After seeing his side beat AC Milan 2-1 to claim the Dubai Super Cup, Mikel Arteta headed to the post-match press conference to face the gathered media.
The boss tackled questions about the trip, his youngsters, the returning players from the World Cup and the upcoming transfer window, and you can read every he had to say below:
on his confidence in our younger players to see us through the final stages:
If we want to develop players, you have to expose them to different contexts, and today I thought it was a perfect contest to understand how they can compete, even though they are really young. We have to put them in those scenarios so that we can develop our players.
on Ben White playing again:
I’m very pleased, everybody has been giving him a lot of support and love which is what he needed. You know the reasons why he had to leave the camp, and we are delighted to have him back and have him in really good shape.
on Thomas Partey returning:
He played a lot [at the World Cup] and obviously he was disappointed at the way that he had to leave, but it happens to every nation when they go out, and it takes a few days to reset and start to focus on the team. The good thing we have is that everyone has been showing that they are desperate to get back, and they want to be ready as quickly as possible and it was great to have those two back today playing some minutes.
on when he thinks he’ll have the rest of our players back:
That’ll take a few more days. Granit is already here, and is training and willing to participate on the weekend, so we don’t have that many away now so that is a positive thing.
on his assessment of the trip:
We have to raise the standards. We discussed the things that we are doing really well, and it is not a coincidence the way we have been performing but if we want to challenge at the top, we have to improve certain things. We’ve been lucky because we’ve brought a lot of kids here, but what they have done is not only maintain the standards, but increase them, so I want to say thank you so much to them because they have been key in this camp to have a successful period in training and compete in the competition.
on whether he has chatted to Ben White yet:
I have been having conversations with every single player that went to the World Cup to understand where they are - not only me but all the players and the staff are trying to give support when someone needs it.
on Morocco’s manager Walid Regragui attending a tactical seminar Mikel gave last year:
The impact he’s having, he’s a total credit to them. What he is doing is amazing, and what he is transmitting is great, and it’s a really positive thing for world football to have an African team at the stage. They’re one of four very select teams in this World Cup.
on stories questioning Ben’s character:
We can’t control that, but I know who Ben is, what he needs and what his character is and how happy we all are to have him at the club.
on whether it matters that we won the trophy:
It is about trying to get everybody with the same purpose and the same objective. We have to refocus everybody because the World Cup is a big distraction, and you have to pay it respect because it is a huge competition, but for us at club level, we still have a lot of things to do in the season.
on if a player at the World Cup has caught his eye:
There are a few, and a few national teams as well. A lot of things they are doing are very interesting and it shows where the game is going, where it is evolving, but as for players - I’ll keep that to myself!
on the plans for the transfer window:
We are looking and we are active in the possibilities. If we can find the players that will strengthen the team, we will try.
Copyright 2023 The Arsenal Football Club Limited. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.