Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta speaks out on Takehiro Tomiyasu's struggles vs Palace
Mikel Arteta insists he has no worries about Takehiro Tomiyasu after the Arsenal defender gave a lacklustre display in the Gunners’ 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace on Monday night.
The Japan international has made a fine start to his career in north London, winning the club’s Player of the Month award for September, while the side had kept three clean sheets in his four league outings since joining prior to facing Palace.
Along with the entire team, Tomiyasu made a good start to the match and was involved in Arsenal’s opening goal, playing a neat pass for Nicolas Pepe whose shot was saved and then tapped in by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
But Palace grew into the match and Arsenal started to struggle, shipping two goals, with Tomiyasu leaving space in behind for the visitors to exploit and using the ball poorly.
He finished the match with just 79% passing accuracy, the second worst of Arsenal’s outfield players who started the match behind only Aubameyang’s 73%. Ten Palace players also had better passing stats.
Tomiyasu had played in Japan in midweek but Arteta does not believe that was the reason for his somewhat disappointing performance and insists the defender – who gave away the ball more than any other Arsenal player on the night – gave his all and fought hard.
Asked about the 22-year-old’s display, and whether he saw any fatigue in him after the international break, Arteta replied: ‘No I haven’t seen any fatigue.
‘But I see the same player where he tries, and he goes for every single duel, every single ball in the right manner, like any player.
‘He had better and worse moments during the game, but I’m really happy with him.’
On Arsenal’s performance in general and the manner in which they handed the initiative to Palace after taking an early lead, Arteta continued: ‘We managed to score the goal, and we were in control. And then our level dropped.
‘We had no composure on the ball, we started to give the ball away too easily, we didn’t have any sequences in our passes, we wanted to attack in one or two passes and the distances were too big.
‘I think we put the handbrake on a little bit. We started to defend something. We were not moving fluently enough and taking the right decisions, playing forward more and being more ambitious to score the second goal in that moment.’
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