Nelson praises Arteta half-time team talk


Arsenal winger Reiss Nelson has hailed the impact of Mikel Arteta’s “aggressive” team talk after their FA Cup win against Leeds.

The Gunners prevailed 1-0 against the Championship table-toppers but were completely outplayed by Marcelo Bielsa’s men in the first half.

The home side were fortunate to go into the break with the score at 0-0 after Leeds spurned several opportunities and forced some good saves from deputy goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

In the second half, Arsenal looked like a completely different team and took the lead on 55 minutes.

Nelson, who has started three of Arteta’s four games in charge, found himself in the right place at the right time when a deflected cross allowed him to finish from close range.

It was an entirely unconvincing performance from Arsenal but the north London outfit, who have won the FA Cup three times in the last six years, did enough to book a fourth-round trip to Bournemouth.

Speaking after the game, Nelson admitted it got heated in the dressing room at half-time as Arteta openly showing his anger at the first-half display.

However, he said it was for the best and part of the reason why they went on to win the game.

“I think as a coach you always need to have the aggressive side and obviously the side where you give love as well,” Nelson told reporters.

“In training, he is always asking us to press with passion and play with purpose. I think we saw that at times. In the second half we played with a real purpose. The team came out in the second half ready to go and I think we showed that we could create a lot of chances.”

It has been a reasonable start to life at the Emirates Stadium for Arteta, who was appointed after serving as a coach under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City for three years.

He has won two, drawn one and lost one of his four games in charge and will hope to improve that record when they travel to Crystal Palace on Saturday in the league.