Mikel Arteta defends his lack of substitution against FC Porto

Mikel Arteta has justified his choice to make only a tactical substitution in Arsenal’s 1-0 loss to FC Porto. Despite the defeat, the manager defended his team’s performance, acknowledging that Porto had executed a masterclass in defence against the Gunners.

Arsenal had been enjoying a fantastic run of form, and the loss was disappointing for fans who had higher expectations for the match. Some supporters believe that making more changes during the game could have altered the outcome in Arsenal’s favour.

Nevertheless, Arteta has stood by his decision, emphasising the tactical considerations that went into the game.

He said, as quoted by Metro Sport:

‘We have made changes in the last few games and every game is different in relation to what is happening.

‘Rightly or wrongly, results in the end decide those decisions. We try to make the right call, that’s it.’

Just Arsenal Opinion

We have one of the strongest squads in Europe and it is normal that we feel more fresh legs could have been helpful in the fixture.

However, our players who partook are top-quality individuals and we expect the team to win in London and progress.

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Tags Mikel Arteta


  1. While us Arsenal rightfully are expecting the Gunners playing at home at the Ems,
    in the return leg match on the 12th of March to beat Porto to the Ucl q/F qualification.
    But us SHOULD fail to acknowledge the fact that Arsenal’s Ucl match bench for the Arsenal away FC Porto match was a weak in top unity bench.
    For, the Arsenal’sanches players of Tomiyansu, Zinchenko, Partey and GJesus who all can start the match or play in it off the bench. But they couldn’t participate it due to the injury concerns facing them. their being absent for the match had made Arsenal bench for the match weak in top quality having by Arteta to make the right substitutions for the match.
    I think he didn’t trust any of his bench warmers on the night to bring him or them on apart of Jorginho that he brought on.. Because saved, Ramsdale the rest of the lot on the bench are of low quality calibers.

  2. As Arsenal fans, we bring excuses after excuses

    The boss knows best

    Maybe I can ask:

    Apart from Jorginho, which other player could have changed the game and how?

    1. Yes we have injuries so our bench was weaker than it could be. Smith Rowe may have made a difference with his positive attitude. How about the psychological effect on player like Smith Rowe who must be sitting there seeing a poor team performance and thinking what do I have do to get minutes. How long before he and Ramsdale quiet quit and decide their futures are elsewhere.

      1. Mark, In Ramsdales case it will be this coming summer for near certain.
        In ESR’s case I feel he will be used a lot between when he is again and FINALLY fit, and this seasons end.
        I now doubt he will leave.
        I think we have made a huge mistake in ditching RAMSDALE though.

  3. There is nothing to defend when you just sleep during the match and doesn’t make any tactical tweaks even knowing that team is performing horribly. Even we played for another 4 hours we would not have scored in that game. It seems we have never got rid of our small team mentality.

  4. In hindsight, I think you can make the excuse that he should have started. If we had known about Porto’s midfield domination/gameplan Jorginho would have looked like the right choice We didn’t do our homework and Porto certainly did theirs

    1. “Midfield domination???”
      WHAT midfoield mdomination.? Did you watch the game at all, as WE controlled possession almst entirely!
      I realsie we made no golden chances and only THREE half chances, but to suggest Porto dominated midfield is about as ridiculous an opinion as I have seen on JA for ages!

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