Press conference

Arteta on Palace, Cazorla, tactics: every word

Mikel Arteta spoke with the press ahead of Monday night's fixture against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Read what he had to say here...

on celebrating his birthday…

The break has been very good, a special birthday is a big number. I had a chance to spend some time with everybody here at the club, my friends, my family, so it was good.

on the friendly with Brentford B…

Well, the fact that we could get minutes and exposure to some of the payers who haven't had the possibility to do that in recent weeks. Get the level, get the competition there. Playing between us is not the same and we had the opportunity to do that yesterday and it was good. 

on the Palace home game earlier this season…

Yeah, we scored right at the end and it was a tough match. We had some really good periods, some periods where we struggled. We conceded two very poor goals in that game with simple giveaways that put the game into a really difficult position. The team, especially at home, is doing really well and the coaching staff are doing a great job and we know how it is to play in their stadium.

on Patrick Vieira being inducted into the Hall of Fame…

Well, it's a huge achievement. You have to be very special to be nominated to be there and I think Patrick deserves it for what he brought to the English game, what he did for Arsenal and what he brought to English football.

on his message going into the season run in…

I will have them all today, just try to refocus them, obviously, when they're on international duty all the time they're being asked to do different things, different roles, different kind of pressures. For some of them, it was their first international, so emotionally for them as well it's very draining. And make sure that everyone is fine and look forward to the challenge that we have ahead.

on Saka and Ramsdale's fitness…

Bukayo is feeling good, he's training today hopefully, if he is still feeling as he was yesterday and Aaron is a doubt. He's still feeling not great. He hasn't trained yet so we don't know what he will be able to do on Monday.

on Ramsdale's injury…

He wanted to play against Aston Villa but it was a significant injury and he had to take his time. The physios are doing everything they can to make him available but we will see in the next few days when he starts to do more real training.

on players on international duty…

Well, I think the majority of them had some really good experiences, some really good performances, they scored some important goals as well. I'm really sad for Mo Elneny because it's the second time that has happened and emotionally that means a lot to him, so I'm sure the team will be here and ready to help him.

on having five subs in the Premier League…

I'm glad at the end we have unified a criteria for the whole of Europe. It's now how we do it, how we manage it. There will be some changes because that gives you other opportunities and I think the game will have some changes, tactically some changes and the most important thing is that you can manage much better the load of the players. [We need to make sure] we don't slow the game down too much and I think it's good. It gives players the opportunity to be on the pitch, which is what they want to do.

On Tomiyasu's fitness…

I think it will be close. He’s been training more and more. He has the boys back now, so he will be joining some sessions this week, and let’s see how it is. 

On Tomiyasu's recovery and why it’s taken longer than expected…

Because he had a recurring injury, but in the other calf, which was a strange and difficult to predict. He’s been through a lot, in the last two years with all the Covid (and) the amount of games that he’s played. The transition to a different league with the intensity - it’s completely different. So we can find the right reasons, and hopefully won’t go through that situation again. Because especially for him it’s been tough. 

On our record of not conceding from a corner this season…

Everything you do in attack of defence is about the whole team. Every individual has a role, every unit has a role, and the team has to be with the right level of focus, aggression, understanding of what can happen, and try to avoid it. 

On how he coaches that…

Every phase of the game, we try to train it, to practice it, and to improve it to the highest level. Obviously set-pieces are key in modern football.

On celebrating victories…

I don’t tell the players to celebrate or not. I think that’s something that comes right from them, and it’s great when I see them hugging each other, enjoying each other and celebrating with the fans who made a long trip to be with us for a 12.30pm kick-off. Showing the gratitude for (the fans) to be supportive. For me, it’s great. 

On football being about winning…

Absolutely. I think the best moment as a football player is after winning a match, and the atmosphere with your teammates. They have to celebrate, of course. 

On a new contract for Bukayo Saka…

Well we are extremely happy with Bukayo. The progression he’s having, what he’s bringing to the club, what he’s bringing to the team. Obviously we are never going to share any conversations related to private contracts, but we are really happy with him. 

On playing last this weekend…

We’re going to focus on what we can do, that’s the only thing we can control. Through the TV we can suffer or enjoy, but there is not much we can do. What we have to do is win the football matches that we need to, to achieve what we want. That’s all in our hands. 

On when he would like to be playing Tottenham later in the season…

I don’t think we are going to have a choice. So whenever the Premier League decides to do that, it will be the right and the only time that we going to be playing. 

On Balogun's development…

I think Flo is doing what he needed to do, and probably we should have done it a little bit earlier. It is always a bit difficult to time when is the best moment to do that. But he’s having the right exposure, he’s playing in a different formation and sometimes a different role under a manager and a club with a huge history. You can see how he is developing, so this is giving us information. This is going to give us more detail about what is the next best move for him to keep developing, because he has (developed) and we want him to be part of our future. 

On Balogun's level…

The step was too big, from what he was doing to the Premier League, and you could see that. It’s not fair on him to asses just in certain moments whether he can do it or not. So he needed a pathway, he needs that exposure. He needs to go through good and difficult moments, and he needs to be able to adapt and find himself in the dressing room, and develop the importance that is required to play at this level. I think he is doing all of that really well. 

On Harry Maguire being booed for England…

Obviously they (supporters) have the freedom to express what they want but if you ask anybody related to football how you are going to get the best out of a player, obviously it's totally against any odds that the player is going to improve if he gets booed. That's something we can all agree on. So if you want the best for your team and the best for your national team, obviously that's not going to help the player individually which is not going to help the team collectively. 

On whether he is looking more for Spain or England in the World Cup draw…

I'm Spanish! You know that, but obviously the gratitude and the feelings I have for England is very close, so I'm always cheering for the England team, and as well because we have a lot of England players. 

On Saka having a small break…

I don't know how much he would have played. Sometimes when a player is in a good moment you don't want to stop it. It's what it is, he had Covid and we had to take him out of the national team, he had some if time to rest and to recover, but he will be training in the next few days to again hit the form he was in.

On Steven Gerrard saying Saka will learn to deal with challenges…

I think Bukayo said he was not going to complain, but he wanted some consistency in the refereeing. The only person who can protect the players is the referee because he guides the level of the game and the level of the contact and physicality that is allowed or not allowed in a football match. I think we have to protect our best players and that's in the hands of the referee, that's all. 

On Ben White saying how together the squad is…

For me it's crucial because it's the platform and the cement that you can build. Then obviously you need the players, you need the quality, the understanding. You need the club and the supporters to be on board with what you are doing, to support it, encourage it. This is what we try to do, but I'm glad Ben is enjoying it as much here as he is with the national team, it's a good sign. 

On Santi Cazorla being linked with a coaching role at Arsenal…

I haven’t discussed anything like that with Santi. But of course if you ask anyone at this football club, or any supporter about Santi, they will probably have a smile on their face. He is still playing so I don't know what he wants to do, but I'm sure it will be related to football because I know him well.

On whether he has spoken to him recently…

I spoke to him on my birthday, but we didn't discuss that. 

On William Saliba making his international debut…

I haven't spoken to him since then but obviously we are really aware of what he is doing and how he is developing. He's our player and we are really happy with the decision that we made. He is getting the minutes and the exposure, responsibility and the growth at his age was not something we could guarantee here this season. And it makes a lot of sense what is happening with him and we are glad to see the way he is improving.

See Full List

Fixtures & Results

Friendly Match
Ticket Info

 

 

MEN

WOMEN

ACADEMY

 

Fixtures

Friendly Match
Ticket Info
Friendly Match
Ticket Info

Results

Premier League
Premier League