Mikel Arteta responds to Theo Walcott after he makes damning Arsenal assessment

Mikel Arteta played down Theo Walcott's damning assessment of Arsenal after Southampton held the Gunners at the Emirates.

Former Gunner Walcott said he could feel the "fear" from the Arsenal players on Wednesday night, which prompted the Saints to play with "arrogance".

"I felt a lot of fear in Arsenal tonight to be honest," said Walcott. "They're going through a very difficult time – credit to them they got the result tonight.

"But it shows how far we've come that we're very disappointed to come away without the three points. We were going into this game with so much confidence, arrogance at times.

"The Emirates has changed but I feel like they've got the right man here for the job."

Responding to his former team-mate, Arteta played down Walcott's assessment as little more than "his feeling".

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Arteta said: "He never mentioned that to me! If he said that, it is his feeling.

"The boys came out in the second half, we scored a really good goal, we were on top in the game, and again we shoot ourselves in the foot.

"I was very disappointed with the red card because in that moment I was thinking to change the centre back straight away – we didn't even have time to do that.

"In the end we got a point that considering the circumstances we have to accept."

Walcott opened the scoring for the Gunners in the first half on Wednesday night with a smart chip over Bernd Leno.

Arsenal equalised after the break through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but any momentum gained was quickly stamped out when Gabriel Magalhaes was given his marching orders.

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