Press conference

Every word from Arteta's post-Brighton presser

Mikel Arteta applauds during our match against Brighton

There were plenty of topics covered in Mikel Arteta's post-match press conference following Sunday's win over Brighton.

The manager discussed our performance, Martin Odegaard's showing and why he was impressed with Gabriel, along with lots more.

Read on for the full transcript.

on the win:
Outstanding, incredible. Big compliment to the team and to the players. I think we had an incredible performance against a top team. I think we fully deserved to win the game. I have to praise them because I know how difficult it is and what Brighton do to teams. We didn’t allow that to happen, so I’m super happy.

on Odegaard’s display - and how important he is:
He wanted to celebrate his beautiful birthday today in a great way - and he’s done it, with a win, with a huge performance. The way they play, the way they press you, they go man-to-man and you have to be so good, so accurate, so precise, so intelligent to do what we have done today. We’ve done it.

on the patience the team showed in spite of having illness in the camp:
Absolutely - we had to be patient but at the same time, we had to be really determined against this team. Maybe [you can] have certain doubts - they start to open you up, they start to frustrate you and dominate with the ball. We didn’t allow that to happen today. We showed a lot of maturity and a lot of intelligence. This game against them required [us] to be really intelligent in certain areas. We’ve done that in a really good way. Regarding [illness] we have some issues in the camp. With Jorginho as well, we have another issue, so we have five or six now. We need players.

on not taking first-half chances:
Yes, but if we generate more, the probability of us scoring is higher. That’s the only thing we can focus on. We have great players who can define games and who can finish actions. Today we needed too many, especially in big spaces. We needed too many situations to kill the game - and that was the fear, especially after half-time, that it would be one of those days. The moment you give something to this team, they’re going to take it. 

on Havertz’s improved goalscoring form:
His confidence is growing and he feels more secure on the field. The fact he’s scored one helped to score the second one. It’s four in seven games now and he should have scored a header today as well in a really good position. But overall, his performances, the intelligence he shows on the pitch, the aggression, how he works defensively, it’s top. Really good. 

on if the handbrake is coming off the team:
I don’t know about the handbrake. Hopefully I don’t transmit them to play with the handbrake but when you have 10 players defending in [a space of] 22 metres, you cannot run. If you run, you run off the pitch. When [you play] a team that allows you space, that wants to go man-to-man, there are huge spaces opening if you do the right things. Then we can run - and we’re a really dangerous team then as well. I think the team is clicking because they’re experiencing more and more time together. When you talk about Kai or Declan, they have played more games with us now. They understand certain things much quicker. It’s easy to adapt in games because they get it.

on this win showing how the team has developed since losing to Brighton last season:
I think we had a really good first half last season as well. We should have scored one or two goals but we didn’t. That was my concern today at half-time as well. But [last season] when we conceded the first goal, the team went down because we didn’t have that belief. Today we showed a real determination to beat them from the beginning until the end - and we have managed to do it.

on the team’s proficiency from set-pieces…
[Having tall players] is a factor - the height is really important on set-plays. The takers are getting better and better. They’re understanding where to attack in relation to what the opponent does well. Big credit to the coaches for the work they’ve done - and big credit to the players as well for buying into that and understanding how crucial this is in the game.

on Gabriel’s consistency and if he is underrated…
Hopefully not [underrated] - certainly not in this team or from me. I know his value, what he brings to the team and the love he has for defending, keeping clean sheets and being on it in every single action. What he transmits to the backline is absolutely incredible and today we did it against a team that had scored in 32 consecutive Premier League matches. Big compliment to the boys.

on perceived uncertainty around Gabriel’s future in the summer…
From my side there was zero uncertainty because I want him here.

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