Mikel Arteta put Arsenal stars on 'alert' to ensure gung-ho Gunners put Blades to the sword

Mikel Arteta sent a warning to his Arsenal stars before Saturday's win (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Mikel Arteta sent a warning to his Arsenal stars before Saturday's win (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta has revealed he dished out an "alert" to his Arsenal players to ensure they were firing for Saturday's big win over Sheffield United.

The Gunners put five unanswered goals past the Blades, with Eddie Nketiah scoring a hat-trick inside the opening 60 minutes.

The win rounds off a good week for Arsenal, who beat Sevilla on Tuesday to get their Champions League campaign back on track. And Arteta has revealed how he got into his squad after that game to ensure they did not take their foot off the gas against United.

“They took the game in a really serious way because on Thursday I gave them a big alert,” he said.

“Because of the context and the difference in the game that we have to play today [compared to] the last with Manchester City, Chelsea and Sevilla, and I'm really happy [how] they approached it.

“That shows the mentality and determination the team wants and how much they have to respect every game and every ball, because of the influence of every ball in the journey that you have to have throughout a game.

“Obviously they came from their national teams, so we beat [Manchester] City, they came from national teams, we have to go to Stamford Bridge and we did what we did in Stamford Bridge.

“Then you have to go to Seville and that’s a really, really stressful week with what they were experiencing in the last few weeks as well.

“So then you can have the tendency to [drop off] now again, we’re gonna play at home and this. That was the worst thing that we could have done to compete against this team today.”

Nketiah was undoubtedly the star of the show on Saturday and Arteta has hailed his mentality following his hat-trick.

“For me, he’s top level,” said Arteta. “I think he has started eight out of the 10 Premier League games.

“So that tells you how much I trust him and and the importance that he has in the team.

“Really happy for him, an academy player to experience in the Premier League a hat-trick. He needs to enjoy the moment. He fully deserves it and hopefully there are many more to come.

“He’s already really, really good. He can be better - yes, and the best thing [is that] he’s got that talent but especially his mentality is incredible. And when he has that mentality with that talent, obviously, he’s going to get much better.”