Arteta will stay Arsenal’s spot kick king despite Fulham miss

21:18 16 November 2012

Arsenal

Arsenal's Mikel Arteta (right) holds his head in his hands after having a last-minute penalty saved by Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer (left) who celebrates with team-mates. Photo credit: Adam Davy/EMPICS

EMPICS Sport

Mikel Arteta will remain Arsenal’s number one penalty taker despite missing a late spot-kick in the 3-3 draw with Fulham last weekend.

Arsenal host north London rivals Tottenham tomorrow lunch time and the Spaniard is one of a number of players struggling with niggles that manager Arsene Wenger is sweating over.

But should the midfielder recover from a hip problem then the Gunners boss said “of course” he will back him from 12-yards should they win a penalty against Spurs.

“He took it because in my list he’s the number one, Wenger said of Arteta’s dramatic last minute chance, saved by Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer.

“If he had not done it I would have questioned him.

“[Lukas] Podolski was number two and he was not on the pitch. [Theo] Walcott was number three and he was not on the pitch as well.

“It was him or [Santi] Cazorla to take it.”

The Arsenal boss added: “He [Arteta] was completely upset. Mikel is a guy who is highly focused and motivated to win the game every time.

“One thing you cannot question about Mikel Arteta is his desire to win and to do well for the team.

“Then, on the other hand you want your players to have personality and take responsibility.

“[With] penalties; give me one player in the world that’s never missed a penalty.

“[Lionel] Messi scored 76 last year but he missed one against Chelsea in the semi-final of the Champions League.

“[Andrea] Pirlo missed, everybody has missed.

“That’s part of the game and you have to accept that.

“Of course it’s frustrating but when someone misses people say, ‘why did you not name another one?’

“The other one could have missed as well that’s the simple reality of our game.”

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