Mikel Arteta defends making only one substitution during Porto defeat
Posted by  badge Boss on Feb 23
Arsenal suffered defeat against Porto in midweek (Picture: Getty)

has defended his decision to make just one substitution during ’s defeat against Porto in midweek.

The Gunners have been in freescoring form on the domestic front of late, but struggled to create anything of note against obdurate opposition who prevented them from registering a single shot on target.

Galeno’s injury-time for the hosts further piled on the agony for Arteta who was criticised for not utilsiing his bench, despite his starting forwards failing to make an impression.

The Arsenal boss had the likes of , Reiss Nelson, Emile Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah in reserve but his only tactical switch saw him bring on Jorginho in place of Leandro Trossard.

Asked if that was a sign he is losing faith in a group of fringe stars who have played bit-part roles this season, Arteta said: ‘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.’

With 13 games remaining, Arsenal are considered outsiders to win the title given they trail Manchester City and Liverpool and still have daunting trips to the Etihad and Old Trafford on the horizon.

Fabio Vieira was on the bench against his old club Porto in midweek (Picture: Getty)

Asked if his squad still has energy in the tank to go the distance, unlike last season, Arteta added: ‘I feel a lot of excitement especially internally because we’re right in the mix and we want to continue to be there because we’re in the Champions League and have a fantastic game to play at the Emirates.

‘Externally probably it’s different because the expectations are focused much more on the other two teams and that’s it.

‘I think a lot of players haven’t played significant minutes this season and important players as well.

‘I can sense that there are still five or six who have a lot of effort for the team, and the other ones because, after what happened last year, we want to make sure that this season is very different.

‘That brings a lot of energy because we know what we are facing.’