Friday, March 31, 2023

Arsenal: Arteta had 'nightmare' over £30m star at the Emirates

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta may have endured a nightmare spell watching his Gunners players on international duty, journalist Dean Jones has suggested to Gunners247.

The Emirates Stadium outfit sit top of the Premier League heading into the business end of the season.

Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard was caught up in controversy over the break when he was on the end of a hefty challenge from Manchester City’s Rodri in Norway’s clash with Spain in their Euro 2024 qualifier last week.

In what will come as positive news to Arteta, Odegaard didn’t seem to feel any effects from the tackle, having completed 90 minutes in the Scandinavian nation’s match with Georgia on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Paul Brown has recently told Gunners247that the Gunners will hope for positive news regarding the fitness of centre-back William Saliba, who suffered from a back issue in the side’s Europa League defeat at the hands of Sporting Lisbon two weeks ago.

Jones has said Arteta will have “flinched” when he saw Rodri’s tackle on Odegaard and may have “completely ignored” his players’ involvement in international games to avoid the stress and strain of watching it.

What has Jones said about Arsenal?

When speaking about Arteta’s reaction to the Odegaard incident, Jones told Gunners247: “He would have flinched when he [Rodri] made that tackle.

“It must be a nightmare for Arteta to watch these games at home. He must have had all these different streams on, or maybe he completely ignored it so he didn’t have to go through those moments.

“As soon as you see something like that, you must fear the worst, and you’re just pleased when you get the report back after the game.”

What next for Arsenal and Arteta?

The Gunners return to action this weekend when they welcome relegation-threatened Leeds United to the Emirates Stadium as they look to maintain an eight-point gap to second-placed Manchester City.

Arteta’s side then travel to Liverpool before games against strugglers West Ham United and Southampton precede a potentially title-deciding clash with Pep Guardiola’s City outfit towards the end of April.

As per Football.London, Arsenal will be sweating on the fitness of midfielder Thomas Partey and striker Eddie Nketiah alongside Saliba, with Arteta hoping that he has a mainly fully fit squad to choose from in the closing weeks of the campaign.

But following Odegaard’s lucky escape following his encounter with Rodri, the Spanish head coach will know that his injury concerns could have been much greater in the final stretch of the season.

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