Press conference

Arteta on West Ham, Ceballos, Pablo Mari

Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta was back in front of the media on Thursday as he looked ahead to our Premier League fixture against West Ham United.

Our head coach discussed the game, Lucas Torreira, Pablo Mari, Dani Ceballos and more.

This is what he said:

on Lucas Torreira...
He was quite positive this morning. I spoke with him and he was in pain. We don't really know exactly the extent of the injury. He needs to see the specialist tomorrow here in London and we will know more about it.

on Kieran Tierney...
I don't know when he will be ready to play but he's done two or three complete sessions now. He's feeling more and more confident now with contact around him and hopefully he will join the squad soon.

on how big an impact injuries have had on the season...
We don't know! I could not tell you with points. For sure since I joined, the amount of things that happened is enormous, but we just have to try to adapt. It's part of football. It doesn't only happen to us, unfortunately it also happens to many other teams. So we cannot be crying about that. It is what it is. Sometimes it's bad luck, sometimes it's part of the game we play and sometimes things that we can avoid and do better as well - the coaches or fitness coaches - but it is what it is.

on how many points he thinks it will take to get into the top five...
Beat West Ham on Saturday and we are closer. That's all I am thinking because a few weeks ago it looked impossible and if we beat West Ham it will look more likely. So that's the only aim. If game-by-game we go and start grabbing three points and three points and three points, and then we'll have a chance in the last three or four games of the season.

on how difficult it is to plan long-term and short-term in the current circumstances...
Very difficult. Because I like everything very planned and detailed and it goes a little bit against my principles, but we have to adapt in that sense again. I have very clear ideas in terms of what I would like to do in terms of the squad, in terms of certain individuals and how we can improve the team, but obviously the case or scenario [is something] we don't know. It's going to depend on what we do this season and what happened in the last few seasons is going to have a big impact as well.

on why he's playing the youngsters...
I have to manage the resources that I have at the moment, and they are a big resource at the moment. It's not just because they are young and they can be good because they are already very good. Some of them can be phenomenal. But they can only be phenomenal or very good if they play in a consistent way and we get them surrounded with good coaching, with good club culture and also with good players around them. We have to support them. I'm ready to support them and they responded.

on whether we could sign Dani Ceballos permanently...
We haven't had any discussions about it. I'm really happy with Dani and what he's bringing to the team right now. It took him a while after his injury to get to the level that he has and that I've seen in the past. He's performing much better now and that's why he's playing much more games.

on whether he can understand why Eric Dier did what he did...
I don't know. Without the full context, without knowing the story and what really happened, I cannot fully understand. I would not like to judge any situation.

on whether Pablo Mari is fit enough to start v West Ham...
He's recovered really well from the game. He played 45 minutes with the under-23s four days before that game. He played 90 and he said he's physically good. He trained well and I think he's ready to play if we need him again on Saturday.

on how Auba has trained after missing that chance against Olympiacos...
He was down. He felt responsible for what happened. We all tried to convince him that even though he had the best chance of the game, he was the one who put us in that situation earlier. He's done it [scored] on many occasions this season and last season. We need him happy, smiling and full of energy. That's the way he's looked for the last few days.

on how big a threat West Ham could be...
They caused a lot of problems to big teams recently. I know David because I worked with him for seven years. I know his structure, I know how organised he is. I am sure he'll put a team out there that is going to make life very difficult for us. They will compete, they will be physical. We need to use our resources, play our game and then just think about performing. That performance will bring the points home.

on David Moyes...
The thing that I admire the person, who he is, his values, how he deals with people, who he is, how he treats people, how he treated the players when they were there. How well he deals with creating a culture around a club, a chemistry between the players and a belief that we could do something as a team. And then he works really hard. He is extremely demanding, he's got character, Scottish character that is impulsive and I really enjoyed my time playing under him. I think he had a lot, obviously the Manchester United situation, I think what happened there was very harsh on him. I know how he is as a manager and my opinion hasn’t changed at all.

on whether has he spoken with Moyes...
I spoke with him a few times, he has always been very supportive. He has a great belief in me and we maintain a really good relationship. Absolutely yes.

on Aubameyang's contract situation...
We will have to do that at some stage before the end of the season for sure and we will see the intentions that we have. His intentions. Where we are sitting in that moment. I think it is difficult to predict that context right now. For me it is very easy. I want to keep him under any circumstances.

on fans suffering from the City fixture reschedule...
Absolutely I think the ones the are paying the price for it are our fans, not time to plan. It is what it is - we can not do anything about it. Even for us it was not the right day to play the game for the schedule that we have but we don’t make those decisions. We have to try to support the fans as much as possible and give them everything they need to be able to travel to Manchester and support the team. But as you said, it’s not ideal.

on whether it was a Premier League decision...
Yep. No we try to explore the dates and moments that it was better and it made more sense but at the end of the day they have some games that they have to fit in and they have to protect themselves and find a way.

on that being a frustration...
It is what it is. I am so used to this. They made a decision, we have to respect it. Plan quickly, how we’re going to do that, when we’re going to travel, hotel, logistics, and focus on Saturday which is important.

 

 

 

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