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Arteta: Stay switched on for Liverpool test

Arsenal stars are warned errors ‘will be punished’ against visiting champions

02 April, 2021 — By Steve Barnett

MIKEL Arteta has warned his Arsenal players they “will be punished” if they fail to focus for the full 90 minutes against Liverpool tomorrow evening (Saturday).

Arteta spent the international break smarting over goals the Gunners gave away in the Premier League last time out in the 3-3 draw at West Ham – and was especially irked by his side allowing the Hammers to take, and easily score from, a quick free-kick.

“The way we conceded the second goal against West Ham, where we turned our backs on a free-kick close to our box, is something that we cannot do,” said the Arsenal boss.

“It just gives a goal to the opponent.”

Making it clear there will be no room for errors at the Emirates against Liverpool, Arteta added: “Against these types of teams, with the quality that they have, they are going to punish you.

“Even when you don’t make errors and you do everything perfectly, they are still able to break your lines, to create an individual action and to score a goal.

“Obviously, Liverpool are a team where nothing has to be given to them.”

Meanwhile, Arteta laughed off rumours that Arsenal are set to make a sensational swoop for Sergio Aguero this summer.

Manchester City revealed on Monday that their all-time record goalscorer will leave the club at the end of the season when his contract expires.

Quizzed on whether he had been in contact with Aguero, Arteta, who coached the forward during his time at City, responded unconvincingly: “No, no, no… we will see what happens with him in the future.”

However, the idea of Aguero swapping the Etihad Stadium for the Emirates makes perfect sense to Arsenal legend Paul Merson.

“I am shocked at the decision, but Manchester City must have someone else in mind,” said Merson in his latest column writing as a pundit for Sky Sports. “They must be bringing in a big name like an Erling Haaland, a Harry Kane or a Kylian Mbappe. Otherwise, how do you not keep hold of Aguero?

“Will he stay in England or will his next move be abroad?

“If he stays in England, I think Arsenal would suit the style he would be looking for. They’d be a good choice.

“Arteta was at Manchester City and the way Arsenal play, they get around the box and they do create a lot of opportunities. Arsenal do tick that box for Aguero.”

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