Arteta reacts to Ten Hag’s comments on Arsenal's fitness level

Mikel Arteta answers Manchester United's Erik Ten Hag after comments on Arsenal fitness.

FOOTBALL Arteta reacts to Ten Hag’s comments on Arsenal's fitness level

Kiplagat Sang • 10:00 - 17.03.2023

The Red Devils boss had said the Gunners have enjoyed a clean bill of health.

Mikel Arteta has responded to Manchester United’s Erik ten Hag’s comments on Arsenal's fitness.

Ten Hag had said the Gunners have been fortunate to have a fully fit squad, while the Red Devils have had to deal with injury concerns.

However, Arteta pointed out how Arsenal have equally had to deal with injuries in the season.

"We've been carrying injuries throughout the season," Arteta said as quoted by Sky Sports.

"We had Emile out for four months, we had Gabriel Jesus out for four months, Alex [Oleksandr Zinchenko] for two and a half months, Thomas [Partey] for a month and a half, Eddie [Nketiah] for a month and a half.

"We had quite a lot of injuries already but we dealt with that."

Arsenal were dealt fresh injury setbacks during their second-leg Europa League match against Sporting Lisbon at the Emirates on Thursday.

They lost Takehiro Tomiyasu and William Saliba to first-half injuries as they went on to lose 5-3 on penalties.

"The disappointment is not going to go away. The disappointment is there now, but it brings clarity. There are 11 Premier League games to play and the next final is against Crystal Place," added the Spaniard after Arsenal exited the European competition.

"We have to recover and put all our energy and focus there, play better than today [Thursday] and put the same effort and win.

"Looking at ourselves, the game started difficult, we lost Tomi early in the game, then we lost Saliba and that left us with really difficult game management because we only had that window to make subs and a few players could not play the 90 minutes.

"But still, we didn't find our rhythm and our flow and we allowed too many spaces and didn't win enough duels, and then we gave the ball away many, many times, sometimes time after time.

Pedro Goncalves scored a sensational long-range goal – to level the tie 3-3 – and cancelled Granit Xhaka's opener. After the Europa League setback, the Gunners must dust themselves off ahead of Sunday's Premier League clash against Crystal Palace.