After seeing us taste defeat for only the second time this season against Everton, Mikel Arteta faced the media in his post-match press conference.
He was asked questions including some about our performance, the home fans' impact and whether the loss will have long-term consequences.
Here is everything he had to say:
on our players not being at their best today:
I think Everton were really good and we have to congratulate them first for the way they have turned things around. I think they won the game because they were really efficient. From our side, [we’re] disappointed because obviously we didn't get the result that we wanted but the performance doesn't reflect what we've been doing. Especially in two phases - one when they were really direct, and we struggled to control that type of game and get back on track and the game we wanted to play. Then with the amount of open situations that we generated in the final third that has to finish with goals and clear-cut chances much more than we did today.
on the impact of the crowd:
We cannot control the energy that they can have. I was certain that the energy was going to be exactly how it's been today. The thing is what we can do in the game to try and keep us as quiet as possible and try to generate their frustration that we could generate as well. There were moments when we managed to do that and there were moments when we just gave them the opportunity to get to that stage.
on our players showing emotional composure at the end:
No, the last 12/15 minutes especially after we made the changes, we started to give away a lot of free-kicks and a lot of rash decisions that obviously is exactly what they wanted: slow the game down, do everything really loud, play the ball into your last line, start to get set plays and they don't play a lot. We haven't managed that well enough.
on if the pressure of the situation got to the team:
I don’t think so, we’ve played a lot of games already this season like that. But credit to them, this is what they train for every single day, and you must adapt to that. You have to do the basics especially in defending. You need to do really well to get your control and the right to play, and for moments we did it, and in others we didn’t do it well enough to get more from the game.
on what he wants the team to do in the next game:
I want the team to know how much I love them. I love them much more now than three hours ago, a week ago, month ago, three months ago. It’s very easy to be next to the players when they are winning and performing. This is the moment I love my players more, the staff more and now we stick together. This journey is going to be difficult and challenging, and there’s going to be bigger stones in the middle that we’re going to have to overcome that. And now we’re going to prepare really well in the week to get to Saturday in the right emotional level and right spirit to be perfect.
on how to stop one loss from turning into more:
You can try a lot of things on the pitch to try and deserve to win the game.
on how the team can respond after only our second league defeat of the season:
The best way to do it is to understand who we are, why we’ve gotten to where we are and then start to do all the basic things right, play the way we want to play, and how to do it better individually and collectively. Then you’ll earn the right to win games.
on whether he believes the ‘new manager bounce’ made a difference today:
You have to give credit to Sean and the team at Everton, because it’s one thing saying it and another doing it, and I think they did it really well today.
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