Press conference

Every word from Mikel’s post-Chelsea presser

Arteta Chelsea

Mikel Arteta was over the moon after our 5-0 win at home to Chelsea.

Here is everything he had to say in his post-match press conference:

on the performance tonight:
Yeah, a big performance, collectively and individually I thought we were really good against a really good team that was in great form, and they were going to ask us a lot of questions, and we responded really well. From the start of the game I think we were really determined, really flowing, playing with a lot of courage and making things happen. Yeah, really happy with the result, it’s a big day for our supporters as well so really happy with that.

on how Rice, Odegaard and Partey played together:
Yeah we have the squad available apart from Jurrien [Timber] hopefully he’s going to be very soon back with us, we have to utilise the players, the quality that we have. We thought it was a really good game for Thomas [Partey] to come back, he looks like he is in rhythm, he trained really well the last few days, the way that they set-up, the players that they have in and the way they attack especially, we believe it was the right call to make. He stepped up and had a great performance and was really important for the team.

on what he likes about that midfield trio:
Everything, but as well when they play Declan, Kai, and Martin or play with Emile as well or Jorgi for sure, he has played some big games and we’ve won some big, big games with him as well, depends on the game and the state, the opponent as well, it’s great because everybody feels important as well, that’s something really, really important now.

on the boost a big win can give our squad:
Great for us obviously, for the confidence, for the belief that we can do it and we can come to these stages against big teams and we can perform and win games the way we have done tonight, so enjoy it and it’s back to work tomorrow because we have a big one Sunday and we’re going to have to prepare really well to try to beat them.

on sympathy towards Pochettino’s situation at Chelsea:
All the sympathy in the world with everything that he’s been through, everything that he’s doing, he knows that. I’ve been on the other side as well and nothing. He’s doing a great job, if you look at this team and analyse six, seven games of them, they deserve to win every match they play big games, big teams and they deserve to beat all of them. Hopefully things will turn around and be as he deserves.

on whether that affects how much he enjoyed the result:
No, I love winning and he will try to do the same. When you talk about sympathy and someone that I love and admire, for sure I want the best for him.

on the impact of Thomas Partey’s performance:
I don’t know, but then we would have won every game because look at the run we are in, the amount of points we have already and we have missed Thomas, that’s true, since August and he’s a big player for us. But as well that has given the chance to all the players, to Declan to play as a six, to rediscover Declan as an eight, playing Kai as a nine, the contribution of Jorgi, he has been absolutely phenomenal as well. And the team has resources, and it has to find different ways of winning and acting and interchanging the qualities. I’m really happy.

on the energy in the team from minute one to the last:
That’s for sure, for energy and for the spirit of the team. The second half, we kept growing physically. What these boys have done in the last 10 days is unbelievable and you look at the numbers of some of them, it’s unreal, but they can do it, they can improve themselves, because they want to, and they have this mentality that they really want to win it.

on the preparations after a difficult week last week:
Just face the reality, that’s it. The margins are so small and sometimes you cannot be better than your opponent on the day, or you don’t have the luck you need in certain moments, but what do you have to do? You have to react and face the moment, and the moment is beautiful, we’ve been working for it for nine months. So you certainly have to face it in the right way, value what we have and especially believe. If you are able to do it for nine months, you are able to win it, but you have to believe it first and you have to consistently do what you’ve been doing, nothing else.

on Kai Havertz’s performance tonight against his former club:
He was unbelievable in all departments and obviously when you have a nine score two goals the way he scored, his contribution was great and a question about scoring against Chelsea for him, but I’m sure he’s very pleased.

on the supporters getting fully behind the team:
That’s what we’re here for. I think that they have to feel that this team is capable of representing the club in the best possible way. I think they feel it, they see the effort, they see the quality and our job is to make sure that they have fun, enjoy and together we can win things.

on getting revenge for suffering a big defeat as a player against Chelsea:
That’s not revenge, this is football. It normally brings you another opportunity, we took it today in the right way. Don’t get carried away, enjoy tonight and let’s go back to work tomorrow.

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