ENGLAND – Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta, has refused to criticise Nicolas Pepe and Willian, following their 1-0 defeat to Southampton in the FA Cup on Saturday.
Kyle Walker-Peters’ first-half cross deflected via Gabriel for the only goal of the match.
Willian, one of the club’s highest earners and record signing Pepe were both singled out by fans for failing to influence the match.
However, Arteta feels they both tried their best and he will continue to support them.
When asked about their performances at his post-match press conference, Arteta said: “They try to give their best. The intention and willingness is there and after the decision making, the final pass is the end product and that’s the hardest thing in football.
“We’re going to keep supporting them as much as we can.”
On if fans are right to feel they deserve more from the pair, Arteta continued: “Well, I don’t know. They’re entitled to ask for anything.
“What I’m saying is that they tried to give their best. You could see how hard they tried. Sometimes with more or less quality but the intention is there and the willingness is there and this is what we demanded them to do.”