Mikel Arteta spoke to the media after Arsenal’s win over Everton on Sunday and while he was full of praise for Bernd Leno and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, he also revealed he’d challenged Auba to do more defensively after doubts over his fitness.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal celebrates victory during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Everton FC at Emirates Stadium on February 23, 2020 in London, United Kingdom.
LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 23: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal celebrates victory during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Everton FC at Emirates Stadium on February 23, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Arsenal spent a large part of the second half hanging on against Everton.

Clearly exhausted after three games in a week against opponents who hadn’t played in 15 days, they managed to keep all the points, largely due to Bernd Leno’s saves and Aubameyang’s defensive commitment.

Speaking after the game, Arteta hailed them both and then revealed he had issued a challenge to Auba in regards to helping out defensively, one the forward has more than stepped up to. He also admitted he had doubt Auba was able to do that side of the game physically and when he showed he could Arteta then challenged him, ‘do you want to?’

I think Auba showed he did…

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.