This isn’t Disneyland! Mikel Arteta plays down Oleksandr Zinchenko and Ben White heated on-pitch row and jokes pair have been ‘living together and sharing wives’ ahead of Arsenal’s key clash with Liverpool

  • Zinchenko and White clashed at full-time after Arsenal beat Nottingham Forest
  • Arteta played down the incident as the Gunners prepare to welcome Liverpool
  • Arsenal could have saved the Kai Havertz money to buy a striker this January! It’s All Kicking Off Transfer Week podcast 

Mikel Arteta said competing in the Premier League isn’t ‘Disneyland’ as he played down the row between Oleksandr Zinchenko and Ben White.

The pair clashed at the final whistle of Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest on Tuesday.

Ahead of their crucial match against Liverpool on Sunday, Arteta said: ‘Maybe we have a different understanding of what the word fight means.

‘I want to see passion and commitment. I want my players to always have the desire to be better and be demanding. If not, its Disneyland.’

He went on to quip: ‘They’ve (Zinchenko and White) been in the same house the past few days sharing wives and everything!

Ben White and Oleksandr Zinchenko were caught up in a furious bust-up after the final whistle on Tuesday night following the Gunners’ 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest

Arteta was seen consoling a furious Zinchenko following the full-time whistle

White clashed with his fellow Gunners defender over the late goal that was conceded

Mikel Arteta was seen speaking to both Arsenal stars following the post-match bust-up

Arteta has since made light of the row between Zinchenko and White at his press conference

Arteta has since made light of the row between Zinchenko and White at his press conference

‘It’s fine, they’re living together now. They’re best mates. You don’t argue with someone if you don’t have a great relationship. That happens because you have the trust and chemistry with somebody to react the way they did.’

Arteta is aware of the threat Jurgen Klopp’s men pose and wants goals in any which way.

‘I don’t mind ugly goals,’ he said. I love ugly goals. I love cheap goals. Let’s have them. But, you have to produce them.’

A major blow is Thomas Partey, who is unavailable once again. 

The midfielder has not played for the Gunners for almost four months with a serious thigh problem, which forced him to undergo surgery.

Arteta confirmed midfielder Thomas Partey has suffered a setback in his recovery from injury

Arteta confirmed midfielder Thomas Partey has suffered a setback in his recovery from injury

The Ghanaian was targeting to be in contention for this weekend but has now suffered a setback in the same area earlier a couple of days ago.

Arteta added: ‘With Thomas unfortunately we had a little setback a few days ago. He’s not going to be available in the squad. 

‘We’ll see if it’s a matter of days of weeks but he had a little thing.

‘I’m not a doctor, but he felt something in a very similar area and he wasn’t able to train the last few days.’

Arsenal host Liverpool on Sunday in a key match in the title race, with Arteta’s side five points behind the Premier League leaders.

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