Press conference

Arteta on the win, Saka, Nketiah: full transcript

Mikel Arteta was a happy man after we secured our third win under him to reach the fifth round of the Emirates FA Cup.

Afterwards, he faced the media to discuss the victory, our youngsters' performances, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and more.

This is what he said:

on making it to the fifth round...
I am very pleased. I knew it was going to be tough here. We played a really young squad today and I wanted to see the reaction. I'm very pleased because I saw a lot of things that I really liked.

on the injury to Mustafi...
They're going to assess him between today and tomorrow but when a player has to come off, normally with a central defender - hopefully I am wrong but - normally it's not good news.

on whether it makes a move for Pablo Mari more necessary...
No. We had a very clear intention of what we wanted to do in the market with the resources we have and if we can do it, fine. But his fitness [Mustafi's fitness] won't change anything.

on what it was that impressed him about our youngsters...
In the first half I think we were really, really good. I think they executed everything that we planned in a really good way. They have courage to play, they have courage to make big decisions. They are important in this side. They are not the icing on the cake, no no, they are probably the core of that team at the moment and to play with that accountability and decision, I really like it.

on the young English players...
They were terrific. Their work rate as well. For me it's the courage to play, you know, to make big decisions, to not be scared and play safe. That's the difference with these three kids. Eddie again was terrific and Joe as well. I really like Joe in that position. I think he can be an outstanding player playing there and he showed that tonight.

on whether Nketiah's performance proves he will be involved here...
You look at him on the wing and three seconds later you look at the cross and he is there all the time in the middle of the goal. That's why he scored a goal. He is always in the middle of the goal, ready to do that and also the way he works without the ball is terrific.

on the first goal having 22 passes in the build-up...
If we can score in two passes, it's better! We don't need that many but obviously we need to move the ball and find the right spaces to attack and they've done it really well. I think the two goals were really nice.

on the importance of a good cup run...
It gives you a lift. You go an extra round and look at the next opponent. You are closer to Wembley which is a magnificent day, let’s go step by step but they are really willing. I had that experience as a player, and I want to experience it as a manager now.

on how being a captain compares to being a manager...
You sleep worse, for sure, before the games. It’s a completely different life you know. I’m pleased with today’s performance, but let’s go step by step and see where we get.

on Saka playing left-back...
It is the situation now because we don't have any left backs at the moment. What I like is that he’s put his head down, it’s not his favourite position to play, but we try to adapt him with his qualities to play him as much as possible in the position that he likes. But then he is very willing to learn all the defensive principals that we are asking him to do and his attitude is really good.

on Portsmouth being a test in the next round...
It was here and it will be there. All the FA Cup games away from home are like this. We will analyse them and I’m sure it will be difficult.

on Aubameyang being linked with Barcelona...
I want Auba here 100 per cent, I’m so happy with him and I can’t wait to have him available again after suspension.

on Bournemouth and whether he hopes they stay up...
I have great sympathy for the way they play, for the ground, and for the manager. I hope they stay because I think they deserve it. They have been very unlucky with some of their results this season as well, and hopefully they are going to get out of it.

See Full List

Fixtures & Results

Europa League
Ticket Info

 

 

MEN

WOMEN

ACADEMY

 

Fixtures

Results

Premier League
Europa League