Press conference

Arteta on the defeat, Martinelli, Elneny and more

Mikel Arteta gave an honest assessment of our display of our defeat to Manchester United on Thursday.

Read on for a full transcript from the boss as he discusses the performance, Gabriel Martinelli and more.

on whether he's disappointed we didn’t win the game after drawing level…

Well, we scored the first one and after that we had total control of the game. We started to give some very simple balls away in very dangerous areas that opened some spaces for them, and gave them some momentum. We had some difficulties there, (and we) we conceded the goal. The second half I think we started really well again - we had total control, we concede the goal and we reacted really well, we kept playing, and we were dominant in the game. We scored the second one, and then after that we have to go and show the maturity to going and score the third one. In that moment we did not manage well enough that situation, and we conceded the goal. So, I’m pleased with a lot of things that I saw, but being realistic (after) conceding three goals at Old Trafford, it’s very tricky to get something out of the game.

on whether he saw that the goalkeeper was down for the opening goal…

No it was a very quick action, and afterwards we didn’t know what to expect. I was talking to the fourth official, and they allowed the goal. But I have seen (it since).

on Martinelli’s performance…

Yes he looked a threat. He had a big chance in the first half, and he probably should have played on. He created assists, he worked extremely hard, and he had some really good moments - he looked a threat.

on if he felt the team were too comfortable after the first goal...

No I think we were sloppy in possession. We gave the ball away to the opponent, and we had no pressure there. That created strong momentum that allowed them to run, and they had the structure to play - and suddenly we started to give the ball away. So many unforced errors that led to them having belief that they could do something in the game. I didn’t see a team with the handbrake, I saw a team that wanted to impose (themselves) here. They were dominant, we played with the right structure and the right freedom at the same time. But we didn’t defend our box well enough well, and manage some situations well enough to concede the way did.

on whether he felt some the senior players performed well enough today…

Certainly it's the balance we need, and that the balance is right. The senior players have to lead, and the young players have to follow.

on how he plays to stop players from dropping off after they score first…

Well I don’t know, it’s very difficult because when you are in [possession of] the ball, you have to make decisions - and I want to encourage them to do what they feel. But you know against those teams you get punished immediately, with the quality and amount of players that they can play (against) you straight away.

on starting Elneny over Sambi…

[To be able] to play a player like him, with that experience that he has playing in this arena. He was incredibly good last year when he played here as well. He way he has been training, and the way he behaves, and because I believe that sometimes we have to rotate things for the game.

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