Press conference

Arteta – Mari has adapted really well

Pablo Mari marked his Premier League debut with an assured performance and another clean sheet, following up from his display against Portsmouth in the FA Cup on Monday.

Slotting in alongside David Luiz in central defence, the Spaniard played his part in a crucial shut out, and Mikel Arteta was pleased with the way he is adapting to the rigours of the Premier League.

The head coach spoke to the media after the 1-0 win over West Ham, and also discussed his team selection and coming up against his former boss.

On why Lacazette didn't start...
Well, I have two strikers at the moment and they are making life difficult for me, but at the same time it is very good. They are both scoring, both in a good moment. I decided to play Eddie today for the defenders they had and the gameplan we had, but knowing that Laca, if we needed a goal in the final moments, he was always ready to do that. I saw straight away, when I was talking to him and giving him instructions on the touchline, he was alert and focused and I could see he was really determined to go out there and score the goal that he did.

on whether he doesn't see Aubameyang or Martinelli as central striker...
Yes, they are but with the squad balance that we have at the moment for that position on the left, we don't have five players because we are using one of them as a left back, who is not a left back, so we are just trying to adapt to the situation we have today, try to put in the team the players to have a goal threat that can be successful for the team. That is part of managing the players we have.

on facing David Moyes...
He is someone that I respect, I admire, I had seven magnificent years next to him, I learnt a lot about him, he is a man with incredible values and a great work ethic. He showed today with the gameplan he put in, the type of manager he is and it was awkward. I started this adventure in England with him as a manager, he was the one who showed the faith to bring me to the Premier League and I am very grateful for him.

on whether he has to play Pablo Mari again after another clean sheet...
Good point, I have to take your advice there! If it is as simple as that, hopefully we do it again at Manchester City and see if we get a clean sheet! He is doing well, he's adapted really well - it is not an easy league and a central defender, in my opinion, to play in the Premier League is one of the toughest positions to play for any foreign player. But he is very willing, he is learning and he has a good experience and understanding with his team-mates.

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