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Arteta keeps penalty duties

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said midfielder Mikel Arteta will remain their penalty taker, despite his late miss in their draw with Fulham.

The Spaniard saw his spot-kick attempt saved by Mark Schwarzer just seconds before the referee blew the full-time whistle on their 3-3 draw at the Emirates.

But Wenger said should the former Everton man pass a late fitness test prior to the upcoming clash with Tottenham, he will take on penalty duties again.

“He took it because in my list he’s the number one,” Wenger told London 24.

“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.

“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.”

Wenger went on to list a number of stars who have miscued spot-kicks and claimed Arteta should not be scrutinised for his miss.

He continued: “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.”

Sat 17 Nov, 2012
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