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Mikel Arteta Defends Arsenal Midfield and Praises Jurrien Timber’s Performance

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta
The Gunners were beaten 2-0 by Manchester United in New York (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is confident that his revamped midfield setup will eventually prove successful, and he has commended Jurrien Timber for adapting well to his new role.

The Gunners recently suffered a 2-0 defeat against Manchester United in front of a crowd of 82,262 at the MetLife Stadium in New York. Both goals were scored in the first half of the match.

Mikel Arteta fielded a strong starting XI with new signing Declan Rice anchoring the midfield, supported by Kai Havertz and Martin Odegaard. However, the trio struggled to establish control over the midfield battle, and Arteta acknowledges that it will take time for them to develop chemistry. Nevertheless, he firmly believes that their dynamic will eventually click.

When asked about the performance of the midfield trio against United, Arteta replied, “When they play together 55 times, they will become better. They will have a better flow, understand each other more, and become more dominant. But it takes time to gel, and we have to respect that.”

Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice
Arsenal’s midfield did not quite click against United (Picture: Getty)

Despite the result, Arteta highlighted many positive aspects of the game, stating, “I saw a lot of positive things that I liked more than the game we won against the MLS the other day, even though the result was very different.”

As for Jurrien Timber, who started the match at right-back but often drifted into midfield, Arteta expressed satisfaction with his performance and the way he embraced his new role. “We are really pleased with Jurrien’s performance and how he responded to our instructions,” said the Arsenal manager.

Arteta also emphasized that the match provided valuable insights for the team, revealing areas that need improvement, the importance of minimizing errors, and the disappointment of losing. He acknowledged the physical demands of the game and mentioned the need to develop certain players based on their desired physical state.

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