Mikel Arteta gives reasons for late substitutions during 1-1 draw with Slavia Prague - Europa League
Tiamiyu Saheed Oluwatosin
Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta has insisted that he made his substitutions at the right time during his side’s disappointing 1-1 draw with Slavia Prague on Thursday night.
This is despite coming under fire for his decisions that have now seen Arsenal’s Europa League chances hang in the balance.
Arsenal conceded an injury-time equaliser with Tomas Holes header which cancelled out Nicolas Pepe’s opener.
The Gunners are now in a dicey situation going into the second leg in Prague next Thursday.
Arteta introduced Gabriel Martinelli in the 73rd minute and both Pepe, Mohamed Elneny and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang five minutes later and many Arsenal supporters were disappointed by Arteta’s decision to wait for so long.
Ian Wright had tweeted his frustration saying: “Take the chances! Make the subs earlier! Finish the tie.”
However, the Arsenal boss said he did not make any mistake, insisting it was the right thing for the game.
“No, we know we have the possibility to change things with the five subs,” the Spaniard told BT Sport.
“We believed it was the right time for the set-up that they had, it was the right moment to do it.
“They had a big impact. If we want to win this competition the subs have a lot to say and they made an impact that we need.
“Unfortunately we didn’t capitalise at the end with the result that we wanted.”
“Well we made them when we believed it was the right time to do it,” the Spaniard added during his post-match interview.
“Whether we should do it before or not, who knows.”
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