Gallas ‘in trouble’ with Arteta after moment with Arsenal boss on TV

Arteta reflects as Arsenal return to top of Premier League

Former Arsenal defender William Gallas admitted that he may be “in trouble” with Mikel Arteta after interviewing the Gunners boss before their trip to Newcastle on Sunday. Gallas was keen to emphasize the pressure that are on the Premier League title hopefuls, having slumped in recent weeks while Manchester City have moved top of the table.

As Arteta spoke with Gallas, Shay Given and Gary Neville pitchside, the Frenchman made it clear to Arteta immediately that it was a game Arsenal have to win in order to remain in the hunt for the title as they sat four points behind Pep Guardiola’s outfit. 

“They don’t have a choice. They have to win,” Gallas said before Arteta approached the Sky Sports crew and he repeated his sentiment to the Spaniard. “If they want to go back up to the top of the league, it has to be a victory.”

Arteta took a pause as he reflected on Gallas’ statement, before saying: “I am convinced that they are going to do that, just keep digging. We have been digging for 10 months to be closer to that trophy, a major objective for us was Champions League, we are not satisfied with that we have to keep digging. We know today we have a very good, very solid goal to hit – but they have as well.”

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After Sky Sports host David Jones later pointed out to Gallas that Arteta did not seem pleased with his line of questioning, Gallas explained that he is now in trouble with the Gunners boss.

“I said they have to win,” he said. “I’m in trouble… but they have to win today but also deal with the pressure because that has been the problem of Arsenal. Once again it’s very hard sometimes to come and deal with the pressure, today when you play in Newcastle you have to be strong.”

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After brushing off Gallas’ line of questioning, Arteta focused on the positives as Gabriel was able to fight off a knock to start the game. “Gabriel is a really important player, he has struggled for a few days, but he managed to train yesterday and felt good – so he’s fully fit,” Arteta said.

Jorginho retained his place in the side ahead of Thomas Partey, while Jakub Kiwior made his second start of the league season as Arteta explained his starting XI. “Every decision is difficult,” he added. “To leave players out is one of the hardest thing as a manager, and we have some really good players that I’ve had to leave out.

“But for our game plan, I think it’s better to play with the players we’ve chosen. On Tuesday we had the energy, commitment and quality back in the team, we didn’t have the consistency throughout 96 minutes in the games before. That’s cost us.”

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