Mikel Arteta hails his youngsters as a ‘joy to watch’ after Arsenal ease 4-0 past Slavia Prague on Thursday night.


Arsenal set a Semi-finals tie against his former manager Unai Emery’s side Villarreal. Emery’s Academy graduates Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka both starred for the Gunners.

After the match, Arteta lavished praises to the pair after an outstanding performance that saw the Gunners hitting three goals in six minutes.

“For me it is a joy to watch them play, to watch them every day in training,’ Arteta said

He added, “How they behave, the passion and the commitment they have for the club. And then how much they like to play football.”

Arteta explains that he let them express themselves, gives them frameworks to work. He insists that he offers the youngsters some ideas on how they can exploit their qualities.

“Credit to (all) the players, for how they approached the game and how brave they were in their approach.

“We were brave, we were efficient, we put them under a lot of pressure. And in the final third we were really clinical,” he continued.

“We know how important the competition is,” Arteta added.

Also, Saka spoke after the game, insists, “It was fantastic from start to finish.”

“I think we showed real character. We kept going, we were really strong in the first half and pretty much killed the game in the first half,” he continued.

Meanwhile, Former Gunners boss Unai Emery says his history with Arsenal is ‘less important,’ vows to secure Villarreal’s first-ever European final.

“Breaking the barrier of the semi-finals is the great challenge,” Emery said.

‘The idea of reaching the Champions League through the Europa League is very important. When I signed here this was one more process. My past at Arsenal is less important,” he stated.