Press conference

Arteta on the win, Gabriel and injuries

Mikel Arteta was a happy man after our battling victory over West Ham at the London Stadium.

Goals from our two centre backs gave us a third vital win in a row, and afterwards the boss spoke to the media about winning ugly, the progress the side is making, the latest with injuries and more.

Read on for a full transcript of his post-match press conference.

on the win…
It’s a massive win, under very difficult circumstances because we put ourselves in real problems, especially with our decision making and in ball possessions, and the spaces we were attacking, and the timing of it and the efficiency of it. But the team showed huge character, not to give up, to continue trying to do the right things. The way they fought, the way they understood how they have to manage the game in certain moments, with the way we defended, because we didn't concede anything, it was phenomenal. In England you say ‘win ugly’, I think from my point of view today we won ugly, and I’m extremely happy to see a team that has this capacity to find a way to win and show the character that they showed today. 

on Gabriel’s goals and his influence from a year ago…
I think he has grown so much, especially as a character. Obviously his English is better, the way he is presenting himself, the respect that he earned around the boys. Those performances have been really consistent throughout the season, defending and now scoring really important goals for us, which is an add on that you hope to have in your centre defenders but it’s easy to find.

on if the pressure is getting to the players…
No, I think when you have to pass the ball from A to B under pressure or under no pressure, I think this is an excuse, today we were just sloppy at times, imprecise and that led to a game that we didn’t want to play in in many moments, but we recognise that and sometimes it happens, to play here against this team is not easy at all, and we found another way to win the match today.

on Saka, Tomiyasu, and White’s fitness…
Ben got injured against Manchester United, he felt a muscular problem and we checked him, and we will have to access him in the next few days to see how he is. Bukayo was fine, he was really fatigued and he has been through a little injury as well. Tomiyasu is just that he had been out for so long and could not continue.

on if he’s concerned about Tomiyasu’s injury…
No, hopefully, he’s fine.

on Holding’s performance…
I said to you guys, to good people, to good things happen and Rob is another great example, but now when he plays well to give him credit, especially when he doesn’t play, the way he trains, the way he is amongst the team, he’s just a phenomenal person and player to have around the team and today, when you ask him to come he’s always ready to do something.

on if we can catch Chelsea in third place…
Well, mathematically everything is open so, we’re going to have to go to Leeds and win again because everybody is going to put pressure because everybody wants to play in the position that we are right now. We have to handle that and we have a great opportunity and that willingness and motivation that we have is driving us to continue to do something.

on the fans signing Holding is better than Cannavaro…
I haven’t heard that song! Let’s not compare. Rob Holding is really good being Rob Holding and he needs to be really happy with what he’s done today for the team.

on if he’s happy with the progress we’ve made this season…
Yes, and we have to continue to do so, so the level in this league is extraordinary, teams win at home and away in the same way and if we want to be competing with those guys, we’re going to have to learn to do that consistently, and this season we are proving again that we’re capable of doing that.

on if he stopped the players from finding out about the Tottenham result before us…
I think I would be wasting my time because you know the players, the staff, everybody is with their phones and they all know. So we all knew the result beforehand, and the next week I don’t think that’s going to change still until the last day of the season where we will probably be connected so.

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