Press conference

Arteta on… Southampton, transfers, Aubameyang

Mikel Arteta found himself in an unusual position on Saturday in his post-match press conference.

Not only did our manager have to face the media to discuss our Emirates FA Cup defeat to Southampton, but then had to answer questions as a preview to our next game... against Southampton.
This is what Arteta told the media:
on we can learn from Saturday’s game at St Mary’s…
I think both teams will learn. I don’t think that any manager or players like to play the same opponent twice, obviously we will take things from Saturday’s game that we will analyse, we have already talked about them and will try to make them better in the next game. The one I really want to change is the result, because I want to win the game.
on how big an issue it would be if Auba is out for a while…
Of course it will be a problem because he is a top striker, one who scores [a lot of] goals and he is our captain, a really important player in the team. But we have to respect the timings, let’s see - I don’t have enough information to see how things are evolving and hopefully things will go in the right direction.
on Martinelli’s role in the rest of the season…
He was fine, it was a tactical decision [for him to come off in the FA Cup game] and he is fine. He has missed a few training sessions with the last injury, but I expect big things from Gabi. He has been really helpful since he joined again after such a long period, so I am positive about it.
on the signing of Mat Ryan…
He is a player who knows the league really well, he has played so many games, he has international experience, he is at the right age, he has been competing regularly until December I think, and we felt with the departure of Matt Macey, we needed another keeper in the team to give more protection so we looked at the market and we wanted a loan deal and we decided to go with Mat because he had the right profile for us.
on what his arrival means for Alex Runarsson…
That area of the squad needs three goalkeepers and they need to compete with each other, challenge each other and everyone will get their role. After you have your role, you just have to support each other again to get the best out of each other. This is the role, come here and try to make it better.
on how much recent results give him confidence in his methods…
Well, winning games all the time is the best way to reinforce what you are doing. This game is very dangerous, you have to focus on that. You have to be completely sure of where you want to go, how you want to do it and then we think about the time and the experiences that we are having with our players. We can just manipulate, evolve and change little things to try to get to where we want to quicker. At the moment, I am really optimistic.

on the Southampton press…
They are one of the most effective teams doing that like we are. It was a really intense game and we were expecting that for sure and we’re expecting it on Tuesday because they don’t really change. They are a really great team, they have a really good manager, they know exactly what they’re doing. They’ve been doing it for years now and they are good at it so we respect that and we expect a similar game on Tuesday.

on how the transfer window will be effected by the coronavirus…
I don’t have a clue. I think it will depend on how the virus allows our lives to get back to normal. When we start to have some crowds in our stadium, the sponsors to be back on track, there are so many things that at the moment I cannot influence and I cannot respond to.

on if less money being spent in the transfer window might not be a bad thing…
Well, football at the end has to be sustainable so in relation to the resources that we have, you can spend your money how you want to. There are regulators to make sure that that happens and football has a lot of money because it was producing a lot of money and let’s see where this virus takes the game.

on if Mat Ryan could join us permanently in the summer…
I don’t know, he’s just arrived. It’s a loan deal and he still has a contract with Brighton and we will assess to see how he performs, see how he adapts, what we need in the future. It’s still too early to decide.

on if reaching the top four is still possible this season…
I just look at the next game. Things are moving really quickly at the moment so focus on the next game, win it and we’ll be closer to any objective. That’s for sure.

on if this is a decisive period for the club with the set of fixtures coming up…
I don’t know. Every game is decisive, every Premier League game is really complicated and we know that we have some complicated fixtures ahead of us and this is the challenge.

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