Press conference

Arteta press conference: every single word

Mikel Arteta faced the media shortly after our 2-1 defeat at Wolves on Tuesday.

The manager was asked about our dominant first-half display and the red cards that transformed the game. Here's what he said:

on the result...
First of all I have to say that I am extremely proud of our team and the way we played, the way we dominated the first half. We should have been three or four-nil up. We didn't do that and we put ourselves in a really difficult position after conceding the goal and going a man down. If you want to talk about the decision, I've just seen the replay 10 times in five different angles. I'm sitting here with you guys and I cannot see any contact. I would like to see if VAR has a different angle.

on whether the decision was made based on David Luiz's reputation...
I don't want to think that. I'm sure that they made the decision based on them seeing something. Unfortunately I'm sitting here expecting to see something and I'm not seeing anything.

on whether that moment changed the game...
Of course it changed the game. If you play with 10 men for 45 minutes in the Premier League without a central defender against this opposition, of course it changes the game. We tried. We were really animated at half-time because we wanted to win the game. The boys were so convinced about going out there and giving it a real go. We didn't concede any chances but Moutinho scored a worldie. It's 2-1 and then when Bernd comes out and hits the ball with his hands, it's a second red card, we're down to nine players and it's almost impossible to win the game.

on whether he's spoken to Bernd Leno about it...
No but I imagine he's made the decision in a split-second, he needs to make the action and he reacted naturally to try to stop the ball. There's nothing they can do.

on our unbeaten Premier League run being ended by red cards...
The way we lost the game is where it really hurts and it's painful. I have to take the positives as well in the way the team is evolving, the way the team played against this opponent, which is really difficult to attack, the amount of chances we created. We leave the ground, we have zero points and we lost two important players.

on David Luiz accidentally making contact for the penalty…
If there's any contact, it's him [Willian Jose] with David. That’s what I’ve seen, but I don’t know if they have a different angle of what I have or maybe what you have. That’s where the disappointment is coming from. It’s hard enough to win football matches in the league and those big decisions are like that, but there’s nothing we can change at the moment.

on whether VAR let him down…
Well, it was a big decision and if they make and justify that they got it right, I will put my hands up and apologise, but the only thing I’m seeing is that I’m sitting here and I cannot see any contact, and that’s really, really frustrating because it was a big, big moment in the game.

on whether he can still take positives from the first half…
Absolutely, and to play three days later after the game we played against United and how demanding it was mentally and physically, and the way they started the game straight away. The way the boys have trained, in the second half they came out and wanted to play the game with 10 men and that was the spirit of the dressing room. With nine players, I saw players pushing to chase the goalkeeper, it’s incredible, I’m so proud of them. It’s a shame we can’t leave the ground today with three points.

on Mat Ryan…
He had a muscular issue and in the last two days he hasn’t been able to train. Hopefully we can get him back in the next few days.

on whether he plans to appeal David Luiz’s red card…
Well, on my understanding here I wouldn’t say 'yes, let’s go straight away because I think we have a big chance'. But I don’t know, I will speak to legal and the club and make the best decision of what to do.

on whether Kieran Tierney could have played tonight…
He wasn’t close at all. Hopefully in the next few days he feels much better and he can come in the team and help us in this moment where we have so many games.

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