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Jose Mourinho questions Mikel Arteta’s strategy at Arsenal

Jose Mourinho has issued a cautionary note to Mikel Arteta regarding his tactics in some of the recent Arsenal matches

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Jose Mourinho
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Former Chelsea and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has issued a cautionary note to Mikel Arteta regarding the defensive strategies employed by Arsenal in their recent draw against Manchester City, emphasising that such tactics are not a guaranteed path to success.

During the fixture with the reigning Premier League champions, Arsenal opted for a more defensive formation, securing a goalless draw despite possessing just 28 percent of the possession at the Etihad Stadium last month. While many praised Arteta’s tactical prowess for limiting City to only one shot on target, Mourinho remains sceptical about attributing all the credit to the Arsenal manager.

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Known for his own defensive setups during his tenure in the Premier League, Mourinho downplayed the significance of Arteta’s tactics, stating, “In my time, it was not a magic strategy. And I won at Manchester City a few times. But it was not an amazing strategy. It was a defensive game. Park the bus. Park the double bus. It was a different perspective.”

Mourinho further critiqued Arsenal’s defensive approach by highlighting the abundance of central defenders frequently deployed in the team, suggesting that defensive stability takes precedence in their game plan.

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“How many central defenders do they have in the team? Sometimes they have six. As a matter of principle. Then they play in other positions. They play right-back, left-back, they play midfield. But they play with five or six central defenders on the pitch. They feel the need for defensive stability and a defensive compactness.”

While Mourinho’s assessment may be somewhat disparaging, Arteta expressed satisfaction with his team’s defensive performance, praising their resilience in securing a valuable clean sheet. “Defensively, I think we were outstanding. We had to go and put them under pressure higher up the pitch,” Arteta remarked, acknowledging the challenges posed by City’s attacking prowess.

Despite the defensive success, Arteta also acknowledged the need for improvement in Arsenal’s attacking play, emphasising the importance of composure and efficiency in front of goal.

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