Press conference

'Southampton are a team that is very much alive'

It has been quite a turnaround at Southampton over the past 13 months.

Back in late October 2019, the Saints were beaten 9-0 at home by Leicester City and there was much talk of a full-blown crisis at St Mary's.


But heading into Wednesday's game at Emirates Stadium, Ralph Hasenhuttl's side sit fourth in the table - and Mikel Arteta is wary of the threat they pose.


"They’re a really high pressing team, they are really aggressive, a really committed team," he said. "They make it hard for you to build a game up.


"They are really good on the counter press, the moment you regain the ball they have some really quick and fast players and the link-up play in the final third is really good.


"They are a team that is very much alive and you can see that the manager transmits that passion from the bench and everyone is aggressive and they all go, they are scoring goals and we need to be aware of that.


"We know they are in a really good moment, they are building something over time and you see the results and the progression the team has had - last year they had some difficulties for a period, they came through that and look really strong and they are a very dangerous team."


So how much heart can we take heart from the fact that Wednesday's opponents came through their own bad spell?


"I don’t like to compare it with any other club because I don’t know what happened," Arteta added. "We all knew when I took the job here that it wasn’t a quick fix at all, there were too many things that needed to be resolved, too many big decisions to make, a lot of changes that are happening and this takes time.


"Are we pleased with the results? Absolutely not, I am the first one who is angry and frustrated because I think as well that we deserve much more than we have at the moment but it is our own fault and we need to look to the future, and know as well that the present is also really, really important at the moment."

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