Press conference

Arteta's press conference: every single word

Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta faced the media shortly after our 3-1 defeat at Liverpool.

On the agenda were the perils of facing the champions, what we learned from Monday's game, our resilience, Alex Lacazette's attitude and speculation over Houssem Aouar.
Here's a transcript of the press conference:
on the performance...
Obviously it's a really tough place to come. They are a really good side. We stayed in the game for almost the whole match. Having the lead, I think we should have handled that situation a little bit better. We conceded that goal too early straight after that but we competed throughout the game, knowing the difficult moments that you're going to have when you come to Anfield. We really believed we could get something out of the game and when we had the clear chances to make it 2-2, we didn't score. Obviously if you want to get something out of the game here, you have to do that.

on what he learned from tonight's defeat...
We are in a different journey to Liverpool. They've been together for five years and they weren't able to do what they've done tonight two or three years ago, that's for sure. They have a lot of good work, a lot of belief in the way they play, great recruitment and they've improved the players that they have. This is what we have to try to do. They set the bar and they're probably the best standard that the Premier League has seen in many years. This is where we have to get and obviously we're still a long way from getting there.

on the confidence he takes from seeing our resilience...
Honestly, that's what I told them. I applaud that with all the problems we can have, the issues or things in some processes throughout the game, mostly when we had the ball in difficult areas to pick the right pass, to make the right decision, to read the game moments much better. But still, the belief that the players had, even at half-time - I could see that they still believed that they could get something out of the game. We tried to put them under as much pressure as we could and we were really aggressive trying the high press in many moments, but Van Dijk plays a 60-yard pass to Salah's chest and they are out. Then you have to travel about 50 metres and this is real quality. That's why they've spent the money they have done, so credit to them.

on Lacazette looking distraught after coming off...
They want to win and this is what I like. The mindset of the team is that they want to go to any ground and they want to win. The boys were really disappointed to lose the game because they really believed that they could come here and do it. For large periods of the game we were there. Obviously he had the best chance in the game to make it 2-2, and then again put us in a really strong position, but he had a great game. He put in another incredible performance and I'm pleased with him.

on whether Aouar is a player we’d like to sign…
We don’t have any news on new players. It’s a week to go and I think it’s going to be really busy for the clubs because not much business has been done. Let’s see what happens.
on whether it will be really busy for us…
I think it will be really busy for the Premier League. I don’t know for us how it’s going to happen.
on what changes he’ll make for Thursday considering we have another game on Sunday…
Well, we will see how the boys are and how they recover. Obviously today was physically a really demanding match. We will see the players that we have available and try to come here to win again.
on whether there is more belief in the team this season…
I don’t know, I wasn’t here at the time [when we played Liverpool away last season], but what I can tell you is the belief I sense from the players and the disappointment they have today in the dressing room, but they have to face the reality that any team when they come here, it’s the hardest ground to come here and do that and you can see how big teams are knocked out here. I’m happy that we competed throughout the game and I think there are a lot of things that we can do better - and we will do better - and that’s going to help us so much in the process. I want to see my players upset and angry when they lose a game.
on whether he thought we’d get an equaliser before Liverpool’s third…
Yeah, I could see it coming and I had the sense that we were growing and we were going to have the moments. The substitutions helped, but it wasn’t meant to be.
on there being 10 new coronavirus cases in the Premier League and how it could impact his squad…
Well, I think all the managers at all the clubs are really aware that this situation can come on and you can't pick positives. I think the Premier League and the clubs have done some really good work to create a really safe environment to manage the positives in really low numbers up until now. We have to keep doing that and we have to keep talking to players and staff to maintain the level of alert because we can’t ease off on any of the rules that we have at the moment. Hopefully we can maintain control.

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