Mikel Arteta has stated that he sent a “alert” to his Arsenal teammates ahead of Saturday’s stunning win over Sheffield United.
The Gunners outscored the Blades five times in the first half, with Eddie Nketiah scoring a hat-trick.
Arsenal has had a terrific week, having defeated Sevilla on Tuesday to get their Champions League campaign back on track. And Arteta has explained how he got into his players after that game to make sure they didn’t let up against United.
“They took the game in a really serious way because on Thursday I gave them a big alert,” he told reporters.
“Because of the context and the difference in the game that we have to play today [compared to] the last three with Manchester City, Chelsea, and Sevilla, and I’m really pleased [with] how they approached it.”
“That demonstrates the team’s mentality and determination, as well as how much they have to respect every game and every ball, because every ball has an impact on the journey that you must have throughout a game.”
“Obviously, they came from national teams, so we beat [Manchester] City, they came from national teams, we had to go to Stamford Bridge, and we did what we did there.”
“Then you have to go to Seville and that’s a really, really stressful week with what they were experiencing in the last few weeks as well.
“So then you can have the tendency to [drop off] now again, we’re gonna play at home and this. That was the worst thing that we could have done to compete against this team today.”
Nketiah was undoubtedly the star of the show on Saturday and Arteta has hailed his mentality following his hat-trick.
For me, he’s top level,” said Arteta. “I think he has started eight out of the 10 Premier League games.
“So that tells you how much I trust him and and the importance that he has in the team.
“Really happy for him, an academy player to experience in the Premier League a hat-trick. He needs to enjoy the moment. He fully deserves it and hopefully there are many more to come.
“He’s already really, really good. He can be better – yes, and the best thing [is that] he’s got that talent but especially his mentality is incredible. And when he has that mentality with that talent, obviously, he’s going to get much better.”