Mikel Arteta defends Arsenal approach amid criticisms of their style of play

Mikel Arteta has defended his tactical approach with Arsenal amid criticism that the Gunners are setting up with not enough attacking intent.

The Gunners played Liverpool at Anfield twice in the space of four days earlier this week, losing their Premier League fixture 3-1 on Monday before battling to a penalty shootout win in the Carabao Cup on Thursday after the 90 minutes finished 0-0.

Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson was not too impressed by what he saw, however, saying: "There is some improvement and on the other hand they are playing against the best team in the country and if not the best team in Europe in Bayern Munich.

“When they go after, you just… it’s like going to Woburn Zoo next week and walking into the lions’ cage with a lorry load of steaks. You’re going to get eaten alive aren’t you?

“If you stay in your car you are going to be alright and that’s what it was.

“They are playing that way away to Liverpool, they are the best in the business. If they are going to keep playing that way there is only one result.”

But speaking ahead of Arsenal's game against Sheffield United, Arteta said he has no other choice but to be cautious against teams with the strength of Liverpool.

"When you play against a type of opponent [like Liverpool] which, at the moment, is the one of three most-dominant teams in Europe you have to know and be realistic and play the game that you are able to play against them," he said.

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"If we are able to do that game we can compete against them and give ourselves a big chance to win that game. And this is what we have to go, game by game, not forgetting where we have to get and how we're going to make that process and evolution."

It will be intriguing to see how Arsenal choose to set up against the Blades as they look to continue their impressive start to the season and record a third win out of four Premier League games.

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