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How another tactical masterclass by Mikel Arteta benefitted Arsenal again

A piece on how Mikel Arteta tactical changes have benefitted Arsenal for the second game in a row.

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Mikel Arteta’s tactical changes got his team back into the game at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, which was the second game in a row the Arsenal manager has made the difference, after doing the same against Manchester City before the international break.

Arsenal found themselves two goals down against Chelsea on Saturday when Mikel Arteta decided to alter his system, which hadn’t worked for the first 60 minutes of the match. Arteta brought Tomiyasu on at half-time for Zinchenko, in order to gain more defensive stability.

He then brought on Eddie Nketiah and Emile Smith Rowe, followed by Kai Havertz and Leandro Trossard with the Spaniard’s substitutions changing the game in his team’s favour for the second match in a row.

Jamie Carragher, speaking on Sky Sports Monday Night Football shared how he noticed, while watching Arsenal’s draw with Chelsea back, how Mikel Arteta had his team prepared to go direct in the latter stages, and called for the change just before Leandro Trossard scored the equaliser.

The pundit explained how he noticed Mikel Arteta calling for David Raya to send the ball long to Kai Havertz which kickstarted the move for the equaliser with Leandro Trossard ending up putting the ball in the back of the net from a Bukayo Saka cross.

Jamie Carragher: “Watching the game last night with the nice cameras that Sky provide for me to watch the game last night, I saw something that Mikel Arteta did from the side of the pitch.

“Arsenal made substitutions in the game, but didn’t really change their structure. So if you look at what happened, they made substitutions. Emile Smith Rowe had come on, Trossard had come on, Kai Havertz had come on.

“We’ll just look at the set-up. Emile Smith Rowe, Declan Rice, Kai Havertz there, that midfield three that you normally associate with Arsenal, the system that they play.

READ MORE: Underrated Arsenal star rated best full-back in the Premier League.

“Just keep an eye here on Mikel Arteta. The game is stopped and he’s trying to get instructions onto the pitch. He’s waving his arms about. Kai Havertz now, as we see, coming over to Emile Smith Rowe, trotting over to have a little chat.

“I thought, well okay, maybe they’re changing sides. But no, it was a big difference in that Kai Havertz has now gone up front. Emile Smith Rowe is now going deeper. And he is now going to go alongside Declan Rice in that midfield.”

Arsenal moved from a 4-3-3 to a 4-2-4 when Kai Havertz and Leandro Trossard were brought onto the pitch. Mikel Arteta was calling for Raya to send the ball long which would be followed up by Kai Havertz winning his header which began the move for the second goal – similarly to what we saw against Manchester City before Gabriel Martinelli’s equaliser.

Against Manchester City, Mikel Arteta brought on Thomas Partey, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Kai Havertz and Gabriel Martinelli with all four substitutes combining to beat the champions at the Emirates Stadium before the international break.


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Kai Havertz has shown over the last two games why Mikel Arteta was so keen on signing him this summer, despite the controversy over the £65million price tag. The Arsenal manager saw the German as a player who offers something completely different to anyone else in the current squad.

Havertz allows Arsenal to go long when they’re in need of a goal as his aerial threat is one of the best in the Premier League and Mikel Arteta has used his skills in the best possible way over the last two games.

Arsenal’s substitutes have provided five goals and three assists in nine Premier League matches this season. Mikel Arteta was criticised at times last season due to his poor in-game management, however this season it’s a completely different story.

NEXT ARTICLE: Arsenal star returns to full first-team training ahead of Sevilla clash.

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