Press conference

Arteta on... the win, playing from the back, Ozil

It was hard work, but we kicked off our Europa League campaign with a win against Rapid Vienna on Thursday night.

Mikel Arteta faced the media after the game and discussed the match, playing out from the back, Thomas Partey and Mesut Ozil.
 
This is what he said:
 
on whether we were lucky to win…
We knew it would be a difficult match and we made it a little bit harder with a few of the decisions we made and the goal we conceded, which if anything is my fault because I demand those things. But I really liked the reaction, in the second half we understood much better the spaces that we have to attack, we played with more purpose and we generated much more, even though we conceded a late chance with another misunderstanding at the back. But in general I think e scored two good goals, the second one was fantastic and I am delighted to start with a victory.
 
on persisting with playing out from the back even under pressure…
Yes, and it is part of our game. We need where we can do it and when we should kick the ball to the stand, which is a big part of what we are trying to do, but to recognise that from the outside is much easier than from the inside. He (Leno) has the courage to do that, we have been very successful at doing it as well with the amount of goals we have scored even in important games, so we have to find the right balance but I will keep encouraging them to do it in the right moments.
 
on whether errors like the first goal are just the risk of playing in this way…
Yes, absolutely but they will understand better and better the type of balls that we have to play in those areas and in relation to where the pressure is coming, and the distances that you can manage from the opponent. After that everything will be better, but obviously in a split second you have to make a decision, you have to get the right touch, the right pass and as well the opponent is waiting for that so again it is something we have to keep working on because if we want to play in the way that I want to, it is necessary that we keep doing nit in our build up play.
 
on Thomas Partey looking so good in midfield…
Yes, to be fair he looked really solid and really comfortable. I think he held the midfield by himself in the second half when we were a little more open and started to take more chances and attacking certain spaces with some players. But I think he was fantastic tonight and there is much more to come from him.
 
on whether there's a challenge to keep expectations under control for Thomas...
Yes, of course. But he needs his teammates around him. It's not about him. We know that with the price that we paid for him and the profile of the player that he is, that he's going to have a lot of people looking at him every single game. But this is about the structure we have as a team and the flow, the unity and the cohesion that we need in our team and he is one piece of that and hopefully he's a big piece.
 
on Mesut Ozil's tweets during the game...
This is great! This is what I want from all the players that aren't in our squad. I didn't expect anything different to that, so it's good to hear.
 
on whether he finds it frustrating that there is so much talk about Mesut...
No. I think it's part of the situation that we have. When we have big players in this position, it's normal that people want to know and fans want that information and you have to ask the questions. So I take it in a natural way, I try to respond with honesty and clarity and give the information that is available from the inside.

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