Arteta: Henry doubts over Arsenal progress ‘another opinion’

Mikel Arteta has dismissed doubts from Thierry Henry over Arsenal’s progress under his management as “just another opinion”.

Arsenal have won 10 points from their last four Premier League games but Henry has questioned this week whether things are going in “the right direction” under the Spaniard.

Arteta came under pressure after the Gunners started the season with three successive league defeats which left the club in the relegation zone, however, an upturn in form lifted them to 11th before the international break.

Asked whether he had read Henry’s comments, Arteta, named manager of the month for September, said: “I haven’t. I am just hearing them from you.”

Henry, Arsenal’s record goalscorer, also said Arsenal had “suffered” in their goalless draw at Brighton in their most recent league game.

Pressed on whether it was helpful for a former player to make such remarks, the Arsenal manager added: “It’s just another opinion. You have to respect that.”

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Arsenal’s draw at Brighton in their last Premier League match prior to the international break

Despite their improved run of results, Arteta says his squad can improve their scoring form having netted five league goals.

“It’s something that certainly we can do better,” he said. “We can improve our efficiency in front of goal. When we get that balance right it will help us to win more games.”


Monday 18th October 7:00pm


Kick off 8:00pm

Sky Sports Premier League HD
Sky Sports Premier League HD

Arteta expects former captain Patrick Vieira to receive a warm reception from the home fans when his Crystal Palace side visit Emirates Stadium on Monday, live on Sky Sports.

Vieira captained Arsenal to three league titles and four FA Cup triumphs as a player, famously leading the ‘Invincibles’ who went a full Premier League campaign unbeaten in 2003-04.

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Mikel Arteta urges Arsenal fans to give Patrick Viera the welcome he deserves when Crystal Palace visit Arsenal on MNF

“He’s an Arsenal legend and I hope he gets the reception he deserves for what he did as a player and a person,” Arteta said.

“He was the captain of the club in the most successful era and it’s great to have him back.”

After ending his playing career following a stint with Manchester City in 2011, Vieira managed New York City and French side Nice before replacing Roy Hodgson at Palace in July.

“He has had a couple of experiences and knows the league really well and you can see what he is trying to implement at Palace,” Arteta added.

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Wilshere training with Arsenal as club show support

Jack Wilshere is training with Arsenal as his former club support him with his future in the game.

The 29-year-old has been a free agent since his deal at Bournemouth expired at the end of last season.

He spent a short time last month training with Serie B outfit Como having spoken about his lack of offers and the impact it was having on his mental health.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was then asked if Wilshere would be welcome back to the club to train, replying “the door is always open”.

Now Wilshere, who played 197 games for Arsenal over 10 years, is training predominantly with the under-23s at the club’s London Colney training centre.

Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere
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Wilshere played alongside Mikel Arteta at Arsenal

The PA news agency understands he will occasionally join in with the first team and use the opportunity to study coaching approaches in an agreement that will run until the end of January.

“What you should believe is that we want to help Jack prepare for his next stage, physically, mentally,” Arteta told the club’s official website.

“He wants to do his coaching badges again and we are prepared to fulfil all the needs that he wants. That is basically the idea and it is no further than that.

“I am very happy to have him back.

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Former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere highlights the importance of speaking out about mental health and how talking to others has helped him

“We had a conversation with Jack and understand the needs that he has, the period that he is going through and I think everyone at the club agreed it was the right moment to help him.

“We sat down with him and we listened to what he wanted to do and what stage he is and we are prepared to do anything we can to help him.

“He is going to be training sometimes with us. He is going to be around the place. He is going to be continuing his coaching badges that he is very interested in.

“(We will) try to get him fit, try to get his experiences across to our players, our young players, our academy and I think it is a great influence to have around.”

When speaking about a potential link-up with Wilshere last month, Arteta played down any chances of him signing for the club.

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Barca breeze past Arsenal in WCL opener

European champions Barcelona produced a dominant display by beating Arsenal 4-1 in their Women’s Champions League opener on Tuesday night.

Barcelona were utterly in control in the first half, taking the lead through Mariona Caldentey’s rebounded finish (32), before Alexia Putellas turned home Asisat Oshoala’s cut-back (43).

Against her old club, Oshoala slipped Barca 3-0 ahead early in the second half (47) before Arsenal found some rhythm and grabbed a goal back through Frida Leonhardsen Maanum, bundling home at the back post (74).

Sub Lieke Martens made it 4-1 with a deft finish late on (84), while Putellas saw a stoppage-time penalty saved by Manuela Zinsberger after Jordan Nobbs’ foul on her in the area.

Barca had a total of 35 shots on Arsenal’s goal in the game, with Arsenal’s Zinsberger making 10 saves on a humbling night for the Gunners, albeit with a much-improved second-half display.

How Barca blew Gunners away

Alexia Putellas celebrates with Asisat Oshoala after scoring Barcelona's second goal against Arsenal
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Alexia Putellas celebrates with Asisat Oshoala after scoring Barcelona’s second goal against Arsenal

Barca proved why they were European champions and favourites to retain their crown this year in a dominant first-half display, registering 19 shots on goal to Arsenal’s none.

They were camped in Arsenal’s defensive third for almost the entire half, going close through Caldentey and Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic, who both forced good saves from Zinsberger.

But the hosts had to wait until just after the half-hour mark to take the lead through Caldentey, who pounced after Zinsberger had stopped Oshoala’s effort from the edge of the box, composing herself before slotting home.

And it was 2-0 before the break as Oshoala got to the byline with ease, before cutting back for Putellas to turn into the net.

Barca picked up where they left off in the second half as Caldentey played Oshoala through on goal, before the Nigerian slotted under Zinsberger for 3-0.

Arsenal improved after bringing on Tobin Heath, Nikita Parris and Caitlin Foord after the third goal, and got one themselves with a rare attack as Maanum converted at the far post from Heath’s free-kick delivery, just moments after Parris had seen an effort cleared off the line.

But it proved to be a fleeting moment as Barcelona got their fourth, Martens brilliantly dinking over Zinsberger from Patricia Guijarro’s through ball.

It should have been five in stoppage time as Nobbs tripped captain Putellas in the box, but her own spot-kick was saved well by Zinsberger to her left to keep a respectable limitation on the damage.

Analysis: Spirited from Arsenal

Laura Bassett on Sky Sports News:

“A lot of positives can be taken from the second half. What really knocked Arsenal out their stride was conceding just before half-time and straight after in the second half. That really caused them to stumble.

“But surely on the review and analysis they will see passages of play which will make them think they can get at this Barcelona team in the return fixture.

“They certainly put on a spirited performance They’ll know they can get at them.”

What’s next?

Arsenal now host Everton Women at 3pm on Sunday in the WSL, live on Sky Sports Premier League, before their second Champions League clash at home to Hoffenheim on October 14 at 8pm in Borehamwood.

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