Mikel Arteta explains why he made four risky substitutions in West Ham defeat
The Arsenal boss had hoped to give his star players a night off.
Mikel Arteta denied his decision to summon his star men from the bench during last night’s heavy Carabao Cup defeat against West Ham was a coded message to those players who failed to seize their opportunity.
A much-changed Gunners side were convincingly beaten by their London rivals, who booked their place in the quarter finals where they will face Liverpool at Anfield next month.
The likes of Jorginho, Fabio Vieira, Kai Havertz and Leandro Trossard were handed starting opportunities but none were able to make a telling impact against a rampant West Ham side.
With a daunting trip to Newcastle looming on the horizon, Arteta had hoped to give the likes of Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli a night off but both were brought on midway through the second period with the game all but over already.
Declan Rice and captain Martin Odegaard, who scored a late consolation, were also introduced during the second period much to the consternation of Arsenal fans already worried their squad is at breaking point following injuries to Jurrien Timber, Thomas Partey and Gabriel Jesus.
Asked in his post match press conference whether his second half changes were made as a coded message, Arteta said: ‘There are no messages to send.
‘Whatever messages we send, we send them with words, we don’t have to send them in a different way.
‘We have tried to put out the team that we believed was the best to try to compete today in the right way to start the game.
‘The game took a different direction obviously because of the first goal and we can discuss that.
‘But after that we still have to see much more from the team to earn the right to win in a place like this.’
For more stories like this, check our sport page.