Mikel Arteta found plenty of positives from our victory over Bournemouth, but it wasn’t just the performance and result that left him feeling proud at the final whistle.
We won penalties in each half, and both times regular penalty taker Bukayo Saka – who had earlier opened the scoring with a header – gave the opportunity to a teammate. After the first was dispatched by Martin Odegaard, the second was handed to Kai Havertz, presenting him with the chance to open his Gunners account.
The goal was met with huge celebrations by teammates and supporters alike, much to the delight of Arteta.
Speaking afterwards, the manager said: “There were moments that we dominated the game and we played the game that we wanted to play, causing big issues to Bournemouth.
“The other thing (that pleased him) apart from the win is the human level of what they have done today as a team - to give the penalty to their teammate and have the empathy for a player like Kai, who externally is having some question marks, and that level of trust to take it and win the game for us.
“As a manager I’m more proud of this than the victory because this is what you try to build - the culture and environment that they support each other, have their backs and enjoy what we are doing.
“It’s worth it, it’s real and it’s not forced. They made the decision and showed the leadership without me even telling them so that’s much more powerful.
“And thank you to our supporters, because the way they have supported our team and Kai - it is going to mean the world to him. Thank you so much.”
Copyright 2023 The Arsenal Football Club Limited. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.