Press conference

Arteta's press conference: Laca, Ryan, Willock

Mikel Arteta sat down for his post-match press conference over Zoom on Sunday in the wake of a game that had a dramatic late equaliser, a number of VAR interventions and a worrying injury for Alex Lacazette.

Our manager fielded questions on all of those topics, plus Joe Willock's form at Newcastle and Mat Ryan's return to the side.

Here's the full transcript:

on whether we deserved a point...
Arsenal deserved three points, without a doubt. You have to respect every opinion but you ask me my opinion and I tell you that we totally deserved to win the match, and you have to look back at the chances we created, two goals disallowed, and we conceded with one shot on target.

on the VAR interventions...
We have to trust them, that is the only thing.

on Lacazette's injury...
We don't know yet [how bad it is]. He felt his hamstring so I don't know.

on Mat Ryan's attacking contribution...
I picked him because he totally deserves to play, he trains like a beast, he's got the right attitude and he needed a game. It was a great header.

on struggling to put together consecutive wins in the league...
That's the reason we are where we are in the league, because when you face the games like today and you produce what you produce, you have to win it. That's what the top teams are doing consistently in the league, and when you don't do it then obviously the consequences are that you are where you are.

on qualifying for Europe via the league...
We needed the win today, we need to win every single game to give us the best possible chance. We know it doesn't depend on us but mathematically it is still possible.

on making five changes...
There are different reasons for that. One of them is because some of the players haven't recovered yet from Thursday night, they have played so many minutes and it was a big risk to play them. Some of them because they deserved an opportunity, but we cannot change 10 players all the time. We took some decisions, like with Laca to play in the game, because he felt good, and he still got injured. It's always a balance. If you rest them, [you're asked] why do you rest them? If you don't, [you're asked] why do you play them again?

on relying on Nketiah against Everton...
We will see, we will assess who is available and how we want to approach the game, and make a decision based on that.

on Eddie and whether he can still offer something to Arsenal...
Yes. He always offers his best and today he scored a goal and he had another two important chances. He's always a threat in front of goal.

on the European Super League reports that are emerging...
I don't know anything about it.

on Lacazette's hamstring and if he could be out for a few weeks...
We'll have to see. We'll have the scan, probably on Tuesday, to see the extent of the injury and the timeline for it. But I don't know.

on the disappointment on Laca's face as he went off...
Yes. But I don't know, I cannot tell if it's going to be a week, two weeks, five weeks or six weeks. He felt something in his hamstring and we don't know the extent of it. We are all disappointed because we all know the moment that Laca was on.

on whether he's aware that Arsenal are being linked with a place in a European Super League...
No.

on what he thinks about the idea and if he thinks Arsenal should pursue it...
I don't know. Once I know every detail and I have all of the information, then I can evaluate and give you my opinion.

on the importance of rhythm for Eddie if he now has to play more often...
Well, obviously every player needs minutes and Eddie's been fighting all the time to get more minutes than what he was getting this season. It's good that when he has opportunities to show his attitude and his quality, that he's done it.

on Joe Willock's form at Newcastle...
I'm really happy with Joe because he scored a massive goal for their club. So when he produces big moments like that, for a young talent like him it's very satisfying. Joe can do it, he's got the ability and the desire and now he needs more consistency in terms of minutes and performances. That's great for his development and that's why we believed it [the loan to Newcastle] was the right option.

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