Mikel Arteta changed Arsenal tactics 45 mins before kick-off – and was ‘bang on’

Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale opened up about Mikel Arteta's tactical flexibility in the club's new All or Nothing documentary.

Ramsdale revealed how against Southampton last season, Arteta, 40, changed the system just 45 minutes before kick-off. The Gunners would go on to win the game 3-0 thanks to goals from Alexandre Lacazette, Martin Odegaard and Gabriel, proving the Spaniard right.

"The Southampton goal is the one that comes to mind for me," he said. "The whole week we were working on a press because they were supposed to play three at the back, but as soon as we got in the changing rooms, they were playing 4-2-2-2.

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"He changed it and said the strikers will jump and then the wingers, full backs etc. And we played the ball out and scored the goal, but he had the plan B ready for us, told us 45 minutes before kick-off, and what he said was bang on.."

Ramsdale also praised Arteta's overarching coaching style for placing trust in his personnel: "He puts the ball in your court," he added.

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"He says this is how I want you to play, but you're the one playing. So that means if I go long, I go long, if that means as a team we try to play short and take risks and play out, that's what we try and do."

Although Arsenal would go on to finish just outside of the Champions League spots after a dismal end to the season, it set them up for another tilt at the top four this time around.

They got their season off to the perfect start against Crystal Palace last weekend as goals from Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka wrapped up all three points at Selhurst Park.

Arteta has slowly moulded the Gunners into a team of his own image. He'll be hoping that they can continue to build on last term's promise and this season's positive start as the campaign unfolds.


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