Mikel Arteta says Arsenal still need to improve the way they play from the back after Bernd Leno’s error against Rapid Vienna, sending a warning to the goalie to pick ‘the right moments’ to do it.
Arsenal have had success building from the back under Arteta but were undone by it in Austria, with Leno gifting possession to their opponents and allowing Taxiarchis Fountas give Rapid the lead.
However, David Luiz levelled the scores with a header before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang came off the bench to secure a 2-1 victory and all three points in their first Europa League game of the season.
While Arteta has previously defended his philosophy of playing from the back, he conceded after Leno’s mistake that there is a right time and a place to do it and encouraged Leno and the other players to improve on their decision-making.
Speaking after the game, Arteta said: ‘We need to understand when we can do that and when we should kick the ball to the stand, which is a big part of what we are trying to do.
‘But to recognise that from the outside is much easier than from inside. He tried to do that, he has the courage to do it.
‘We have been very successful at doing it as well with the amount of goals that we have scored even in important games. ‘So we need to find the right balance, but I will keep encouraging them to do it in the right moments.’
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When quizzed on if it is a risk that has to be accepted, Arteta said: ‘Yeah absolutely, but they will understand as well better and better the type of balls we have to play in those areas and to who in relation to where the pressure is coming and the type of distances that you can manage from the opponent.
‘And after that everything will be better. But obviously it’s a split second that you have to make a decision, you have to get the right touch, the right pass, and the opponents as well are intuitive and they are waiting for that.
‘So, again, it’s something that we have to keep working on, because if we want to play the way I want to it’s necessary that the keeper is involved in our build-up play.’