Fabio Vieira spoke to the media on Wednesday afternoon ahead of a clash against familiar opposition, as we gear up to face Sporting CP in the second leg of our Europa League round-of-16 tie at Emirates Stadium on Thursday night.
Our Portuguese midfielder was asked about his adaption to English football, his friendship with Gabriel Martinelli, his aims for this season and much more.
Read on for a full transcript of Fabio's press conference...
on how he’s finding life at Arsenal:
I feel comfortable here. After a few months, I can say that I feel at home here, I feel confident and comfortable. I’m really enjoying being here and ready to go forward.
on if it was difficult joining us while injured:
Yes, of course. I arrived here with an injury and of course, it’s always different for a new player when they arrive in a new country, there’s a different culture, everything is different, so yes, it was hard for me, but after a few months I’m ready and I’m enjoying it. I’ve developed a lot and I’m here to help the team.
on if the manager has helped him to settle:
Yes, from the beginning he spoke to me and told me what he expects from me. Of course, he told me what I can do for the team and how to help the team as much as I can and he’s always tried to help me on the pitch and outside.
on how he’s found adapting to the Premier League:
It’s different. In England it’s more physical, in Portugal it’s more technical, you have to adapt of course, it’s a different time of game, but now after a few months I’ve developed a lot, I’m improving a lot every day to try and do my best.
on what he’s changed to help him adapt to the Premier League:
I’ve changed the way I work in the gym, of course, also on the pitch. I think the most important thing is on the pitch, that’s where you play, of course outside the pitch is very important as well. You need to improve your physicality and I’m improving.
on comparions to Bernardo Silva:
I admire him, he’s an extraordinary player. I know him from Portugal, he played at Benfica and I know him very well. I think we are similar players, with similar qualities as well and of course, I admire him.
on if he spoke to Silva before moving to England:
No, we didn’t talk.
on if he sees himself having a similar impact in England as Silva:
I arrived here with an injury, that’s always difficult for any player, we are always one step behind. I improved a lot, I work a lot and I think this is a question of time, for me to be there and help the team and show my qualities to the supporters and let’s see.
on if Martin Odegaard’s adaptation is an example to follow:
Yes, as I said, it’s a question of time. You have to improve your body, your capacities, your qualities and I’m improving a lot in the gym, for example, to be better in my physicality. In Spain and Portugal, it’s a similar type of game, very technical, here it’s very different, it’s more physical, and for me and the skinny players it’s more difficult. Yes, we have to improve and wait for our chances to show our qualities.
on if he can play in the same system as Odegaard:
Yes, we can play in the same team. I think we are very similar, we are both left-footed, we have a lot of qualities. I admire him a lot and we can help and learn from each other.
on his history playing against Sporting CP for Porto:
I played against them of course a lot of times in Portugal. I know them very well, I know the players, I know the coach as well. They have a good team, they’re well organised, but we know this, we have been working this week, we know what to expect from the game and we know what we want from the game. We have to be focussed to beat them and we need to attack their box as much as we can to score.
on his relationship with his teammates:
I think we have a good friendship between us. We are always joking with each other and this is very important in any team. I think the spirit around the team is good and this is very important for us.
on how important Gabriel Jesus’ return from injury is:
Yeah, he’s a very special player. Everyone knows him, he has a lot of qualities, he can bring us a lot of qualities and we are very happy for him to be back and he’s one more player who can help us to win.
on where the Europa League sits in our priorities this season:
We need to think step-by-step and game-by-game. We have been doing a great job so far and we have to keep doing this with the same focus, thinking game-by-game and of course, we want to win the Premier League and we want to win the Europa League as well, but we need to go step-by-step.
on his friendship with Martinelli:
I didn’t know him before I came to Arsenal. We met in Germany in the pre-season, we started to talk and this was the connection from the beginning, I cannot explain it! I really like him, he’s a good guy, a good person, he’s very humble and has a good heart.
on if he’s hoping for more moments on the pitch with Gabi:
Yeah, of course. As I said, I’m here to help the team as much as I can, I like to assist my teammates and if I have chances to do that, I will assist. I was very happy to assist Gabi and I was very happy for him to score.
on his personal goal for this season:
I want to develop a lot, improve a lot in my physicality, in my defence positioning, I think I can be better and I’m here to do it. I want to be part of this team, I want to be there to help them and of course, I want to win the Premier League, that would be a dream come. I want to win both competitions, the Europa League and the Premier League.
on what he meant by the Premier League being tricky for skinny players:
I think when you don’t have the physicality, you need the intelligence. I’m an intelligent player and, as I said before, I just need to improve my positioning on the pitch to create more space for me to get assists or goals.
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