Mikel Arteta fires back at Erik ten Hag’s injury comments after Arsenal crash out of Europe

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has hit back at the fitness comments made by Erik ten Hag earlier this week.

The Premier League leaders crashed out of Europe last night after losing on penalties against Sporting Lisbon.

However, when speaking about Alejandro Garnacho’s recent injury woes ahead of United’s Europa League win over Real Betis, Erik ten Hag insinuated that Arteta had been afforded not far from a full-strength side while he has had to manage a limited squad in his first season at Old Trafford, as per talkSPORT.

Arsenal then went on to suffer two injuries in their game against Sporting: Takehiro Tomiyasu and William Saliba. They will tell you excuses about how it cost them a place in the quarter-finals.

Speaking to reporters after the match, Arteta was keen to list all of his side’s injury issues throughout the campaign. A mere attempt to deflect from the result on the night.

“We’ve been carrying injuries throughout the campaign,” Arteta said, as quoted by Goal. “We had Emile [Smith Rowe] out for four months, [Gabriel] Jesus out for four months, Alex [Zinchenko] for two-and-a-half months, Thomas [Partey] for a month and a half, Eddie [Nketiah] for a month and a half. We had quite a lot of injuries already, but we desalt with that.”

The bigger picture here is Arteta has been in the Arsenal job for over three years, so he has had significantly more time to assemble his squad.

Ten Hag is still at the early stages of his rebuilding job.

Arsenal currently hold a five-point lead over Man City at the top of the Premier League.

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