Press conference

Every word of Mikel’s pre-Burnley presser

Mikel Arteta's pre-Burnley press conference has taken place at the Sobha Realty Training Centre, and you can read everything he had to say ahead of our trip to Turf Moor below.

The boss was asked about the latest team news, his friendship with Vincent Kompany, our strong run of form in the Premier League title race and more.

Here is everything that he had to say on the following subjects...

on the latest team news:
Some of them have been progressing better than others. We have a training session again today, some of them have done a few bits this week and I’m positive that hopefully we’re going to get a few back for tomorrow.

on if any are ruled out for tomorrow:
At the moment, no.

on how important it is to use the squad in the right way:
We have to go game by game because at the moment in certain positions in the last few weeks we didn’t really have a choice. We had to play them, we didn’t really have any other players to do so and we had the chance during some matches to make some changes and adjust the minutes and the load of certain players, we have tried to manage that in the best way because it’s going to be really important.

on if any injuries will be longer than expected:
No there are no big setbacks on any of the other injuries and Thomas Partey as well is progressing really well. I don’t want to say too much but he’s looking very good and he’s on the field already.

on how hard it is to keep momentum going:
It’s the most important part of the season and we know that every fixture is going to play a significant role in what we want to achieve. Burnley is the most important one at the moment, a team that is extremely difficult to beat. You look at the results and how teams have drawn or beaten them and it’s been through very small margins. They’re extremely well coached, a team that is very competitive so we know that we have a very tough match on Saturday and that’s the only focus for us - to continue to play with the same energy and enthusiasm and play the game, compete in the game in the best way possible and the rest will come.

on being involved in an exciting title race:
We want to be there and that means that we’ve done a lot of things right during this season and we have learned a lot of things from last season. We’ve shown a big level of consistency and good things in the team and now we want to go another step forward and maintain that consistency, continue to play the way we are playing and perform and let’s see where we get.

on how we have got positive results with lots of goals:
Working with the team on the strengths as well as the things we can improve, sometimes in the players as well to try more and have more belief and adjust certain things to embrace the qualities and be more difficult to defend at times. That’s a constant evolution that a team needs through the season because opponents are very intelligent and they know what we want to do.

on if he is friends with Vincent Kompany:
Friends? Buddies? Well, we know each other really well. I have huge respect for him, we had a really good relationship when we worked together and now as well. I have a huge admiration for him. When he was a player, when I worked with him and he was captain, he conducted himself with a special aura around him. He’s very well articulated, has great ideas, a very clear vision of how he wants to play the game and on top of that he’s got the courage that I love in a coach, in a player and regardless he brings his sleeves up and gets going. His work ethic is phenomenal.

on having the chance to win the first five games of the calendar year for our first time:
There are moments and things that are motivating and the players are aware sometimes but sometimes not even aware of certain things that we’ve done or records. It’s another extra thing. The focus is on the game and what we have to do to earn the right to win it and if it comes, great.

on if we had to park the win against West Ham and move on:
Faster than a defeat! The defeat in the tummy is good for 48 hours. When you win and the way we did it, take the positive energy and carry on but that has to drive to an even better energy and will to keep improving because there are still things that we can do much better.

on if Burnley will click in the Premier League under Kompany:
It already started last season with what they did in the Championship. It was phenomenal, a record season for them and to do that you need to be exceptional at what you do. If not, that doesn’t happen, big credit to him, but it’s the way he can convince people because even when they went through a difficult period, I look at the players, how they behave, the staff, the crowd, they are with him. They follow him and are constantly trying to do what he demands them to do and they’ve been really competitive. In my opinion, they’ve been really unlucky with a lot of the results they’ve had this season.

on Kai Havertz’s performances in recent weeks:
I love him. I love him. I think we all love him as a player as a person, everything that he brings to the team. There are two or three moments the other day with 4,5,6-0 and how he tracks people and how he's defending the box and then how he's attacking the box. The position that he's constantly threatening the opponent's box as well that I really like and you ask him to play as a nine, as a right attacking midfielder, left attacking midfielder, on the base defending and he does it. He's just a joy to work with.

on David Raya being settled into the team:
What I like about David, as well is what he does in goal. The things that he prevents us from, you don't even see because they don't happen, because he has anticipated them. But yeah, obviously he had the environment that was very challenging. But that's what I love about him. The players with the courage and the character and personality. When even it is like this, they want to be themselves and they push themselves to do that. He has earned the right to be very respected and I'm really happy that he's winning.

on Mbappe saying he will leave PSG:
When there is a player of that calibre, we always have to be in the conversation. But, as you said, it looks like it will go a different way.

on what we’ve learned from last season for the business end of the campaign:
What I said is the most important thing to impact at the end of the season is to have the squad fully available. For me, that is requirement number one. And at the moment, we don't have it. And we're going to have to have it and we are working really hard to have it. This is the requirement number one. The 2/3/4, if we don't have that one, it's going to be difficult. I think we have a good chance.

on if we can’t win the title if the whole squad isn’t fit:
No, I'm not saying that. I'm saying that it is more difficult, especially in certain positions. When you have two or three players in certain positions, you can always vary and change it. But there are certain critical positions, and then it becomes much more difficult. 

on if it’s more difficult to play a team in a relegation battle:
You just have to see the recent games when they went to Anfield, what they did, and how Liverpool beat them. And it's going to be at home, which is going to be even more difficult. So it’ll be very tough.

on if a manager has to stick to their principles despite results:
I don't know. Everybody has to feel. I think if you don't feel what you are doing, it's impossible to transmit it. We have an idea and the players have to bind to it, and they have to execute it. So when you don't really feel it, I don't know how you transmit it. Maybe for a game, but in a period of time, I think I guess they lose it and and then you lose them. 

on Raya preventing things that we don’t see:
Have a look at the game again. I’m not going to tell you.

on the speed of his distribution:
Yeah, there are opportunities in the match when you can play fast and the door is open, that you can maximise those situations like every team does.

on if he has been able to field the team he has wanted to this season:
Yeah, but I think it's a great opportunity as well to adapt certain players in certain positions or roles and in spaces and see how they react and they are so willing. And that sometimes gives you a different solution that you hadn't thought of, because the situation requires and when you have players that are willing to change it and to do it, normally good things happen.

on Roy Hodgson being taken to hospital:
I don't know the exact details. Hopefully, he's feeling much better and if that's the case, knowing Roy, I think he will be in tomorrow because he loves it so much. But yeah, we all got really worried with the situation and hopefully he's fine.

on the stresses managers work under:
There is that part but there is the part of joy and and how beautiful our jobs are as well. But a lot of times in relation to where you are, but it's part of the job. 

on having strength in depth to go for the Premier League and Champions League:
I don't know. That's a decision that is going to depend on the availability that the squad have in the moment in certain positions, as I said before, that's going to be my opinion there.

on Fabio Vieira’s fitness:
He's very close. He's been training already for a few days with the team. So I think it's very close. He'll be back probably faster than we expected and he's in a good place.

on if he could play against Porto:
There is a chance, yes.

on his coaching staff being linked to managerial jobs:
Yeah, that's great what has happened, not only with the coaching staff but also certain staff, that other clubs are trying to come and get them which is always a really good sign that they're doing a really good job and and we have the right people here. 

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