Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal’s north London derby against Tottenham on Sunday is at risk of being called up… with Arsenal on the verge of not having enough players to get the game done, with ELEVEN now absent from their squad
- Mikel Arteta has revealed the possibility of canceling the North London derby
- Arsenal prepare to face arch-rivals Tottenham in the English Premier League on Sunday
- However, Gunners are getting close to not having enough players available
- Eleven players are out due to illness or injury and the team is tacky
Mikel Arteta says there is a chance the north London derby will be called off as Arsenal are on the threshold of not having enough players to get the match done.
The Arsenal boss was full of energy on Thursday night, praising his team spirit and team mentality in achieving a goalless draw in the semi-final first leg against Liverpool. They played with ten men for 66 minutes, after Granit Xhaka’s red card, and the result makes them the favorites to reach the Carabao Cup final.
But Arteta is quick to point out that Arsenal’s growing list of injuries and illness means the possibility they won’t be able to travel to Tottenham is real; They now have 11 players missing for a variety of reasons and the squad could be up to 12 on Sunday.
Mikel Arteta says this weekend’s north London derby is at risk of being postponed
“It’s a possibility in every match,” Arteta said. On our side, on the side of the opponents, because of the scale of the problems everyone has and because it happens every week. We try to prepare for matches thinking we are going to play. If something happens along the way, it is what it is.
Although Arsenal had one lucky delay in the last minute, when Japan international Taki Minamino smashed in with a goal at his mercy, they showed hostility and organization to corner Liverpool with just one shot on target in the 90 minutes.
This was the first match that Liverpool failed to score at Anfield since last April, when Real Madrid played it in the Champions League quarter-final, but Arsenal have never been exposed to situations that make it vulnerable. Ben White, in particular, was awesome.
Arsenal face arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday in a huge Premier League match
However, North Londoners are grappling with a growing list of absentees for various reasons
“When you come to a stadium like this, I told them they have to pick players they’d be happy to go to war with, and go fight,” Arteta explained. You will go through difficult moments when you suffer. It’s about how you deal with those moments.
If you’re willing to help your team, and willing to accept that at some point you won’t be playing the game you want, then good things will happen. When you play in this spirit, you fight and fraternize around the team, in the end you get a reward. This is what happened.
White added: ‘That was horrible! But it’s good to defend like that as a defender, keep a clean sheet and go home with a score. It wasn’t easy at all, especially against a team like Liverpool. It’s hard but you have to focus. You need a little luck that we had and the result is well deserved.
The Gunners currently have 11 players who are sidelined for various reasons and that can grow
Arsenal fans cheered at the final whistle, but even though Liverpool were dull, Jurgen Klopp – who admitted his side played poorly after they had the numerical advantage – would not concede to the equaliser.
Klopp said: “I have no idea what Arsenal will do when we play at Arsenal. My mind is already in Brentford. I know we can play better, we know we have to play better. I liked a lot of things, but the overall result was not good enough.” This is the reality of this game and we have to accept it.
“But it’s 0-0 in the first half, so let’s get started.”