Mikel Arteta reveals ‘words of wisdom’ he told Arsenal players at half time vs Aston Villa

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta used some words of wisdom to help inspire the Gunners to a famous 4-2 victory against Aston Villa.
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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has revealed what he said at half time to motivate his players to a famous 4-2 turnaround victory at Aston Villa on Saturday. It was a vital three points for the Gunners as they put an end to a three-game run without a win to temporarily return to the summit of the Premier League, but they didn’t make it easy for themselves.

The hosts went ahead twice in an end-to-end clash and they looked good for the most part, improving with Unai Emery’s complex playing style. They had chances at the end to get on the right end of the result, too, but it was the title challengers who headed home with the vital three points, as they scored two goals in added time to send the away supporters into a frenzy.

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“We had some difficulties in the first half and individually we brought the level right down, stopping doing all the simple things right,” Arteta admitted post-match. “At half time, I said, ‘come on guys, we have to raise individual levels, we have to look each other in the face and we have to do much more’.

“We wanted to come out and win this game. I was really worried in the last 25 minutes [for our energy levels] but we answered with a very strong performance and we should’ve won it earlier than we did. I think we showed a lot of resilience, character and quality,” Arteta continued.

The Gunners looked exhausted physically as they left the field upon full-time at Villa Park but they were energised psychologically once again with their late rush of excitement. Former manager Emery, meanwhile, looked dejected as his Villa side suffered a third-straight league defeat.

“I’m very disappointed and very frustrated,” Emery said post-match. “It is embarrassing to lose two games 2-4 at home [after Leicester]. Collectively and overall it was poor. Eight goals at home in two matches is not normal. Today we started winning 1-0 and 2-1, but we didn’t keep going with our game plan to try and control the game with ball possession,” Emery continued.

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