Home News Arteta on Storm Eunice, Brentford, the top four

Arteta on Storm Eunice, Brentford, the top four

by Koolkola

Mikel Arteta took cover from Storm Eunice to face the media for another virtual press conference on Friday.

The boss discussed the game against Brentford, the latest team news, Christian Eriksen and more.

Read on for a full transcript:

on how Storm Eunice has affected preparations…

Yeah, we had to change the session. It was too windy to do what we wanted to do, so we had to adapt and do one part inside, and one part outside. We were safe, which was the most important thing and we managed to do some bits.

on the team news ahead of Brentford…

We are all good. The doubt was Tomiyasu, which is still not perfect, but he has trained the last few days so he is in contention and we can use him so that’s really positive. Otherwise we are good, we know that Gabi [Martinelli] is out with the red card he received against Wolves but the rest of the players are okay.

on how far the team have come since the game against Brentford at the start of the season…

Let’s show tomorrow that we are going to be a very different team, we’re going get a different level of performance and result hopefully, we play at home and we know the stage of the season we are at and what the aim is. To do that we have to perform, play well and win the match.

on the game against Brentford on the opening day…

We knew the difficulties that we were going to have on the opening game in the league, which is always difficult but with the amount of players out that we had, with the team that we played on the day and with a newly-promoted team who had done exceptionally well, I wasn’t shocked because I knew it was going to be very difficult. That has been proven because they have made life really, really difficult for any team that has been playing there regardless of the level of that team. We haven’t been the only ones that has suffered against them, that’s for sure.

on the fact the club stayed firm despite knee-jerk reaction to that defeat…

That’s football and that’s football at this level, and that’s football today. What’s happening, the dimension that everything takes straight away with the ability we have to express ourselves and our opinions. You know you’re going to be very exposed. I always said that I am very lucky because I felt very supported, understood and very much in line with everyone at the club. When we had some difficult results, the club has always stood there and they’ve been really supportive with me, with the players, with the staff and that’s something in this world that you can’t take for granted.

on Christian Eriksen’s potential return to the pitch…

It would be incredible. I remember where I was when that happened and straight away the reaction that you get, it was awful. It’s great news, thanks to the doctors first of all and the medical team that they saved his life probably on the day and I cannot imagine what it meant to his family, but I am sure they will be anxious, but for the football industry, I think it’s great news. He’s someone that has done incredibly well in this country, he left a big mark when he left and now he has the opportunity to come back and play.

on if he’s spoken to the PGMOL about Gabriel Martinelli’s red card…

Not yet, that’s happening soon, but obviously, we have reported the opinion and the lack of understanding on the decision.

on how he views the red card since the incident…

I don’t know. I have so many videos that people have sent me over the years with different actions and how it happened. I gave my opinion at the end of the match and that’s it, there is nothing we can do right now about it.

on our chances of finishing in the top four…

We go game by game. We have to win tomorrow and then we will be closer to that objective. It’s true that we have some games in hand and there’s still a long way to go and a lot of things are going to happen, a lot of turnarounds and we have to be ready to play within the context that this is going to happen because there are a lot of teams involved there.

on our clean sheet record…

For the best teams in European leagues that win and qualify for the Champions League that’s a non-negotiable. You have to be really difficult to score against and then you can build from there. Our creative and attacking play has improved and we still have a lot of room to improve, our efficiency in front of goal must improve to get more margins in games to win more comfortably and that’s something we are working on.

on Bernd Leno’s recovery from Covid…

He’s fine. He’s recovered well, he didn’t have too many symptoms, he’s trained the last few days and he felt good so he will be available.

on how he reflects on our first three games of the season…

It’s part of football, part of the job to lose football matches, it’s part of this, unfortunately. There’s a lot of things that you learn in terms of the preparation, the team that you selected, analysing what happened and how it happened, not analysing it in a different context, exactly what happened with the players that you had on the day and don’t lose focus on the direction because it’s really easy to start to shift one side and the other and keep what you’re doing in your beliefs and keep going and be very stubborn on that

on if sticking to our beliefs has got us in a good position…

It’s sticking to what we planned and understanding the difficulties along the way. I said on day one, I think the club were very clear, this is not going to be a clean ride, it doesn’t happen. When you go from A to B or C, or the level that the Premier League has, it’s not going to be a straight line up there, it’s never going to happen. It’s going to be a line that comes down and then hopefully we will get there and you have to be prepared for that, because if not, you will change your direction and then you will be in big trouble.

on whether we’re ahead of schedule in the race for the top four…

It’s where we are. We have earned the right to be where we are right now, credit to the players, credit to the club and everybody, especially our supporters, because we talk about the club needing support, but I think it’s very important how our fans reacted and how they understood the necessity to stand behind these young players. The mentality has been incredible and that’s what we need, that every time we play in front of them and when we play away that we feel their support because we become a much better team. Now we have earned the right to be there and now we need to go game by game to maximise the position that we’re in, and that’s what we’re going to be trying to do.

on the current bond between the fans and the players…

I do notice (the difference) and I love it. It has to be one of our biggest pillars in this project and in what we’re trying to achieve, and I have no question about that. I have mentioned that since when they weren’t allowed to come to the stadiums, but the most important thing is that the players feel it and when the players feel it and they play with a level of emotion, they can transmit it and that’s the reason why they’re right behind them because they are feeling something happening. I think they are giving genuine support to the players.

on whether players are fined internally for red cards and what we’re going to do to stop it…

Probably not talk about it anymore because the more we talk about it, the worse we’re going to make it.

on whether there’s a stigma attached to his players around red cards…

I don’t want to say anything like that. I just said that there has been various reasons and very different ones in the way that we’ve got those red cards, but somehow we have to stop it because it’s going to harm performances and results for sure and that has to be our aim and our focus and we can’t try to blame the refs. We have to believe that the referees are going to do what they have to do, and we have to do believe that we’re going to do what we have to do. That’s it.

on whether he would like to see a positive reception for Christian Eriksen…

I hope so understanding what happened and where he was a few months ago. I would like to see that, it’s obviously something very personal, but from my side that would be the way that I would react to him. I will be so pleasedto see him again on a football pitch.

on Thierry Henry saying our season would be a failure if we fail to finish in the top four…

I don’t know, I didn’t read what he said. Everybody is free to say whatever they want and that’s why somebody allows someone to write an opinion. Tomorrow our aim is to play as good as we can and win the match, that’s the target.

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