Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal still need to improve the way they play out from the back after Bernd Leno’s mistake against Rapid Vienna, warning the keeper to pick ‘the right moments’ to do it.
The Gunners have had a huge amount of success building from the back under Arteta but were undone by it in Austria, with Leno gifting possession to the home side and allowing Taxiarchis Fountas an easy finish to give Rapid the lead.
Arsenal did respond, however with David Luiz levelling the scores with a header before substitute Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang came off the bench to secure a 2-1 win and all three points in their Europa League opener.
While Arteta has previously staunchly defended his philosophy of playing out from the back, he admitted after Leno’s mistake that there is a time and a place to do it and encouraged the goalkeeper and his teammates to improve their decision-making.
Speaking after the match, 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.
Asked if it is a risk that has to be accepted, Arteta continued: ‘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.’