Press conference

Arteta on the win, Ozil, Aubameyang: transcript

Mikel Arteta was a happy man after we returned to winning ways in the Premier League with a 4-0 victory against Newcastle on Sunday.

Our head coach faced the media after the game and discussed our performance, Nicolas Pepe, Mesut Ozil and more.

Read on for a full transcript:

on whether it was a satisfying win for him…
Yes, it was. We talked about turning those draws into wins and those margins that we could improve to translate that into more points. It was going to be very important in the first game at home after the break to get confidence like we’ve done today, so I’m very happy with that.

on what we changed in the second half…
We found it difficult in the first 20 or 30 minutes I would say. They’re really compact and really organised, and we talked before the game that you can get a little bit frustrated and start to rush the decisions, and when that happens your team doesn’t travel together and it becomes a transition game. They’re so good with Joelinton holding up the ball and their wingers running, and that makes it a flip of the coin. I didn’t like that game and after half an hour we started to control the situation much better. We started to get into the final third much more continuously and in the second half we tweaked one or two things and attached much better, and it allowed us to control the game in a much more efficient way.

on whether we could have gone behind…
I will review the game, find the points that we can improve, find out why it happens and convince them why when we do certain things, the opponent has the chance to hurt us. In the opposite way, when we do the things that we have to do and we work and train on them, we will get the results and the rewards. It’s part of the process.

on whether we will see more of Ceballos and Ozil together…
It depends on how they train and how they perform, but I thought Dani was ideal for this game in that game position today. The way he’s been training he completely deserves a chance, and I’m so glad with his performance.

on whether we’re starting to see Pepe’s quality…
Hopefully. We just need consistency from him. Wide talented players in this league is not easy to get because obviously the most difficult thing to do is create things, but we’ve said some things and we need Nico to maintain game by game. He knows that and it’s the way he was applying himself defensively in a few moments, he was top drawer. That’s what he wasn’t doing in the past and when he does that, the rewards in the other box come. He made a difference today.

on whether Champions League football is possible after City’s ban…
I don’t know. A week ago before we went to Dubai and we drew at Burnley everything looked like it was too far and it’s going to take an incredible run to do it, but today it feels a little bit closer. But it’s going to depend on us and we need to improve as a team and be more consistent over 90 minutes. If we’re able to do that, performances will lead to much better results and if that’s the case, we will be in the mix for the last few games of the season.

on whether qualification for the Champions League remains his target for the season…
The ultimate target now is to improve as a team and win against Olympiacos on Thursday and improve on today’s performance.

on Manchester City’s Uefa ban…
I’ve been in contact with him (Pep Guardiola). I wish the best for City, the love and admiration that I have for Pep, the staff and the players. I just want to wish the best for them, I know how hard they work and hopefully a positive thing can come for them.

on potentially gaining a European place from the ban…
I don’t think about it. I just want the best for Manchester City, I really do, because that’s the way I feel. Now I have to find the best in me at Arsenal to maximise what we have here to bring his club as high as possible again.

on his reaction to the news…
My first reaction was that I was shocked. Being in contact with Pep and the people at the club that I know to feel for them because I know they are suffering.

on the FFP rules…
I don’t think we know at the moment what can happen and if there is any further actions to all the clubs, I don’t know, we will have to wait and see.

on a potential points deduction and removal of titles for Manchester City…
I don’t know. I don’t want to guess. Again, I said what I said, I just want the best for them and hopefully a good outcome.

on the benefit of our trip to Dubai for Aubameyang…
I think the fact that he was three games out with a ban and missed three weeks and that rhythm in this competition is tough. You don’t just click like this and in training you cannot replicate a game scenarios, it’s completely impossible and the demands that physically you have to put out here. He’s been training really hard in Dubai, he looked sharp and today, what a really good performance again.  

on the third goal…
It’s part of what we’re trying to build here. When everybody is involved in what we want to do and everybody feels like they’re participating towards a goal, it’s very pleasing for me. There’s a lot of things that we’re working to make sure everybody is relevant in the things we want to achieve. When we can score in two, maybe better.

on starting Eddie Nketiah…
The message is very clear, whoever trains like they do and I see that they have the abilities, the quality and their hunger like he’s done to perform today, he’s got a chance to play. Today I decided to play Eddie because he has been training in a phenomenal way, I decided for him not to go on loan and to stay and as well I have to support that decision. Laca has been playing all the games with me, he hasn’t scored and I told him the decision why and he accepted really well. I said ‘come out and you will score a goal’, he did and I’m so pleased not just for the goal, but for the reaction of all his teammates and the staff. They showed how much they love him and the reason why is because this guy works his balls off every day.

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