Arteta thrilled with his ‘kids’
Bournemouth – Mikel Arteta hailed Arsenal’s “hungry” youngsters after Bukayo Saka (above) and Eddie Nketiah fired their side into the FA Cup fifth round with a 2-1 win against Bournemouth on Monday.
Arteta turned to youth as Dean Court, Saka, Nketiah and Joe Willock repaid the Arsenal manager’s faith with influential displays that secured a trip to third-tier Portsmouth.
Saka gave Arsenal an early lead as the 18-year-old full-back bagged his third goal of the season with a superb strike.
Nketiah got the second before the interval to ensure Arteta took another step towards emulating his FA Cup triumphs as an Arsenal player in 2014 and 2015.
Sam Surridge got one back for Bournemouth in the closing minutes.
“I’m very pleased. Always tough to come here and win, we’ve done it with a young team as well,” Arteta said.
“I have a lot of faith in them. I think they are developing really well. They are willing and hungry and will only get better.”
Languishing in 10th place in the Premier League after failing to win any of their last three games, this was a welcome boost for Arteta as Arsenal built on their hard-fought draw at Chelsea last week.
It was Arsenal’s third win in eight matches under Arteta in all competitions, with just one defeat in that run.
It was not all plain sailing by the seaside for Arteta, who added: “We scored two fantastic goals, but after that we became a little bit sloppy and I didn’t like that very much.”
Arteta’s first match in charge of Arsenal was a 1-1 Premier League draw at Bournemouth in December, but his team looked far more accomplished this time, even without several key players.
With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang still suspended, 18-year-old striker Gabriel Martinelli, who has scored in their last two league matches, started for Arsenal. – AFP