Press conference

Every word from Mikel's post-Juventus presser

Mikel Arteta on the touchline against Juventus
Mikel Arteta on the touchline against Juventus

There were plenty of talking points when Mikel Arteta spoke to the media after our mid-season friendly defeat to Juventus on Saturday.

Our manager discussed Reiss Nelson’s injury, issues fitness updates on players returning to the squad and lots more - and you can read a transcript of what Arteta said below.

on if he’s focusing more on the performance than the result…
Probably, because the result doesn’t reflect the performance. But it’s a good test, a good learning as well for us - games are decided in the boxes. I think they had one or two shots and scored two goals. We had 19 or 20 and had two on target. That’s not enough. Overall, I think everything else was really positive. But that final thing you need to win the games wasn’t good enough today.

on Reiss Nelson’s injury - and if it hastens plans to bring in a forward in January…
We don’t know the extent of the injury. The fact he had to leave the pitch immediately is not good news, especially someone like Reiss, who is really powerful and fast. Let’s see what happens. We know what we have to do and that hasn’t changed the plans.

on updates on Smith Rowe, Zinchenko and Tomiyasu…
[Emile] hasn’t been able to train in the last few days but hopefully he can start [to train] next week. He’s been out for a while now - he needs some time to get back to speed. We really need him and we’re going to welcome him with both arms, because he’s a really important player for us. We need him fit on the pitch. Alex is progressing well and Tomi is running on the pitch. Hopefully we’re going to get the international players [who have been at the World Cup] joining again this week and then we’ll all be watching William Saliba tomorrow to see if he can win the World Cup.

on if Nketiah feels ready for the return of the Premier League…
Eddie is always ready. He knows that it opens an opportunity for him. He needs to grab it but the way he trains every day and the mentality he has, he gives us no reason not to think he’s going to be super ready to perform.

on how the feeling in the Arsenal dressing room compares to successful teams he’s been a part of…
I think we are in a really good place. Everybody is in a high emotional state because we are where we want to be - at the top of the league. I think we have deserved to be in the position we’re in with the way we’ve played and the way we’ve approached games. This window has been to reinforce where we are but still the good news is that there are still things to improve and become a better team.

on if it will be hard to start again at the same level the team played at before the break…
No, I think it’s been really positive. The players we have have trained exceptionally well, better than I’ve probably ever seen them train. They’ve competed really well, played well and we just have to continue. It’s a long marathon and we have to go game by game.

on when Saka and Martinelli will be phased back in…
They’ll come back straight away into the rhythm, shape and mould of the team. We’re waiting for them and they are desperate to be back as well. I’ve spoken to both of them. Gabi was here today, with a big smile and big energy. He’s ready to go again. It’s going to be a big boost for the team.

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