Mikel Arteta says he was not shocked by Arsenal’s performance at Leicester despite heavy rotation.
Six changes was made from the team that won against Benfica on Thursday.
After going behind, goals from David Luiz, Alex Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe completed a 3-1 win at the King Power; the Gunners first away victory against a top-three side since we beat Manchester City at the Etihad in 2015.
“Probably people will think that it was a gamble but I see them train every day and they are playing because they deserve to play,” said Arteta.
“When they deserve to play, I think players have to feel supported and valued. The only way to do it is to play them.
“In football, anything can happen but I think the performance levels they’ve shown is not a coincidence, it’s the way they’ve prepared themselves and how they’ve prepared themselves every day.”
It wasn’t just the victory, but the style of the victory that kept the boss purring. “For me it’s not only about that, it’s how we play against an opponent of top quality.
“It’s about composing ourselves, trying to be Arsenal all the time – it doesn’t matter who we play against, it’s about having the courage to do it against top-quality players. I’m proud of the win but more about the way we’ve done it.”
After a poor start to the season, the team improved its form since the Christmas period. The boss wants us to show more consistency.
“Every game is going to be different. What we’ve done today [Sunday] is not going to have a knock-on effect on the next Premier League game, but I think the team is clearly improving and is taking a direction that I like.
“Then all the time I say the same thing, about the constancy. We are still giving things to the opponent. We did it against Benfica, we did it against Benfica at home, we’ve done it today against a more dangerous team in short transitions, and that’s something that we have to eradicate to give ourselves the best possible chance.
“Everything I see, attitude-wise, what we are creating as a group, and then the way we are playing within our model, it looks much closer to what we want.”