After seeing us eliminated from the Carabao Cup via a 3-1 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion, Mikel Arteta faced the media in his post-match press conference.
He discussed a number of topics, including Karl Hein's debut, his feelings on exiting the competition and squad depth.
Here is everything he had to say:
on the performance and the result:
The view is that the result doesn’t reflect actually what happened on the pitch. I think it’s clear, but there are two things on the pitch: those are the boxes. They were much more efficient than us and that makes the whole difference, because in the moment that we were clearly on top of the game when we had the chances to get away with the game, we conceded the goal and that changed the game.
on if he’s disappointed to exit the cup:
Losing is [disappointing], but the way the boys tried and played, and the amount of changes that we had to make because of the congestion and we have to protect the players and give them chances. I’m really happy with that, but obviously, we wanted to continue in the competition and unfortunately, we are out.
on why Karl Hein was selected over Matt Turner:
I think he deserved the chance. He’s the first goalkeeper of the national team at his age and I think that’s something that is not usual. He totally deserves his chance and if I had to play tomorrow again, I would play him again because you only get experience when you’ve played football matches. Karl has that and errors are part of football.
on if the defeat shows we need to strengthen our squad:
That’s the squad that we have and we have to use and utilise the squad the best possible way. Today, we came up short, especially because we didn’t do what we have to do in both boxes to win a football match, and we paid the price.
on whether he will need a deeper squad to maintain momentum:
We know where we are. We know as well the moment that we had certain injuries, that the squad is already very very short, and we have tried to manage that in the best possible situation. But the same when we win a football match, so no excuses.
on Karl Hein and whether he spoke to him in the dressing room after the game:
No, everybody was supporting him straight after. We all make mistakes. Me the first one. The players all the time, because it’s part of the game. He needs to carry on. It’s about when you make an error, how you react. It is not about the error. This is going to happen in his career, and it happened today, unfortunately.
on how he goes about building units within the squad:
It’s all kind of things. Obviously building a relationship on the pitch, and the chemistry and understanding is something really, really important. Every training session and everything we do is related to that.
on whether some players are involved in multiple units:
There are players that can fit into different roles, and can accommodate different spaces. That’s something I think that’s very positive.
on Fabio Vieira:
I think in front of goal he’s been a little bit unlucky because the last two games he could have scored a few goals. Every new player needs time to adapt and to play. Obviously when he played against Brighton away from home and he was surrounded with players he’s been more familiar with, it’s a little bit easier. We have asked him to play in different positions as well because of the needs we have in the squad. I’m not worried at all.
on how Vieira has adjusted in the first six months and whether he's really settled in:
Well he’s missed a big part because he came and he was injured for two and a half months. So he’s missed a whole pre-season, and I think that period now in the World Cup [break] is going to make him very good.
on the Brazil squad announcement and how Gabriel has handled it:
The whole team has been very supportive with him. I think Gabi had that option in his mind as well and knew it wasn't easy to get selected with the squad that they have. He was obviously hoping for it but he accepted the decision in a really good way.
on whether we will add to our squad in January:
It’s the same squad as when we win. I always said from day one that we have a shorter squad because at the end we left some players, and as well if everyone is available and everyone can play the minutes, we are okay, but at the moment we have some injuries. We know what it is, but it’s nothing new. I said it the first day after the transfer window.
on if he will have a change our squad in January:
Well that’s a window that is open and I will have to discuss the options that we have, the capacity that we have to make those changes and be in the market for any opportunity. We don’t know what is going to happen - all of our options are open.
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