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Mikel Arteta names Arsenal’s clash against Crystal Palace as the BIGGEST game of his managerial career

Mikel Arteta names Arsenal’s clash against Crystal Palace as the BIGGEST game of his managerial career

Mikel Arteta stated that the upcoming game against Crystal Palace is the most significant match he has faced as a manager.

He acknowledged the recent tough Europa League defeat to Sporting that occurred only three days prior.

Arsenal is uncertain about the fitness of defender William Saliba, who was one of the players injured during the exhausting match at the Emirates Stadium.


As a result of this draining game, the team had limited time to prepare for the Palace game, which Arteta views as one of eleven crucial matches in their quest for the Premier League title.

The Spaniard acknowledges that he faces a monumental challenge in revitalizing his team’s physical and mental states in such a short turnaround.

Asked where the match ranks, he said: “It’s the most important one.

“I’s the only game we have before the (international) break now. And we will do what we have to do. If we do, we will be in a really strong position.

“A lot of players had to play 120 minutes that we didn’t want to do, especially with the amount of minutes that some players have played, but we will see who is available and who is in what condition and put the best team out there to win.

“If a player’s fitness is 50-50 he cannot play in the Premier League, you have to be at 90 or 100 per cent to be at the level we need in this league. There are 48 hours to recover and assess everybody, and hopefully we will recover well.”

Palace will go to the game without a manager following the dismissal of Patrick Vieira on Friday. Paddy McCarthy, a former club captain, will act as interim manager, with assistance from Darren Powell and Dean Kiely, the goalkeeping coach, and Under 21s boss, respectively.

Palace has been unable to secure a victory in 2023, having gone 12 matches without a win since New Year’s Eve. Despite this, Arteta noticed an improvement in the team during their recent narrow losses to Manchester City and Brighton in the last week.

“To beat them we have to be better again than we were on Thursday in many departments with the same desire and do what we have to do to win the game,” he said.

The French defender Saliba has been a regular starter in every league game this season but is now being evaluated for a back injury. If he is unable to play, Rob Holding is expected to take his place. On the other hand, Takehiro Tomiyasu sustained an injury during Thursday’s match, and Arteta has stated that it is more severe than Saliba’s injury.

Arteta added: “I tried to give a lot of clarity in the dressing-room and it was all about the message: accept it, swallow it, we have to learn from it but there is no point now spending one bit of energy or thought that is going to take something out of Sunday.

“I saw a lot of things on Thursday, especially when we were giving a lot of balls away and suffering, that they did it together. The way they reacted, the way they were when we conceded a goal and how the game changed after that. It shows me a lot of positive signs.”

Mikel Arteta names Arsenal’s clash against Crystal Palace as the BIGGEST game of his managerial career

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