Press conference

Arteta's press conference: read every word

Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta was in relaxed mood as he faced the media on Thursday ahead of our Premier League clash with Burnley.

Our manager was asked about a range of issues, from the goalkeeping situation to Jack Wilshere's hunt for a new club.

Read on for a full transcript:

on how he’s felt since the Norwich game…
They’ve been even better because winning always helps, the boys were happy because we experienced the reaction of the fans towards the team on the day and winning the first match and getting out of the blocks in the Premier League was a big part of our next moment, so very happy.

on the latest team news…
Hopefully we get some players back, everyone trained well this week. Obviously we still have Granit suspended, and the rest hopefully will be fine.

on whether Partey is fit to start at Burnley…
He is there. He has been training in and out this week, his load had to be managed because it was the early stages of the injury, what he had, but he is pushing everyone like he always does and he wants to be involved. We will make the decision at the weekend of what is best for him.

on whether he will name an unchanged team…
There is always a balance that has to be involved, the importance of the performances that individually they put in but collectively what happens, and understanding the reasons and whether it was because of the individuals or the execution that those individuals had on the plan that was put in place and if the same will be for Burnley. So let’s see. Everybody trained well and tomorrow there is another session, so let’s see what is best for Burnley.

on starting Ramsdale and Leno’s reaction…
It’s the same in every position. We want them to make each other better. We are competing against opponents, we are not competing against each other here. We are just trying to bring in players that raise the level of the players who is playing that position, the level of the team, the level of the club and this is the only reason. Obviously for Bernd, it wasn’t a pleasing communication to tell him he wasn’t playing but he is a top professional and a top person so he should be disappointed but he should support his team-mate like they all do with him every time he has played, and that’s exactly what he has done.

on Burnley chasing their first win of the season…
Obviously they had some difficulties to get results, during games that I watched, they have been pretty unlucky in certain moments because they have moments of real dominance and they end up losing matches. We know how tough it is to go to Burnley, we know the game we can expect there and we will be prepared for that.

on Sean Dyche’s new contract…
I think he deserves huge credit. With the resources he has, the way he has established the club in the Premier League and how he has done it over the years - and he has stuck to his beliefs and done it his own way and created a unique identity on the club, which is something that is very difficult to do in this league, so credit to him and congratulations.

04:11

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on the reasons he picked Ramsdale over Leno…
That we had to change something and Aaron has come in here to try to make us better. We needed a result on the day and I decided to play him, that’s all.

on reports that Leno could come back in for the north London derby…
I don’t know where they are coming from, but they are ahead of me! I think I am the one who picks the team at the weekend and sometimes I read things that I haven’t decided yet. So they give me ideas at most, but nothing else because I haven’t made a decision for Saturday, so you can imagine the north London derby!

on dealing with the threat Burnley bring…
Obviously it is going to be a completely different game that when we played against Norwich because of their qualities and the game they propose, where they want to take the game to and we will have to avoid it as much as possible and do the opposite thing.

on Burnley looking to make it uncomfortable for us and the referee’s role…
I don’t know, we know the rules and we respect the rules and there is an official who has to say what is right and what is wrong.

on whether some of the tackling has been over the top this season…
Well they explained the rules, we can agree or disagree but we don’t have a say. I wouldn’t waste any energy on that.

on if Wilshere has been in touch about training at Arsenal…
We are in conversations with Jack to understand what he needs, what he’s looking for. He’s a person and player who has a huge admiration around everybody - not just the players or fans, but all the staff around here. We are willing to help him as much as we possibly can. He knows that and this is the situation.

on if Wilshere could play for Arsenal again…
I wouldn’t take it that far. What I’m saying is that we’re in conversations with him to understand what he needs, how we can help him and that’s it.

06:54

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on building on Norwich ahead of a big week…
Absolutely, now we have to put a run together. We know how much we need the results and the performances will lead to that. If we do what we have to do against Burnley, we’ll be much closer to achieving that. We’ve had a good week to prepare for the game. We know what we are facing. The challenge is going to be big, because it’s one of the toughest places to go in the Premier League. We are ready for it.

on how tough the first two months of the season have been for Mikel…
Life brings you things and you cannot decide it. There are certain things that you cannot control. What is coming to you is coming for a reason. Sometimes we don’t want to see it, but it’s coming for a reason - and it’s probably for the right reason. Then it’s about how you take it and how you respond to that. The way that everyone around me responded is the way that I responded. That’s why it’s been fine. It’s tough because it hurts, because you want to see something different. But what you want is not always what happens. Things happen for a reason and maybe what is happening had to happen and [maybe] it’s going to be really good for the club and really good for myself and everybody experiencing that situation. We have to believe that.

on if the last couple of months have been character building for Mikel…
When I was a player, I made a decision in my career because I had a personal issue with my parents. I decided to go to my former club, Real Sociedad, and that was tough because I had other opportunities, but I did it to be at home next to them, because I thought that was important. I suffered. I didn’t play - I was on the bench and I always said that was the key moment in my career to have more success after. I don’t know how you measure success but to enjoy [it] more, to go to bigger clubs and do that, that was the right moment. Everybody that made those decisions, and the experiences that I had there, it was the right thing that I needed in that moment. At that moment, I couldn’t see it. I was annoyed, upset, angry. I was really bad with myself and everybody but, today looking back at it and reflecting on it, it was the perfect moment in the right time. 

on seeing the light now…
I can really see the light. I’m telling you I’m very positive most of the time. I’ve seen the light and I can see bright lights. There can be bumps in the road within that light, but I can see a lot of light.

on if he’s been worried by Leno’s response to not playing against Norwich…
No, that’s not true. He can be frustrated but he was top with his team-mates and in team training. That’s not true.

on if he’s had to make Leno any assurances regarding playing time…
What I said to [the goalkeepers] and what I said to the goalkeepers in the last two or three years is that we don’t want to do that. What we want to do is empower performance and ask them to train, behave and play in the best possible way. How can I guarantee somebody to do something? It wouldn’t make sense with what we are demanding them to do. It’s on a daily basis. In football, what you did three months ago doesn’t count. It’s what you’re going to do today and tomorrow, and that’s it.

on how hard it’s been watching European matches without Arsenal being involved…
It hurts a lot. In the last few days, it’s hurt to put the TV on and see those teams and not seeing Arsenal there. It was painful.

on if that’s a motivation to make sure Arsenal are back in Europe next year…
One hundred per cent. I don’t want to be sitting there with Arsenal being out of those competitions. We have the focus and the trigger is there.

on Lacazette and if Mikel is planning as a team that won’t use him - will he leave next summer?
No, he’s fully involved. You give the reasons why he hasn’t played more minutes and he will be back to the form that he can achieve. I am sure that he will be instrumental in our success.

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