Press conference

Arteta on the win, mistakes, Odegaard, Elneny

Mikel Arteta had mixed feelings after we beat Olympiacos 3-1 in Athens in the first leg of our Europa League last-16 clash.

Our manager was delighted with the victory but left to rue another defensive error that gifted our hosts a goal.

Afterwards, he faced the media and this is what he said:

on the progress the team has made…
I have been saying that fro a while, and I can probably see more things because internally I know the process that has happened and how much has happened since we were here a year ago. I think the difference is really big and we are really pleased with the result and the goals that we scored, and the way that we played in big moments in the game. But as well we have to be very clear and honest with ourselves that we gave three goals to the opponent and they took one, and at that level they are going to punish you. So to go to the next level, we haver to stop doing that and be more ruthless - and when you are that dominant and playing that well, just kill the game.

on whether the errors shake his confidence in his approach…
No, it is just when we have to play it. You know you have to play the ball to this player, but when is the difference… is it now, a second later or a second earlier? That gives the opponent a chance to press or intercept a pass or not and that is where the difference is. To discriminate the decision making and when it has to be done is what dictates in the next action whether you are successful or not. But it is not about stopping or discouraging the team not to play, we just have to understand when to do it and that’s crucial. If not you create insecurity in a game that is totally under control and it brings the team into an insecurity mode because you gift to the opponent how much we have in the game, the chances that we missed and it is unnecessary. But its true that the reaction after that to score goal - and we probably should have scored one more - was great to see as well.

on whether any subs were made due to injury…
No, it was all tactical decisions or things that we wanted to change in the game.

on what he says to those who say we are our own worst enemy…
Yeah, they are not far off. The goals or the chances that we have conceded are coming from ourselves. That is really positive because the moment we stop it we will be even stronger. But the reality is that we have to stop it immediately because if not the games are always there to drop points. But it is my responsibility, we make them play the way I want them to play, it is just understanding the risk and rewards, the balls we have to play and as I said before, when. We have to get better at that, because if not it creates tension and insecurity, and it creates belief in the opponent and it is unnecessary.

on whether it makes every game a tense affair on the sideline...
It does! But it is what it is. Sometimes, when you have to go through a process like this, you have to be ready to take or go through these situations. I am ready to do that, but all the time knowing really well where the risks and rewards are and if the rewards are not bigger then we should not take the risk.

on him sounding unhappy...
I want to be much more ruthless and as a team I don't want to give anything to any opponent. The opponents are good enough by themselves to create situations and create problems, to change their organisation and structures and the individual quality that they have in this competition. So I want to give zero to the opponent. Whatever we do, we have to earn it so much, so I would like the opponents to have to do the same. So I am happy with the result, but I am not satisfied with how we controlled the game through 95 minutes. That's something we have to improve.

on why he took off Thomas Partey...
Because I wanted to change him and bring somebody else in to try to find some other stuff and try to change the shape with the way we were playing inside.

on how crucial Elneny adding a third goal could be...
I don't know, there is still another game to play in this competition and with this level of opponent, anything can happen. So we have to be very prepared to take the game nil-nil and go and win it at the Emirates. Then we will be through. With Mo in particular and with the subs, I'm extremely delighted because I know how much they want to play and they are key in this competition. If you want to be successful, you need your subs to make an impact and they've done it tonight again. And Mo in particular, because of how he's been training so hard to improve his shooting range with Roundy [Steve Round] and he got his reward tonight. It's very important for the team.

on whether it shows the character of the side...
Yes. It has happened in many games already and that has to become a habit because when you are able to react against a team in any circumstances, it doesn't matter the disappointment, the moment or what happened. Individually and collectively, you need to know that you can get that response and the team is able to overcome any situation. That's really encouraging for the team.

on Martin Odegaard's goal giving us the only thing we were still waiting to see from him...
He can do that and he needs to click by doing that. The same with Emile, the same with Willian. They are there to make things happen and win games. Winning games is decided near the boxes and they have to be more encouraged to attack those situations, to take risks, to take shots and to create opportunities to dribble because that's their quality. Hopefully that's going to bring Martin the confidence. We scored two wonderful goals from outside the box and that's another way of getting goals. It's going to be crucial.

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