Press conference

Arteta on Liverpool, Ozil, FFP: full transcript

Mikel Arteta was quizzed at length about a range of subjects on Tuesday when he faced the media ahead of our game against Liverpool.

Our head coach discussed facing the champions, Mesut Ozil, Emi Martinez's form and more.
 
Read on for a full transcript:
 
on picking the team up after the north London derby...
It was tough, obviously they know what it means to everybody in that type of games. They felt disappointed because the way the game went, they feel that they deserved much more but as well the reflection of the game is that we lost it basically. But they are ready, they know the games are coming up in the next few days are massive for us and the future of next season as well and they are willing to try again and put in the same effort and commitment.
 
on how the FA Cup semi-final will influence his team selection for Liverpool...
We have to go game by game, today we will know more as well about how the players have recovered. Obviously some players have had huge demands since we rejoined the season and have played a lot of minutes, and you can see that recovery-wise with the schedule that we have been given by the Premier League, to play every two and a half days, but we will asses them today and tomorrow and put the players on the pitch who are in the best possible condition to compete and try to win the game again.
 
on trying to address the defensive frailties...
It is a collective game, but within that there are a lot of individual games that happen and a lot of sequencing throughout the 95 minutes that we play. Individual errors are part of football, you can make them and they can go unnoticed if something doesn't happen, and obviously those resulting in a goal the highlight goes there. I am not concerned about that, that is something we will sort. Obviously short term it is more difficult to do it, what happens after you make an individual error, how you react to that, how you keep trying and your mindset to keep continuing the game to try to put that one back and try to resolve the situation and win it. It is not just the player who makes the individual error, but the rest have to react to try to help the player who has done it. But yes, we got punished big time the other day with that and we have to learn - and you know that teams are expecting that sometimes as well, and wee cannot give them anything.
 
on how different it is without fans in stadiums...
A different game, I will say it like this. The crowd affects many situations, the crowd doesn't allow the team that is playing at home to have certain behaviours during the game because it is asking all the time, demanding the home team to act in a certain way, it puts pressure on players when they have the ball and when they don't have the ball and as well it gives a different energy to the whole game. The passion, the moments before the game when you are in the warm up, is a completely different game and hopefully we can have [the fans] back with a very safe environment for them. I understand it is going to be a very slow process for them, but hopefully we will get there.
 
on Financial Fair Play...
There is no question about what happened. They completely deserved to be in the Champions League because what they have done on the pitch is unquestionable. The regulators have looked at it and have decided that they haven't done anything wrong so you have the two aspects that are really clear and transparent. They are going to be in the Champions League because they deserve it for what they have done on the pitch and what they have done outside of the pitch.

on good possession in the north London derby...
I am not too concerned about the possession, it's about how we attack the opponent's box, how we generate situations to score goals, the dominance, how quickly we regain the ball, how close we do that to the opponent's goal. It tells you how far we've come to be able to do that in an away ground against one of our biggest rivals. It shows the personality and what the team wants to do and it's going to be a big part of our identity. But we are going to finish that having produced the three points and had the security that we can control and dominate games against any opponent.

on if Jurgen Klopp is the model for how to build a club...
Yeah. What they have done is phenomenal, obviously the first two years it took them some time to rebuild the squad and to create a new culture, a new philosophy and a game model that suited the coach. Then they started to recruit every single player in relation to what they needed and that's where I think they were really smart. They bought with specificity for every position that was required. Financially they had a big backing and made some big signings which completely changed the club in my opinion.
 
on Liverpool still fighting for a record points total…
You look at the last game and the way they’ve played and the line-ups they’re putting out, you can tell that they’ll be coming here with full commitment to try and win the points. The result that they had at City, when you look back at the game it could have been completely different and you cannot question the attitude or energy of that team in any game or any minute. That’s probably one of the non-negotiable that they have and you can see that in every game.

on whether his current job is similar to when Klopp joined Liverpool…
If you ask me that question in four years and we’re both sitting here and I can tell you ‘yes, we’ve done it’, I will be so happy. But I know how many decisions have to be right and how much support you need from the club and the people around, and how much connection you to have to generate from your fans to have the full package, and afterwards it’s football. The context right now is different to what it was as well four years ago and the abilities for a club to rebuild something is more limited, but it’s certainly something we have to look at and how they did it because it’s a great example. But we have to know that we have to do it our way with our resources and have it in mind that the content right now is different, but we are heading to be the best and this is my only objective with this club. We have to find a way to do it.

on how much no European football could impact the club’s finances…
European football gives you more financial resources, that is clear, and we are going to keep trying until the end of the season to try and achieve that. After that, we will assess where we are and what our capabilities are to recruit, to maintain the players that we have and maintain the structure that we have in place at the moment at the club, and move forward from there.

on whether he will rest players against Liverpool so they’re ready for Manchester City…
I believe that it’s very important to have energy and momentum going into important matches, and in order to do that you have to go game by game. Today and tomorrow we will asses the players and how they are, and obviously they’ve been hit and a lot of them have played some crazy minutes up until now and again we’re going to have games every two and a half days. We will try to put the strongest team out as possible here and as well on Saturday, and to do that we need to know how everyone recovers from the game.

on Emi Martinez’s form and whether it’s surprised him…
Well, in terms of Emi’s character and his goalkeeping ability, I didn’t have any question marks. The way he trains every day, behaves and has been behaving since he’s been at the club is phenomenal. He was a question mark over how he was going to do because he didn’t have any Premier League experience and how he can deal with that game after game, and he’s shown that he’s more than ready to do it. He’s earned his place now, he’s doing really well and he’s playing with a lot of confidence. In key moments he’s been really helpful and he needs to continue to do that. It’s a marathon, a long run, and a football club like this demands that every day you’re at that level. That’s why he needs to keep going.
 
on the schedule...
We played 11 games and we only had the advantage in one, which was against Spurs. In the rest, the other teams had at least 24/36/48 hours more than us. But look at the boys, they keep going, they go full gas. It doesn't matter and we will do it again. We cannot complain because it doesn't matter. They're not going to change it. The fixtures are already there, so we will keep going and try our best.

on not expecting tomorrow's game to be a 0-0...
Well, I don't know what kind of game it will be! Obviously when you look at the front players that you just mentioned, goals are there. But football is so unpredictable. Let's see. We will try to keep it nil on our side and try to score as many as we can. That's all we can do.

on whether Mesut Ozil will play again this season...
With Mesut the situation is still the same as it was.

on whether he thinks Arsenal can mirror Liverpool and challenge for a title in four years from now...
I don't want to talk about four years in football. It's almost impossible. You have to see a trend and you have to see movement and you have to see that the direction that you are taking is the right one and that you are making progress all the time. At the end of the season we are going to have to assess where we are in all terms of the club, what is the ambition and where we want to head in. In order to do that, either the ambition and the level is equal or it's not realistic or it's more than realistic. That's what we have to get a deal on.

on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and whether his move has been vindicated...
It's easy to say that right now but in the moment you have to understand all of the circumstances. I don't know what Alex wanted to do in his career at the time, or the situation with the club or how the negotiations were. I don't have all the information surrounding that. We all could see the potential of Alex and where he could develop. He picked an incredible club to move to and he wanted a challenge probably after so many years here. We have to accept that and I think we all wish him the best because as well as being a great player, I think he was someone who was really, really liked here amongst the fans, the staff and the players.

on fan speculation on whether Ozil will play again this season...
I don't know. At the moment, the situation remains the same. We will see if that changes.

 

 

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