Mikel Arteta was as animated and vocal as ever during Arsenal’s 3-0 defeat by Liverpool.
The Gunners went into the game on the back of a thrilling six-goal clash against West Ham United before the international break, coming from three goals down to earn a point.
However, there was to be no repeat at the Emirates Stadium as substitute Diogo Jota broke the deadlock shortly after coming on before adding another after Mohamed Salah had doubled the lead.
For Arsenal, it was a performance to forget in a hurry as they barely threatened Liverpool’s back-line and that’s despite Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe, and Alexandre Lacazette all being in the starting XI.
Arteta cut a frustrated figure on the touchline as events in the second half unfolded and The Athletic have revealed that the performance of Dani Ceballos did little to improve the Gunners boss’ mood.
On the touchline, the Spaniard’s most frequent instruction was for the on-loan Real Madrid midfielder was to get “cerca” – close — to Thiago when the Liverpool ace would drop deep to pick up possession, with Arteta clearly expecting Ceballos to follow him.
That would explain why Ceballos was taken off just before the hour mark and replaced by Mohamed Elneny after Arteta had gesticulated furiously at the former’s failure to follow his instructions.
But the midfielder wasn’t the only player Arteta tried to get his instructions across to.
Captian Aubameyang and fellow midfielder Thomas Partey were constantly being reminded of their duties throughout, whilst Arteta’s assistant Albert Stuivenberg more than once told Martin Odegaard to look over his shoulder for Fabinho.
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Furthermore, The Athletic’s analysis of the game revealed that at one point, a frustrated Arteta yelled, “Nico, move!” to Pepe.
The Ivorian was given a rare start in a Premier League game with Bukayo Saka not risked following an injury setback, but didn’t quite impact the game in the manner he would have liked.
Next up for the Gunners is a Europa League quarter-final first-leg tie against Slavia Prague on Thursday, with the competition now of the most importance to Arteta.