Arteta praises ‘beast’ Nketiah after crucial goal

12 Aug 2023

Arsenal boss lauds forward whose attitude in training won him a starting berth

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Mikel Arteta hailed the performance of Eddie Nketiah after the striker was named in the starting line-up and scored the opening goal in Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest.

After being benched for the FA Community Shield win against Manchester City last Sunday, Nketiah led the line in Arsenal’s Premier League opener, and Arteta said it was the player’s attitude in training that influenced his decision.

“Eddie sums up what we want this season in terms of the squad,” Arteta told the club’s official website.

“He was a player who was really disappointed not to start against Manchester City in the absence of Gabby [Gabriel Jesus], but he had an incredible impact in the game against City and he trained this week like a beast.

“A lot of players ask, ‘Why am I not playing?’ And the thing is that Eddie is telling you, ‘Look at all the reasons I’m giving you to play me.’

“When you play him, after you know you’re going to have that response because he’s not looking for excuses or anything.”

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One sour note from the match was the early withdrawal of new signing Jurrien Timber.

The defender bought from Ajax only managed to play until the 50th minute after picking up an apparent knee injury that was sustained at the end of the the first half.

See: Arsenal start title bid with nervy win over Forest

Arteta defended the decision to let the Dutchman start the second half before limping off. 

“The physio and doctors looked at him and were happy to continue,” Arteta explained.

“Straightaway in the second half, he made a movement and it felt funny. We will have to assess him.”

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