Stuivenberg to manage Arsenal vs Man City in Mikel Arteta absence as boss confirms no new cases in squad

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Assistant coach Albert Stuivenberg will be in charge of Arsenal’s match against Manchester City on New Year’s Day, with Mikel Arteta watching on from home as he recovers from Covid-19.

Arteta tested positive for the virus earlier this week and he revealed on Friday he is feeling better after “a couple of rough days”.

The Spaniard is currently isolating at home and, in his absence, assistant Stuivenberg will be in charge of the team from the dugout on Saturday when Manchester City come to Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal are unsure what other coaches will be able to join him, with fellow assistant Steve Round missing the Boxing Day win over Norwich.

The club are, however, hopeful the playing squad has not been hit by an outbreak, with Arteta confirming as of Friday there were no new cases.

“Albert will be in charge with the rest of the team and depending who of the coaches are available because we had so many issues in that department recently,” said Arteta. “Everybody will be there trying to help as much as possible.

“I feel much, much better today. I had a couple of rough days but obviously I have experienced this before, so not bad at all.

“The rest of the squad is in a good place. We tested the players, we don’t have any other new ones other than the ones we had before.

“I met [Stuivenberg] a few years ago through another coach. Obviously he’s a coach that I knew before because of his reputation and who he’s been working under before.

“We had a really good connection, we have the same belief, we see the game in the same way, we share all of the values that we believe have to be installed at the club.

“He’s someone who is very close to me and he’s more than capable. He’s done it before so in that sense I’m very relaxed about it.”

Arteta will be watching the game at home and he has admitted it will be a difficult experience for him.

“It will be very strange,” he said. “I will need a big room so I can walk and move a little bit, because I won’t be able to stand on my sofa!

“It is a big, big game for us and it is a very frustrating thing to not be able to be there helping the team.

“But I will do my best from here, with everything that I can do, and we have prepared for every scenario possible and they know what we have to do. Then it will be up to the players to execute as much as possible what we have to do tomorrow.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Arteta will be able to communicate with coaching staff at the stadium, but he is reluctant to give too much input.

“I want to give them the possibility, the responsibility and the freedom to make decisions on the pitch, to express themselves because it’s completely different being on that touchline and close to the players and the action than being at home,” he explained.

“So I’m going to be here to support and help in certain moments but they have to get the momentum of the game and communication with the players themselves.

“I never experienced what I’m experiencing tomorrow but it is what it is. It is not going to be easy to feel frustrated and with a lack of options, because obviously I’ve not been in training session, not been able to prepare things like you want, to pass a message that you want, to have the players feeling that you are next to them.

“It’s a different experience, but we have to adapt to it and we have tried to do that the best possible way to get well prepared for tomorrow.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting