Arteta on West Ham, Saka, transfers, top four | Press conference | News

Mikel Arteta faced the media on Friday ahead of our Premier League clash with West Ham at the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The boss was asked about the latest squad news, Bukayo Saka’s form, our summer transfer plans, the top-four race and the challenge posed by David Moyes’ squad, among other topics.

Read on for a full transcript:

on Bukayo Saka’s injury…
I hope he will be fine. He had some problems in the last part of the match but he recovered well and we expect him to be available.

on the healing of Thomas Partey…
He’s progressing but he’s had a significant injury, a recurring injury as well, so we don’t expect him to progress that quickly to see that this season, but I hope I’m wrong.

on Takehiro Tomiyasu…
You only know when a player has been out for a long time when you put them on the pitch. He hasn’t started any matches yet. He missed some time on the pitch so that’s a decision we’ll make tomorrow.

if it’s a two-horse race for the top four…
I don’t think, there will still be twists and turns, we all have difficult games to play. We all know how hard it is to win games in the Premier League and now we’ve had two very good results which put us in a very good position. But it’s about doing it again at West Ham.

on the size of a third straight win…
I think in the league when you are able to win back-to-back away and home, that gives you a huge platform and things change quickly. We have some momentum now and we want to make the most of it.

on West Ham playing between the Europa League semi-finals…
They’ve been doing that all season and they’ve been very good in both competitions. They also have a great team, they have many different options to change their players and maintain their level. So I don’t see that. We played games on Wednesday night and Saturday at 12:30, we managed to beat them, so I don’t think about that.

improving since playing away for West Ham last season…
I hope very much, especially what we did in the first 20 or 30 minutes of this game, we put ourselves in a really difficult position. It’s true that we reacted phenomenally well, but we want to start the match in a different way.

on the revival of Granit Xhaka…
[It’s due to] things that are going on in his life, his private life, he is a father now. He’s been through a lot, he’s been through some tough times here, he’s found a lot of internal support to deal with certain situations. His character, his way of approaching problems, his desire to change things, to constantly improve, to become a better person and a better player, so let’s congratulate him for what he has done.

on Jurgen Klopp’s new contract…
We’re tired of deciding what’s good for us, so whatever other teams do, I guess it’s to keep them at the top level. Jurgen has shown what he offers the club over the past six years.

play after Tottenham in the coming weeks…
I think everyone knows that. The last time they played before us, we didn’t take advantage of that and it’s also the other way around that we can focus on what we can do.

on the benefits of losing Tottenham…
If we win, yes. If they lose and we win, obviously we have one game less in a much stronger position.

on West Ham playing in Europe and competing in the Premier League…
It’s very demanding but you watched the game yesterday and the chances they created and the chances they missed it could have been very very different so I don’t think it’s a performance issue but of course it’s demanding when you play three times a week.

on the benefits of a season outside Europe…
That’s what we had. I said we were going to fight to make the most of it and try to play in our favor and try to take advantage of this situation.

on the new experience for players to play under pressure…
For most of them it is but it’s been like this for two or three months where everyone talks about it and they can feel the importance of every game but that’s what we want in April and in May, so that things are played out.

on what’s changed from this time last year…
We have very different players in the team and we have a very different environment. I think the unity that exists at the moment between the team, the staff, our supporters and outside is completely different and is very very beneficial for the team and obviously the way the team has evolved in his understanding of what we want to do is much better, the execution is much better, the consistency of results is better and what we’re trying to do is look to be better every day and probably what we’ve been doing a year ago is what you see now.

on whether he is a better manager now than he was last year…
I hope I am and it will be the same tomorrow. This is my daily goal.

whether he knows his plan for the summer…
Yes.

on whether he’s identified any talent for the summer window despite where we end…
It’s not that easy but the plan is very clear.

on Hector Bellerin…
Any player who has a contractual obligation with us, both ways, is our player and is considered our player, so every plan is considered if that possibility exists and how he might fit into our team.

on whether West Ham and Leicester will rest the players…
It’s a decision on how they manage their team, how they get the most out of it, and how close they think they are to achieving something that they need to prioritize. You must respect this decision.

if it complicates the preparation…
We guess here. We don’t know what they think about it, what they think is better to prepare for the match. All we do is prepare for the game in the normal way and know that it may vary and there may be options.

on Saka’s mental strength after the Euros…
The first two conversations I had [with him] it was right after the incident but Gareth Southgate was also very helpful because he had Bukayo on his hands at that time and they really cared about him and really supported him so by the time he joined us, he was in a very good place. Obviously, he received all the support, love and help he needed to get through this situation, and then it was up to him and his family who helped him a lot.

on the pressure our young players are under with England…
Yes, but I think they do it in their clubs and it’s really very important so again the level of requirement is not that high, they are already key and important players in their own clubs, so they are used to that pressure and at international level it’s something very different, but I think they have the maturity and they have the ability to maintain that level under pressure because they do it every week in their clubs.

against Everton on the last day of the season…
As you said, the manager only watches his next game. You have already answered your own question!

on Tomiyasu’s ability with his weaker foot…
Well, when we follow the player and we identify him as one of the candidates, obviously this is one of the things that I came across and it gives a lot of solutions. Not only because he can use both feet but he can play right centre-back, left centre-back, he can play left-back which gives you huge variability and that’s the way they were brought up and trained from a very young age, that’s what he says so for him, left and right is the same.

if he talked to Tomiyasu about using his weaker foot…
Yes, I asked him how he was coached, it’s always very interesting things that we can take into account and get involved and put in place in our club, because it’s so beneficial, so it is important to understand other coaches and other ways of coaching.

if Saka is our penalty taker…
Well, tomorrow if someone has to take a penalty, they will. Again, but it happened quite naturally in the Chelsea game, he took it and the next game we had another one and hopefully he can keep putting the ball in the back of the net.

Copyright 2022 Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to proper credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.