Mikel Arteta praises attitude of Arsenal fringe players after Leeds win amid questions over Bernd Leno role
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Rsenal boss Mikel Arteta says he’s delighted with the way his fringe players are “knocking on the door” and “not trying to find excuses” for the lack of playing time.
With no European football this season, this competition gave Arteta his only real chance at a wholesale rotation, which meant the Spaniard struggled to share minutes with the squad.
“What I’m really happy about is that the players are knocking on the door with the right attitude to play and that gives us options,” said Arteta.
“I don’t see anyone trying to make excuses when they’re not playing or trying to blame someone else when they’re not playing.
“They just try to do the best job they can in training and then talk on the pitch. Talking off the pitch is easy because you can always make excuses and blame everyone.
“When you have the opportunity [on the pitch] this is the time to speak up and show that you can do it and I really liked, in many examples, what the players did when they held these positions.
Eddie Nketiah was on the scoresheet against Marcelo Bielsa’s side on Tuesday night, but the young striker, who is out of contract at the end of the season, hasn’t even benched the Premier League this season. season.
“He’s another who is constantly pushing and whenever he has the chance he grabs it,” Arteta said. “Obviously there are other players in these positions, the same with other players who haven’t had a lot of minutes.
“We have to deal with this situation and reward the players when they deserve it. “
Goalkeeper Bernd Leno is another who is in a similar position, having lost the No.1 shirt to Ramsdale’s summer signing.
Asked if Leno, who kept his clean sheet against Leeds, would settle for a No.2 role for the remainder of the season, Arteta added: “I think he competed very well there. other day and showed his level. That’s what he’s here for.
“When he gets to play he has to do it at the best level and when he isn’t he has to support his teammates like everyone else.”
Arteta is waiting to check on the fitness of a number of players who have been stricken with a stomach issue in the camp, including defender Ben White, who was forced to retire from the disease in the shock from Leeds.
“There have been a few who haven’t been able to train and we also took some hits against Leeds, but I hope today we get some news,” said Arteta.
“[White] hasn’t trained yet, so we’ll have to wait and see how he feels today.
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