Mikel Arteta throws down gauntlet to Ivan Toney ahead of Arsenal trip to Brentford

·2-min read
Mikel Arteta shouting during a match Credit: PA Images
Mikel Arteta shouting during a match Credit: PA Images

Mikel Arteta has dared Ivan Toney to tweet another message about Arsenal for him to use in his teamtalk ahead of their trip to Brentford on Sunday.

The Gunners boss used a post by Toney as inspiration ahead of the 2-1 win a the Emirates in February.

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As revealed in the Amazon Prime documentary All or Nothing, Arteta spoke to his team about how the striker’s message after Brentford’s 2-0 win earlier in the season had been bugging him.

“Before I go, because it’s still in my stomach and I have managed to keep it for four months, five months, six months,” Arteta said, pointing to the tweet on the screen. “This is Toney after the game when we played at Brentford. You know what he did? You know his tweet? ‘Nice kick about with the boys’.

“So today they play in our house, guys there is only one team on that f***ing pitch – and it’s us! Only one team, it’s like they don’t play football. We take that f***ing ball, we take the game, we go for it and let’s f***ing win this game!”

Arsenal travel to Brentford on Sunday, and Arteta said in his press conference that he would welcome more motivational material from Toney beforehand.

“I haven’t written the script for the pre-match message on Sunday, so if he has any messages he wants to post before then, I could always write them down,” Arteta said with a smile on his face.

“I think his is a great story. This country has had stories like this in the last few seasons – the same with Jamie Vardy – and how his career happened is extraordinary.

“It shows opportunities are open for anybody, it is just about showing consistency and quality and belief. It can happen at any age.”

Toney has been rewarded for a fine start to the season which has seen him score five goals in six games with his first England call-up, and manager Gareth Southgate has explained his reasoning behind selecting the 26-year-old.

“With Ivan Toney, we have been tracking him for a long time. I had a good chat with Thomas Frank about him last season,” Southgate said.

“His form and his qualities – not only his goalscoring but his technical ability, build-up play and aerial prowess – gives us a different threat to some of the other players we could pick.”

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