Mikel Arteta warns his players to play with ‘cool minds’ in North London derby as Arsenal boss seeks to eradicate their ill-discipline
- Mikel Arteta’s side is hampered by moments of ill-discipline
- Arsenal were thrashed by Manchester City after Granit Xhaka was sent off
- The midfielder returns from suspension for Sunday’s derby in North London
Mikel Arteta has urged his players to keep their cool as he prepares to welcome Granit Xhaka back after being suspended from Sunday’s derby in north London.
Xhaka is available again after being shown an outright red card in Arsenal’s 5-0 defeat to Manchester City before the international break, a costly incident that Arteta spoke to the midfielder about following the match.
It was the last time a moment of ill-discipline hampered Arteta’s side after matches against Leeds, Burnley, Southampton, Wolves and Villarreal last season in which they sent a man off the field and failed to win.
Arsenal were thrashed 5-0 by Manchester City after Granit Xhaka was sent off
Arteta said: “If we do what we did last year and play four or five games with ten players, we know we will suffer in this competition.
“It’s something we want to eradicate. We have to play cool and understand what the limits are in the game and what you can and cannot do.’
At the same time, the North London derby is a special occasion and Arteta will reiterate its importance to its players.
Mikel Arteta has urged his players to keep their cool in Sunday’s North London derby
The former Arsenal midfielder said: ‘They do’ [know what it means] and I’ll make sure they understand what it means.
“The history between the two clubs and where this rivalry comes from and what it means emotionally to all our supporters.
“You have to play this game with a slightly different skin, because there is something more at stake.”