Press conference

Arteta on the win, Lacazette, Odegaard and more

Mikel Arteta had plenty of reason to celebrate, as we returned to winning ways in emphatic style on Saturday.

Despite a sluggish start, we soon took control, moving up to within a point of West Ham United, who we face next - on Wednesday back at the Emirates.

Our manager also covered Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's absence from the squad, Alexandre Lacazette's performance and Martin Odegaard's goalscoring form.

Read on for a full transcript of his post-match press conference.

on the performance…

Yes, in the first 15 minutes we started the game a little bit nervy, we gave some difficult balls away and we could not dominate the game. After that I think we picked up the rhythm of the game. We scored a really, really good goal and after that we went on to start dominating the game better and better. After half-time we encouraged the players to keep going, and try to be a threat and attack them. I think we did that really well and we created more chances to score more goals. So I think overall - and after a defeat - I think it’s good to get a performance like that, and a result like this.

on Aubameyang missing the game…

It was a disciplinary breach, and that’s why he was out of the squad.

on whether he remains captain…

Let’s talk about the game. I tried to explain why it was, and I did it frankly. I’m not going to say anything else, I’m going to focus on the performance and the quality that was on the pitch. 

on whether Aubameyang was available to play today….

I am really happy that we won 3-0, and we move onto the next one against West Ham.

on whether he was worried it would have an effect on the squad…

I’ve said it in the press before - unfortunately it happened.

on whether he expects more from the captain…

I expect from the team what I saw today, and I’m really happy with that.

on Odegaard’s current run of form…

Yeah and he should have scored a hat-trick against Everton. He’s making it into the box much more and now he understands why we encourage him to do that. Because then he is a match winner - that’s the difference between a very good player and a match winner - and we need more of those players on the pitch, to win more of our games.

on why he took Gabriel off in the second half…

He had a booking so I decided to take him off.

on whether Aubameyang was at training yesterday…

Again, I cannot say anything else. Obviously I tried to explain the reasons why, and I couldn’t have done it in a different way - thank you for understanding.

on the quality of the performance…

It’s just one game, and we scored three, we could have scored more. That’s it, it’s just a game.

on the West Ham game…

Well it's a big game obviously, in a few days' time, with west Ham, and we know what they have done this season, why they are where they are. It's a big opportunity for us at home.

on Alexandre Lacazette's performance…

I was really happy with him, he has done everything we asked him to do in the game. First of all he has come in and his defensive actions were top, and then the way he linked in, the way he understood the spaces and the threat that he was in the box. That's why he scored the goal and he had opportunities to do that. He really affected the team and I am really pleased with him.

on Lacazette's opener…

We needed that. As I said we started a little bit nervy, we could not break the press and we gave some dangerous balls away in key zones where normally against them you get punished. We got away with that situation. And then the team showed a different level, the confidence started to grow, we started to play better and better and we managed to dominate the game.

on controlling the game in the second half…

Yes and that's what we have to do more often and more consistently. That's what we want to do and how we want to play, but to do that you have to have the right possibilities to arrive in the final third with our set up. And the threat we had today, to have the right intentions, to be vertical with our attack and to take risks and be a threat on goal.

on showing resilience…

Yes, but it's about results, because we went to Manchester United and we played better than we did last year, but last year we won at Old Trafford and this year we lost. We went to Everton and we did better than last year, again we had moments I wasn't happy with, but watching it back, we didn't deserve to lose that game. But we did, and we have to find our way. When the opposition is better than us we have to shake hands, but when we are better than them we have to get much more from the games.

on whether Auba is available for the West Ham game…

I explained what happened today and the reason why he wasn't involved today, and that's all I'm going to say.

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