After seeing his team record a 3-0 win against Bodo/Glimt in the Europa League, Mikel Arteta was happy that his much-changed side managed to record an impressive scoreline.
Strikes from Eddie Nketiah, Rob Holding and Fabio Vieira ensured it was a happy evening for the boss, who felt that the increased minutes and cohesion for all those new faces will only stand us in good stead with four more European games appearing quickly on the horizon.
Speaking post-match, he said: “I’m really happy. Today we played a different opponent, a difficult opponent, I mentioned that before and I think everybody saw that.
“We made a lot of changes, eight I think, and I’m really happy winning the game, scoring three goals and a clean sheet, but overall as well you could sense in certain moments that that connection, that timing - this needed time on the pitch. It was a little bit missing in certain moments to be more dominant in the game.”
Two of the goalscorers also came in for praise from the boss, with Nketiah scoring for the fourth Europa League game in a row that he’s started, while Vieira found the net at Emirates Stadium for the first time to hit his second goal of the season.
“Eddie is always ready,” Arteta said. “Every time he plays you look at the numbers and the stats he produces, it’s phenomenal, and today he had a chance to play and I think he took it really well.
“[Vieira] is understanding better every day what we want to do. There were a few moments in defending and in terms of organisation that we need to work a lot on him, but you see the talent, you see the creativity and how dangerous he is in the final third.”
In seven days’ time, we’ll be in Norway facing Bodo/Glimt again, but with the game taking place in the Arctic Circle in a very different stadium on a very different pitch, the boss feels tonight's performance and result will mean little when the teams meet again.
Previewing next week’s encounter, he said: “It will be in a different context. It’s in their home and it’s an astroturf pitch and we’re not used to it so we’ll have to adapt quickly.
“You saw today that it is a team that is really willing to play, that have really good patterns of play, good players, a really clear philosophy and again, so it will be tough.”
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