Arteta hails Arsenal’s golden oldies Luiz, Willian, Lacazette and Xhaka after comeback win over high-flying LeicesterFebruary 28, 2021
MIKEL ARTETA paid tribute to his senior stars and believes the penny is finally starting to drop for Arsenal.
The Gunners boss saw his players win away against a top three team for the first time since 2015.
And he was delighted with the contribution of golden oldies Willian, David Luiz, Alex Lacazette and Granit Xhaka.
He said: “People have been critical of Willian but he wasn’t ready to accept that situation and he has been really good in training these last few weeks.
“He was the player who changed the game when he came on late on against Benfica last week and today I thought he was terrific again.
“It was the same with all the seniors players – Laca, Nicolas Pepe, David Luiz and Granit Xhaka all showed the heart and passion we needed to execute our game and set such a good example for the rest of the players.
“You always have to put an example onto the pitch who goes for every single ball with real determination and probably that is Granit.
“He’s played more minutes than anyone else but he keeps going and always tries to help the team in the right way.
“The same goes for David Luiz because it was tough for someone of his age to play so soon after the game in Athens last week but we all saw his attitude out there.
“He always wants to be involved and that is the right way to approach every game.
“We had a very short turnaround from the game in Athens and then to go a goal down early on needed a real reaction and I am very happy with the performance of the team and the character they showed.
“I am proud of the way we won today but we are still giving things to our opponents and we have to eradicate that to give ourselves the best possible chance.
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“But in terms of attitude and the way we are playing in our model it looks much closer to what we want.”
Stand-in skipper Alex Lacazette, who scored his 11th goal of the season with a first-half penalty, added: “We have talked a lot about the young guys recently but we can’t rely just on them.
“The senior players also need to be really good and to show the coach that we deserve to be in the side.
“I was very happy with the reaction to come back after conceding an early goal. We didn’t lose our focus and we stayed with our game plan and when everyone does that it’s easier to win games.
“We all want to get back to the top of the league and we knew we had to get some consecutive wins.
“And today I think we did that very well.”
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