to have that leadership and be accountable in the team as they are the ones that have to produce week in, week out for some stability.
Alexandre Lacazette put the Gunners 2-1 ahead after scoring a penalty in first-half injury time
Club record signing Nicolas Pepe (centre) celebrates tapping in Arsenal’s decisive third goal
‘I’m really proud of the team and the character showed. How we reacted after the disappointment of conceding again, conceded really early which was the worst scenario as that’s the game they want to have and have the space to run behind.
‘But we stayed composed, the energy and positiveness of the team was really good and scored some good goals and think we deserved the win.’
Arteta also defended his decision to rotate his team, highlighting the win as proof that the system is bearing fruit.
‘It’s not we have to rotate, I want to rotate and give chance to the players for the way they train every day,’ he said.
Emile Smith Rowe (centre) limped off with a muscle injury that Arteta hopes isn’t too serious
‘You can use any word to motivate a player but at the end they have to be on the field. So I’m really happy we could make a lot of changes and still produce a performance.
It was not all good news for Arteta, however, as playmaker Emile Smith Rowe limped off just before half-time and was replaced by Martin Odegaard.
‘It was a muscular injury, he wasn’t feeling very comfortable to carry on playing so we took him off, but hopefully (it’s) not too bad,’ Arteta explained.