Arteta on Rice’s substitution at halftime

Sep 26, 2023

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LONDON, England – Declan Rice was battling a back problem against Spurs on Sunday, according to the boss of Arsenal.

Declan Rice was forced to leave the field at halftime of Arsenal’s 2-2 tie with Tottenham Hotspur due to a back issue, according to Mikel Arteta. 

After the game, Arteta said, “He had some back discomfort and was telling us during the first half that he wasn’t comfortable.

“We had to change him when we assessed him at halftime because he couldn’t continue.”

How come Rice exploded?

Hear what Glenn Hoddle, Mikel Arteta, Michael Owen, Sol Campbell, and the Arsenal midfielder had to say about leaving the game against Spurs.

The severity of Rice’s back issue is yet unknown, according to Arteta, who also said that the midfielder will need to be examined before playing in four games across three different tournaments before the next international break. 

As part of a stretch that ends with a home game against league-leading Manchester City on October 8, Arsenal will play Brentford in the Carabao Cup, AFC Bournemouth in the Premier League, and Lens in the UEFA Champions League.

“Hopefully not [out for long], but we have to assess him,” Arteta continued. Although I hope not, we’ll have to wait and see. “It’s strange that a player like him asks to come off because he wasn’t uncomfortable.”

For Arsenal, it’s the latest in a string of early-season injuries. Against Spurs, the team was missing Gabriel Martinelli, Leandro Trossard, Jurrien Timber, and Thomas Partey. 

However, Arteta is not anxious about the circumstances. He argues that these injuries are not related to the team’s participation in the Champions League during the team’s midweek break and that it will provide possibilities for Arsenal’s squad players to step up.

Because we were without five key players today, he stated, “It was already a test today, but it’s what we have.” We have a game every three days and that’s the level we have to demonstrate, so let’s go for it. We need to trust and give opportunities to the other players.

There were times when we played super hype, and in these derbies, the stage, the atmosphere, and the energy to play there, and to play at the same pace when you don’t have the ball, and when you get the ball back. We lacked the composure to be much more dangerous because we could have been.

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