Press conference

Arteta on the win, the atmosphere, Auba and more

Mikel Arteta

You could see from his full-time reaction what Sunday's victory against Tottenham meant to Mikel Arteta.

Afterwards, our manager was beaming as he faced the media. Read on for a full transcript of his press conference:

on the win...
It is one of the nicest things I have experienced in this stadium. To win it, to win it in the way that we did, and to feel that connection with the team and the supporters made it really special.
on the fans...
This is an Arsenal team that have won a game today and the manager so a lot of things that it's very related to and I am proud of the way we played and I'm even more proud of the way we were able to give something back to the fans because they really stuck behind the team.
on the players...
It's a good example of the senior players showing big leadership and standing up for the team and the like of Auba scoring the goal and then two academy players. They've been raised and developed within our system. They've come here in a big derby and worked for the team and scored two goals.
on our young players...
They are able to trust me to get that feeling because they've been raised and educated really experiencing those feelings and being in the stadium as a supporter of the club. A lot of people that we have in our organisation have a real sense of what a derby means and I think they will be proud of what they've seen.
on the atmosphere...
Certainly. I think when we didn't have we missed it. It's impossible to attract people and to connect with what we are trying to do if we don't have fans, if we don't have our supporters here. It's such a different thing when you sense that they believe, that they are willing to support and we want to entertain them and play in a way that they can be proud and that happens at the same time. That's why I think we are all enjoying and that we're really happy today with what we've seen.
on Aubameyang's influence…
I'm really happy with the performance today and the performance against Burnley and with what Auba is doing. He was getting criticised and we were asking him to do more. He stood by it and put his head down and he is working tremendously hard for the team, and now I can tell you that he is really giving.
on not giving Tottenham many chances…
Well, I think we did [well] but there are still aspects that we have to do better in the second half. The way we gave the ball in certain areas, the way we defended some of the runs in behind, we could have done better, but it is understandable. The way they were chasing the game, they were throwing everything and putting six or seven players in our last line. Attacking with a lot of width with players inside and they were difficult to control, but overall I'm really happy.

on how fickle football can be…
That is the beauty of this game and the danger of this game as well that things change so quickly at both ends and you always have to be alert and try to seek improvement and do better, which I believe we can still do.

on whether today is the day the ‘project went bang’…
Well certainly, I think we all agree that we saw a team that convinced from the beginning, with good energy and high rhythm, with a lot of quality, great cohesion and understanding of what we wanted to do with and without the ball. Then we were super efficient. That is something we have been lacking in the final third, the right pass, the shot to hit the target more and I think we did that all really well in the first half.

on Granit Xhaka’s return to the side…
Obviously we had to think about it, we had different options to play against them. We believed that the way they set up and what we wanted to do in the game, it was the right call to do that. I understand that a lot of people will say, ‘You won the last two games, why change it?’ but we did it with the intention that it was the right thing to do to start the game and then change it, and unfortunately he got injured. I’m pretty worried because it doesn’t look very positive at the moment.

on how close the performance was to his vision and how he’s changed things…
What we did is try to explain to them what happened in the first three games, we missed nine, 10, 11 players that we could not select, they were out and the ones that were in had issues as well because they had Covid, they had injuries and we played the best two teams in the world, which you can see yesterday when they played each other. So we had to accept that we were bottom of the table, that was best to accept the reality, and go back to certain things we have to do better, believe in what we do, stick together and we were lucky because we had our people with us in a difficult moment, which in football is very rare to find. Then things started to get better.

on the message for the fans moving forward...
Thank you for creating this incredible environment today with the energy they had towards the team, and enjoy tonight!

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