Mikel Arteta is hoping that fans remain patient with Arsenal midfielder Fabio Vieira while he defended young goalkeeper Karl Hein.
The Gunners have made a brilliant start to the Premier League season with 11 wins from 13 to take them to the summit of the table.
Victory over Chelsea at the weekend saw them maintain their two-point lead over defending champions Manchester City ahead of the World Cup break.
But Arteta made 10 changes against Brighton last night as they lost 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium to Roberto De Zerbi’s men in the Carabao Cup.
Vieira, who was one of their big summer signings, started their defeat to the Seagulls before being substituted for Gabriel Jesus on 72 minutes.
Martin Odegaard, Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey are currently ahead of Vieira in the pecking order at Arsenal and the Portugal international failed to impress in his chance against Brighton.
But Arteta believes Vieira will come good in time, he told reporters: “I think in front of goal he’s been unlucky because in the past two games he could have scored a few goals.
“But every player needs time to adapt obviously. When he played against Brentford away from home and he’s surrounded with players he’s more familiar with it’s a bit easier.
“We’ve asked him to play lots of different positions as well because of the needs that we have in the squad. But, I’m not worried at all.”
Another player to get his chance was young goalkeeper Hein – who was given his Arsenal debut against Brighton – but the Estonian gave away a penalty when he brought down Danny Welbeck in the box.
Hein could’ve also done better with the third goal but Arteta is backing the goalkeeper to bounce back from his disappointing display.
Arteta added: “I think he [Hein] deserves the chance. He’s the first goalie of the national team and at his age that’s not usual.
“If I have to play him tomorrow again I would. Errors are part of football.”
On the game in general, Arteta continued: “The view is that the result doesn’t reflect what happened on the pitch I think it’s clear.
“In moments where we clearly on top of the game we didn’t take our opportunities. There was a big difference between efficiency in both areas and we paid a big price for it.
“It’s a shame for the boys because I think they really tried and we should have scored two or three in the second half. I would select the same players if I had the opportunity again.”
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