Press conference

Arteta on Everton, Aubameyang, transfers and more

Mikel Arteta during his pre-match press conference

Mikel Arteta faced the media at the slightly unusual time of Saturday afternoon as he previewed our game against Everton.

Our manager discussed the latest team news, Emile Smith Rowe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and more.

Read on for a full transcript:

on Emile Smith Rowe's fitness...
He had some discomfort during the game and we decided to take him off. He's been evolving well over the last few days, so we have to wait until tomorrow to see how he is.

on the latest on Granit Xhaka...
He is progressing well, he is doing all the right things and he's feeling better but no more news on that. It's very positive because the evolution he is doing is great, he is partially training with the team and he is heading in the right direction.

on the mood after the defeat at Old Trafford...
The mood after the game was that we were extremely disappointed because we threw the game away and I think we should have taken more out of that game. It was very pleasing for periods, because the performance that you are able to put in against that team was very positive but you need to know how to win those games when you are as dominant as we were in periods against them.

on our record against the 'Big Six' teams...
Against them you have to put the performance into a win and that's a different story. We had the performance but not the points, and that's what we have to evolve and learn and get better at.

on Aubameyang's goalscoring form...
You are always [concerned] when your main striker isn't scoring goals but he is trying his hardest. He is aware of how much we need him as a team to score goals and at the moment, they are not coming but the rest of the things we are asking him to do, he is trying his best.


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on the January transfer window...
I think we have to focus on the players that we have, try to make them, better and take more chances than we're doing because we need more margins in games to win games and that's what we have to do without losing our solidity defensively, which we have been good at, and try to add more goals to the team.

on Everton's recent form...
There are a lot of teams that are going through that because this is a league  has become that competitive that the moment you lose a game or two, the pressure is coming for everybody. It is no different there, obviously it's a very special place to go back there because I had some amazing years there, so I'm looking forward to it.

on how tough it will be at Goodison Park...
A team that wants to put things right and win, and on Monday night at Goodison I know what I am going to expect under the lights with the fans they have so it will be a tough game.

on whether Xhaka could return in time for Monday...
This week he has progressed again to a different level, and tomorrow we will assess how he is, have a conversation with him and decide when is the best moment to start to give him some exposure in games.

on how much of a boost his return would be...
Yes, it will be and we miss him, he is one of our leaders, one of the senior players who adds something very valuable to the team and hopefully we can have him back soon.

on what he meant when he said he wanted more from the senior players...
What I said is that the senior players are the ones who have to lead and the younger players are the ones who have to follow. We need that balance in the performances on the pitch and as well off the field. We are getting that balance right and we haver to continue not to rely too much on the rest and this is a team, it's not two teams that are split, and we need that balance and to manage those moments.

on how he can manage that...
First of all keep demanding the best from everybody and ask them for things they can do and they can do well, and do well consistently - and that's what I try to do all the time.

on whether he could help Yaya Toure with his coaching badges...
He has my number as we spent some years together, he is a player I appreciate a lot so he can call me and ask the question. He certainly has the experience and expertise, and has won a lot in the game to add value to the game for sure.

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