Press conference

'They're a complicated side, difficult to beat'

We may have won three games on the bounce, but Mikel Arteta knows we are in for a major examination at Wolves on Saturday.

Our head coach was asked all about the Black Country side in his pre-match press conference, and this is what he said:


on Wolves not being a 'surprise package' anymore...

I think they have shown in the past few years how consistent they have been with their performances. They are a group of players, and a club with a manager that have been doing exactly the same thing for many years and you can see their style of play, and a very clear identity of what they want to do,. They have been recruiting exactly the players they need in the positions to do what they want to do. They are a really difficult side to beat.


on the challenge from Wolves...

The manager has created the perfect environment for the players. I think they didn't have very big expectations but with their performances and their consistency, they have gained respect from all the teams in the league. They compete really well, a really clear gameplan of how they want to expose their opponent, very solid defensively and with some really good talent in forward positions that can win the game at any moment. A very complicated side.


on Raul Jimenez and Adama Traore...

They link with each other really well. Their understanding, their movement, the partnership that they have... they are a big threat. I think Raul, the way he's settled in the country and the player he's become is as well because of the structure that he has in the team that his manager has created, and the players around him as well. Adama, I know him from his time at Barcelona, and he's a player that can unlock the door at any moment in the game.


on whether breaking down Wolves' defence is the biggest challenge this weekend...

Yes. I think a lot of teams have struggled to create anything against them. They are really, really strong defensively, very well structured, very little spaces to attack. We have a plan to try to help them, with the right players in the right spaces to try to create the chances that we need to win the game. As well, they're a team who try to counter-attack and when they are stable in the final third against the opponent, they have the players to hurt you. That's why they are very solid and consistent. They are a team that doesn't concede many and always has a good chance to win the game, and be up near the top of the table.


on Adama Traore's form...

I always saw incredible potential and that he could develop and evolve certain areas of his game. He was unstoppable to play at times. When he gets service in the right moments and gets isolated, it's so difficult to defend and he is showing that in a constant way right now. Something that is not easy to do for a very talented football player.

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