Press conference

Arteta - My reaction to Xhaka's red card

Granit Xhaka's red card and squad rotation were the main two topics when Mikel Arteta spoke to the media shortly after our defeat to Burnley.

Here's a full transcript of the manager's press conference:

on Xhaka's red card...
He's made a mistake, clearly. The way the game was going, the dominance that we had... it was a game that we had to win and with 10 men it makes it much more difficult. You give the opponent a chance and you end up losing.

on another game this Wednesday...
Absolutely, I prefer to play in 72 hours. The players are hurting. Thank you so much to the fans because I think they were tremendous behind the team with the support that they were giving, and knowing how difficult it has been for us in this competition in recent weeks. I think they react like that because they see the team, how they try and how they go about it, how much passion they put into the game with no limitations.

on rotating for the Premier League...
Well we have shaken things up in other games and sometimes it has worked and other times it hasn't. I pick the team that gives us the best possibility to win the game.

on rewarding the Europa League players...
I don't know, I will tell you the same thing: [I pick] the players who, in my opinion, give us the best chance to perform, and players on the bench who can do that [too]. Some of the ones that you've mentioned, they've been with us a very short time because of injury or different situations. It's not players who have established themselves in the first team but I understand that when you lose you have to try and pick somebody else.

on whether Granit Xhaka’s behaviour was unacceptable…

on whether he feels let down by Xhaka…
Yes, but honestly, I think it was unacceptable to do that action and the players are in a moment that they are so willing to do more and fight more and show how committed they are, to be alive in the game, that on this occasion Granit has overstepped the line. It’s another action with Mo that I haven’t seen, but it looks similar. We cannot make those mistakes because they’re the wrong approach to what we’re trying to do.

on whether he’s worried that the players have lost their focus and they’re panicking…
No, I wouldn’t say they’re panicking. Again, it’s my opinion, I can see it in training as well that they try and put the energy in. It’s the same today. A team that is struggling [like this] we don’t normally see play the way that they did today, and with the way they played against Spurs, the leaders, but again, we lost the game. We gave the opponent a chance and they scored. And it’s about winning football matches.

on whether he will make changes for the Southampton match…
Well, we have three big games this week and we will see how everybody is. We have some suspensions and we have some injuries that we picked up last week and maybe today as well. We will see who is available for Wednesday.

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