Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta explains why Eddie Nketiah starts over Alexandre Lacazette and Gabriel Martinelli against Newcastle Metro Sport ReporterSunday 16 Feb 2020 4:14 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link3.8kShares Advertisement Comment Advertisement Ceballos starts for the first time under Arteta (Picture: Getty)Arteta has called on his players to bring energy to the field and press the opposition as a unit at the Emirates.‘I think we have to generate some defensive stability, but not by defending deep. I don’t like that,’ he said.‘It’s by defending high and pressing the opponent as much as possible. But the process – together as many times as possible in the most efficient way – has to be done properly from here.‘If not, in two passes when you arrive there, that transition is impossible to control because you are too far from the opponent.‘So we need to do that well first to be able to generate and sustain our attacks as many times as possible during the games.’More: FootballBruno Fernandes responds to Man Utd bust-up rumours with Ole Gunnar SolskjaerNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesAubameyang has warned his team-mates about the ‘threat’ of Newcastle winger Allan Saint-Maximin, a player he knows well from their time together at Saint-Etienne.‘Newcastle are a solid side. I expect them to play quite deep so we will need to find a way of unlocking their back five,’ he said in Arsenal’s official matchday programme.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘But also be careful not to give them too much space on the counter, especially if Allan Saint Maximin is playing.‘He is a threat. I know him very well as he was at the Saint-Etienne academy when I was at the club. He used to come and train with us in the first team. He has great skills and pace too.‘But we are home and we have the belief that we will win with 1,000% commitment and motivation.’MORE: Kanu rates Mikel Arteta’s start as Arsenal boss Eddie Nketiah starts up front for Arsenal at home to Newcastle (Picture: Getty)Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta says he ‘trusts’ Eddie Nketiah’s ability in front of goal after naming the youngster in his starting XI over Alexandre Lacazette and Gabriel Martinelli at home to Newcastle.The Gunners kept hold of Nketiah after his loan spell with Leeds in the first half of the season and the 20-year-old forward scored on his return as Arteta’s men beat Bournemouth to reach the FA Cup fifth round.Nketiah then came off the bench as Burnley held Arsenal to a goalless draw before the winter break, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Lacazette and Martinelli starting in attack at Turf Moor.AdvertisementAdvertisementArsenal captain Aubameyang has kept his place in Arteta’s starting XI for Sunday’s clash with Newcastle, but Lacazette and Martinelli start on the substitutes bench at the Emirates.ADVERTISEMENTMore: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityDani Ceballos, who has returned to full fitness following a frustrating hamstring injury, starts for the first time under Arteta and the Spaniard plays alongside Mesut Ozil and Granit Xhaka in midfield.Asked about his surprise decision to select Nketiah up front with Aubameyang, Arteta told Sky Sports: ‘He’s been training really well. He’s a kid who has a goal in him.‘I believe we have a game ahead with a really low block and numbers behind the ball.‘He’s a very talented player to find goals in goalscoring situations and I trust him, that’s why I decided to keep him.’ Martinelli and Lacazette start on the substitutes bench at the Emirates (Picture: Getty)On his decision to start Ceballos, Arteta added: ‘Dani needed to pick his fitness up after the injury but he’s been training really, really well and he deserves his chance.’Asked about Mateo Guendouzi’s absence, the Spaniard simply replied: ‘It was a tactical decision.’
About the only thing that could have screwed it all up was Sterling, who had perennial, exclusive control of the infamous other shoe and was prone to drop it at the most inopportune times.The Clippers have periodically stood at the doorstep of prosperous eras, only to have Sterling blow-torch it with his penny-pinching ways or baffling basketball acumen.And in the eyes of the Lakers and everyone else, the Clippers were simply that annoying pebble that sometimes finds its way into your shoe. Bothersome, yes. But hopelessly harmless, nonetheless.That pebble on Tuesday grew into a full-fledged boulder, and with Ballmer now in charge it threatens to wreak considerable damage as it powerfully rolls across the landscape.Make no mistake, Los Angeles is and always will be a Lakers town. It will take years before that changes, if it ever will.But a cluster of events have converged so perfectly that the Clippers are finally poised to penetrate the Lakers’ powerful foothold.Sterling was always the Clippers’ greatest opponent. They would never rise to greatness with him poisoning the water at the very top.But he is no longer a concern.Beyond that, the presence of Griffin and Paul and Rivers ensures the Clippers as a viable contender in the Western Conference as well as a welcomed landing spot for future free agents.And with the Lakers standing at the ground floor of a major rebuilding project — with no light yet emerging to lead them back to prosperity — the Clippers’ window of opportunity just burst wide open.And not just locally.The San Antonio Spurs are bound to show their age at some point. And if Kevin Durant follows his heart back home to Maryland to play for the Washington Wizards, the Western Conference will suddenly look a whole lot less intimidating.The Clippers are positioned perfectly to seize the moment.And maybe grab hold of a decade in the process.Ironically, Sterling’s final act of buffoonery may have been his greatest contribution to a franchise he continually steered head-first into immovable walls over the years.It forced him to hand over the keys to an innovative, motivated, multi-billionaire who takes over with one objective in mind: To make the Clippers one of the premier franchises in professional sports.It’s up to him to put words into action, but Ballmer didn’t blow the rest of the field out of the water with his $2 billion bid to simply pull a string on his new toy and watch it scuttle about in circles.He wants to win. And he’ll do it by any means necessary and by utilizing every asset at his disposal.With the Lakers practically helpless to do anything about it for the immediate future — their roster is set for next season, and realistically it will take three years and an incredible amount of luck before they are championship-relevant again — the Clippers have the necessary talent, coach, leadership and time to finally make their move.For years, the Lakers could count on Sterling to screw it all up.For decades, the rest of the NBA looked at the Clippers with indifference.That all changed Tuesday.email@example.com @DailyNewsVinny on Twitter From the moment Donald Sterling’s voice was heard uttering those repulsive, racist comments on the now-infamous audio-taped conversation with girlfriend V. Stiviano, the NBA had no choice but to remove him as owner of the Clippers.That the league acted as swiftly and unanimously as it did between owners and players to oust Sterling is a tribute to its zero tolerance for such blatant hate and racism. And by completing construction of the remarkable bridge that delivers the Clippers from the incompetence of Sterling to the brilliance of new owner Steve Ballmer, the NBA didn’t just remove a hideous stain. It turned its weakest link into one of its strongest.But now comes a new set of problems.By ridding itself of Sterling and officially welcoming Ballmer into the club, the NBA has awakened a sleeping giant. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error One whose reach and impact will be felt as close as across the hall at Staples Center — that would be the Lakers — all the way to TD Garden in Boston.With the former Microsoft CEO as the new sheriff in town, a new day might be dawning across the NBA.The Clippers were closing in on a new, successful era even before Sterling stumbled into Stiviano’s web and exposed himself as the bungling fool he’s been over most of his 33-year ownership of the franchise.They had a young team filled with exciting superstars like Chris Paul and Blake Griffin and a respected, compelling leader in coach and general manager Doc Rivers. They played in a desirable, vibrant city in front of sellout crowds at one of the league’s premier arenas.All the necessary components were in place for a successful run.