Interview

Arteta - What we need from our midfield at Wembley

Controlling the midfield against Manchester City is a sizeable task - but Mikel Arteta has seen plenty of improvements from his squad to suggest they are up to the task at Wembley.

Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos have developed a key partnership in recent weeks and impressed with their game management and energy, but our head coach says that whoever plays there in our Emirates FA Cup semi-final knows what is expected of them.

“Everything we do is in relation to the opponent, the ball and where the spaces are,” Arteta told Arsenal Digital. “Every game is different, every day the spaces are somewhere else and we need to utilise it in different ways with our quality to find the right moment with the right pass against the right opponent.

“That is something we are doing better and better. Game management is a big part. How we had to react on Wednesday night, after going 1-0 down, what we had to try to do straight away - they [all] know the reaction we expect and what the team need in the next five to 10 minutes. Hopefully they are understanding that a bit better.

“It’s about building relationships and the different qualities that the team needs. [Granit and Dani] have been doing really well but we have played with many different ones; Lucas has played there, Matteo has played in that position, Ainsley and Joe have played in those positions too in the pocket, Bukayo has played as an attacking midfielder many games in this position as well.

“So we have players to adapt to different ways of playing and that’s good.”

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