Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has conducted his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday lunchtime’s clash with Newcastle.
Arteta, whose side are looking to recover from Saturday’s 4-0 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield, was asked about Eddie Howe and Joe Willock.
Arteta sold Willock to Newcastle in the summer, and he was also asked about the Magpies as a whole.
Newcastle are still looking for that first win of the season but it will be a tough ask against an Arsenal side who have shown plenty of recent signs of improvement.
“You see the last game they played as well, you saw some different things: new manager, new coaching staff. I admired Eddie for what he has done in the league, his style of play and the coaching staff as well,” he said of Howe.
On Willock, he added: “It will be really nice to have him, we all love and like Joe. Obviously it was a difficult decision to let him go, but he’s shown that’s what he needs; to play the minutes there and find a new challenge.”
When asked if Newcastle’s position at the bottom of the league reflects their ability, Arteta said: “For what I’ve seen of them, no.
“For what I’ve seen of them in the last few games, there were crucial moments where the game could have gone in a completely different way.
“We know the attacking threat that they have, they have players that can hurt you in the last 30 metres of the pitch and we’re gonna have to be really conscious of that and play as well as we can.”
Willock may well have a point to prove upon his return to the club where he came through the ranks.
Saturday’s game would be the perfect time for him to return to the form he showed at the end of last season.
Arteta will be well aware of his qualities as well as Howe’s, having faced him while he was Bournemouth manager.
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