The young Japanese right-back Takehero Tomiyasu was practically unknown when he arrived at the Emirates just over a year ago, but surprised every single Arsenal fan with his brilliant performances right from the start of last season. He even won the first Player of the Month to cement his arrival.
But by Christmas perhaps the intensity of the Premier League got to him and he picked up some niggling injuries, but luckily Arteta had a very competent, but not brilliant, Cedric Soares to cover in that position for most of the second half of the season. Tomi seems to be back to full fitness now, but has seen Ben White moved from centre-back to right-back in his absence and Tomi has had to be patient while waiting for a chance to win his place back.
But he is certainly humble. and says the competition will only make him try harder to improve to win his place back.He got his chance against Bodo/Glimt on Thursday, and he told Yahoo after the game: “For me it doesn’t matter which competition I play. Even if it is Europa League or a cup game, I want to help the team on the pitch,”
“But if you want to get back your position you have to be much, much better.
“If you are playing in a big club, like Arsenal, there is always competition with the other players. Competition makes me a lot better. To be fair, [White] is doing very well, he is doing fantastic. I need to learn from him a lot of things during the training sessions as well.”
Tomi was also honest enough to admit that he didn’t have the best of games, but to be fair to him it was only his second start in this campaign. “It was really good to get three points and a clean sheet as well,” he continued. “For me it was not an easy game. After Eddie’s goal and Rob’s goal, the game was a bit scrappy. We couldn’t control the game for 90 minutes, so for me it was not enough. I am not happy with my performance.”
I personally didn’t think he had such a bad game, but he has obviously set his standards high. I am sure he will only get better as the season progresses and he gets his match-fitness perfected….
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Arteta talks about the Liverpool game and about proving we are now on their level, and the dreaded fixture congestion.
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