Press conference

Every word from Mikel's post-Southampton presser

Mikel Arteta during our match against Southampton
Mikel Arteta during our match against Southampton

Our eight-game winning run came to an end at St Mary’s Stadium on Sunday, as Southampton struck back to claim a point on the south coast.

After the game, the manager spoke to the media and discussed whether he had any complaints about the result, was asked about a penalty appeal in the first half and gave his view on why the performance level dipped.

Here’s every word from his post-match press conference…

on whether he has any complaints:

No complaints. This is football. We were really good in the first half and controlled totally the game, we created loads of big chances that we didn’t put away. In the Premier League, unfortunately, if you don’t do that when you are top of the game you can have some difficulties.

In the second half we put ourselves in problems with the amount of giveaways that we had, especially with ball possession, and that didn’t allow us to control the game the way we wanted. Their direct play and long throws and set pieces disrupted the game a lot. We tried to react and I still think in the second half the two biggest chances were ours but we didn’t put them away. 

on what he made of our penalty shouts:

I don’t know. I don’t want to comment on that. I want to see the images before I do that. 

on why our performance levels dropped off:

I think we stopped doing all the simple things right. The distances on the ball positions were too far, we gave too many simple balls away in very dangerous areas without much pressure and that didn’t allow us much continuity like we had in the first half. Then you are more tired because the game becomes more open and there are more transitions and you are fatigued.

I think again we finished the game on top of them and we tried to go for the second goal, but we didn’t find a way to do it. It was a consequence of one thing after the other and we didn’t stop it quick enough. 

on Gabriel Jesus:

I’m sure that today he will be disappointed because he had the chances to put them away. Knowing Gabby, he’s disappointed when he scores two goals and could have scored three or four, so he can do that. But he’s having the chances and he’s always there. He gives so much to the team and it’s a shame he couldn’t put them away today. 

on squad depth: 

We have the same that we had a month ago, two days ago, and the same as what we’re going to have next week. I don’t like to have any excuses. In the second half we could have played much better and we could have won much more comfortably than we did and it’s completely down to us. I think the team looked really fresh at the start. I put it more down to the way we played. We should have played better in the second half. 

on eight of our players starting in every Premier League game this season:

That means they haven’t played other games. I think at the start, the team looked really fresh. [As for] the second half and last few minutes, it’s more the way we played - I put it there. We should have played better in the second half.  

on why we’ve historically struggled against Southampton on the road:

It’s very difficult to win in the Premier League at home and away. 

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