David Luiz has dominated the headlines today for all the wrong reasons, but the reaction of Mikel Arteta is an interesting one.
You could understand if he decided to throw the veteran under the bus and blamed him for the defeat, but it appears he’s doing the opposite and is trying to stick by his man:
On Zoom presser with Mikel Arteta. Admits #afc may release David Luiz due to financial pressures but says he'll "defend him with everything I have". "We cannot forget the financial situation. The way that Covid-19 has hit every club & the economy, it’s going to have an impact."
— James Olley (@JamesOlley) June 18, 2020
It’s a move that might surprise many, as it’s clear that the Arsenal squad needs a lot of work, and this statement clearly shows that there won’t be a lot of money to bring in new faces.
Luiz turned 33 earlier this year so there’s no way that he’ll be seen as a long term solution in the defence, but this shows he must be a good influence behind the scenes as Arteta wants him to stay.
It may also be a damning indictment of the other defenders that the coach doesn’t trust them enough to handle the departure of a player who’s made mistakes throughout his career.
Hopefully Luiz takes some confidence from these words and bounces back when he returns from suspension, but we all know that everyone will just be waiting on his next howler.