Press conference

Arteta on the win, Jesus, Saliba and USA support

Mikel Arteta

After watching his side cruise to a 2-0 win over Everton, Mikel Arteta paid special praise to his new striker Gabriel Jesus, who made it three goals in just two halves of football since signing from Manchester City.

The boss also summarised the game, spoke about Matt Turner’s performance, the impact of the American supporters, William Saliba’s contribution, and also updated on Bukayo Saka’s contract situation.

Read on for a full transcript of his post-match press conference in Baltimore Ravens’ M&T Bank Stadium.

on how useful that was…
It was good, two really different halves. I think the first half we were really good, really intense. We understood where the spaces were and the execution was really good. We were a threat all the time, we had a lot of bodies attacking. We were really direct, the counter press was top, I really liked that we conceded nothing. The second half we started a bit sloppy. We changed the formation and we had too many giveaways, it didn’t give us control of the match. We last 20 minutes we changed again and I think we got control again. Overall the boys have done what they are doing in training. They are training really well, really high intensity in every session and you can see the way they play.

on Gabriel Jesus…
He looks really sharp, really dynamic. (He’s got) a really good understanding with his team-mates straight away. They are looking for him, he’s generating chances, good connections around specific spaces we want to exploit with him especially, and yeah, we’re really happy.

on whether playing as a No. 9 is his best position…
Well he’s very versatile, but obviously, the way we would like to develop him, is in that position. But not on his own sometimes, but don’t close that door because Gabby in relation to what the opponent does in certain games we are going to have to use him in different positions. He is open to that and he knows it’s part of his strength as well.

on the qualities Nketiah and Jesus have…
They have everything that we need. First of all they are really intense, both of them. They way they can press, the way they can sustain pressure with the opponent is great. Both of them can thread it in behind which allows people to have spaces inside. They are really good in link up play and both have an eye for goal, which is what the 9s do. But they are not just 9s, they have all the qualities for the way we play, they are fantastic.

on whether you need a traditional No. 9…
It depends, look at Harry Kane, look at Haaland. I think at the moment there are certain strikers that are available, they grow, they have their moments in European football. It depends on the qualities, another one with completely different qualities scores 45 goals every season. So it’s what is available and what the team needs.

on what he wants in the team…
You want to have everything! You want to have 6ft, one that plays as a false 9, but what I can say is I’m really happy with the strikers that we have.

on his intensity…
He creates chaos, he creates uncertainty and he’s always on your shoulder. He’s always there to nick the ball off you, he’s always in front of the goal. He’s a real threat and this is what we need. And then he’s the one. The moment we give the ball away he is straight away active and putting pressure and getting his team behind him. He has a lot of leadership skills, I can see straight away what he’s doing with the boys and he’s the type of guy that we want.

on whether he has nasty streak…
I love those kind of players, streetwise. They learn a lot, they know how to feel, they can take advantage of any situation and that’s what we need.

on whether we need that…
They have other qualities as well and Gabby and Eddie as well bring different qualities.

on how Matt Turner has settled…
I’m really happy with him. The way he has settled in, he’s an extraordinary character, a lot of personality and he’s great at what we want. Obviously, it was a big moment for him to come in an Arsenal shirt in the States and play in front of the crowd and he did well.

on what he wants to see from Turner…
That he continues to do the same and he will keep having chances to play.

on the fans in Baltimore…
It’s been great. We didn’t know what to expect, I think it was 40,000 supporters here, 35,000 Arsenal fans, so thank you so much. For them to come, they really make a difference, the players appreciated that and that’s why they did the lap of honour with them. It was incredible and we’re happy, so thank you.

on if he expected the fans to be so vocal…
Well, they have been very passionate. They’ve been outside the hotel waiting for hours, so they’ve been pretty consistent in the last few days and it shows the engagement that they have with the team and the place.

on what a crowd can do for a player’s confidence…
For some of them it’s the first time that they’re experiencing this in the States and that means that they start to get some recognition all around the world and that’s great for the boys and the work that they’re doing.

on Bukayo Saka signing a contract extension…
We will try and we both have the same intention and it’s a matter of time.

on William Saliba’s performance…
He was really good. I think he played a really good game, he looked really composed, straight away from day one he looked completely focussed, he’s evolved the way we wanted and today I think he had a great performance.

on Ben White’s fitness…
He had a niggle in his quad and we had to protect him, but he trained with the squad yesterday, so hopefully he will be alright.

on any injury problems in the squad…
We had Kieran with a slight problem, we had Emile as well with a muscular niggle, Tomiyasu as well and Ben. The rest of them are fine, but it’s a matter of days with them.

on Fabio Vieira’s fitness…
He had a slight problem in his bone and hopefully he will start to train in the next week or so.

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