Every word Mikel Arteta said on Tierney’s fitness, Aubameyang’s tattoo and criticism of Willian


Is Kieran Tierney going to play in this match and has ThomasParteytravelled with you?

Thomas didn’t travel, he’s not there yet, he’s still training individually. Kieran has one session with us and he’s part of the squad.

Has Aubameyang broken any rules with his tattoo and are you going to take any action on that?

No, whatever we do with our players we keep it internally It’s true that there are a lot of members of our squad that they have extended families at home and if any player does something that is not in the regulation obviously the club acts immediately, but always privately as well.

Video Loading

Video Unavailable

How will neutral venues affect the dynamic of the tie?

Well it’s very unusual, but as much as we can we have to try to maintain the integrity of the competition. The only way to do it at the moment is to play it in neutral venues but at least over two legs and with away goals as well always present.

Chelsea are 8 points clear in fourth. Is Europa League your best way of getting into the Champions League now do you think?

It’s one of the ways. There’s still a lot of games to play in the Premier League too, but obviously we are very excited with the competition, we’ve been in a really strong run this season in the Europa League and tomorrow we have a good opportunity to make another step.

How valuable was the playing time in the Europa League group stages for getting Nicolas Pepe into the form he’s in now?

Yes, obviously the fact that we have Europe gave the opportunity to almost everybody in the squad to be fit available and completing for his place. Nico had some really good matches he scored some important goals as well, and I think that as you said helped him for the Premier League form and the recent form that he’s shown.

Nicolas Pepe scored for Arsenal in the 3-1 victory against Southampton in the Premier League.
Nicolas Pepe scored for Arsenal in the 3-1 victory against Southampton in the Premier League.

A year ago you told us you were training him to be more right footed and versatile. Have you seen signs of that development and has that convinced you to play him on the left?

Well, he’s done a lot of things. Not only there but in his mentality, the way he approaches every training session, his game understanding as well. It’s true he has patches where he’s playing more than at other times. He hasn’t had that continuity over months that every player will be seeking to have. But I think overall there is a lot of progress with Nico.

Do you allow yourself to think about lifting that trophy in Gdansk and how special it would be?

That picture is always in the back of my mind because why we are here is to win trophies for this club. This is a competition that we want to be in it as well because we are participating as well. The Champions League has been massive for this club. At the moment we are not in it and the best way to be back there is by winning this competition.

It’s popular to criticise Willian at the moment. What do you think he can still offer the team?

Well., what he’s doing at the moment the way he’s training, the way he’s working, the way he’s willing to give everything to the team, is what I demand. Whether he’s more successful or less successful in the game is another matter. It will come with the quality that he has.

But at least what I demand from every player is the full commitment and to put the passion and everything they have in every training session and when they have the opportunity to play. And so far Willian has done that every single day.

Would you say the criticism is unfair?

No ,I don’t say it’s unfair because with Willy expectations are really high in terms of the goals he can score and the assists that he can create. You expect him to be in the starting line up as well. So it’s normal that people write things about him. We have to protect him, we have to support him as much as we can because he deserves it the way he handles his profession and the way he is with us.

Will he be involved in this match?

Well he’s part of the squad so he’s got a really good chance.

Willian looks dejected as he walks off at Goodison Park.
Willian has come in for criticism from fans after his performances for Arsenal so far this season.

What have you learned from the defeat to Olympiacos at this stage last year?

Well I thought it was very cruel the way we got knocked out of the competition. The tie was in our hands, we scored the goal we conceded in the last minutes of extra time, and we still had a massive chance with Auba to go through.

But the big lesson there is that we have to play every second of the competition with high focus. Every detail matters and every situation has to be handled depending on what is required. Because it’s over two legs the goal difference is very important and that has to be in the back of your mind. You have to be able to control your emotions as well, be able to change the game when you need to take it to your territory when the tie is in your hands.

Can you use that disappointment to push on this year?

I hope so. I think it was a really tough experience for all of us the way it happened because I think that we deserved to go through. But as well I think that created more hunger for this season to do more. And we have to use that thing that we have still more, that we haven’t gone through yet, to put more energy more passion and more commitment for this competition.

Are you confident Auba hasn’t broken the protocols by having this tattoo done?

Well, we try to advise every player and make sure we know all the rules and that we stick to the rules all the time. If somebody doesn’t do it we have to act immediately on it. Again I cannot tell you who every player lives with but we know. When somebody does anything they should not be doing we are going to find out and obviously there are going to be consequences, and if not, there won’t be.

Has he travelled?

Yes he’s here.

Jan AgeFjortofttold me a story from when Pep Guardiola was Bayern manager.ApparentlyPep told him ‘you have to get me this guy, I am going to make him the best player in the world.’ Did you have any conversations with Pep about Odegaard at City or before you brought him to Arsenal?

I can’t recall if we had. Maybe when he was playing a game or two maybe we made a comment about it. But not about the story you are telling me, I don’t know anything about that.

Is that potential still there? Can you make him one of the best players in the world do you think?

Well, it’s not the potential because he’s done it. I followed him very closely when he was at Real Sociedad and he had a lot of opportunities and he was really impressive for a long period. He had a very successful season over there. That’s one of the reason why I was so convinced that he was a player for us, a player that I really like, and as you say a player that has the potential to become even better.

Martin Odegaard made his first Arsenal start in the 4-2 victory over Leeds United in the Premier League.
Martin Odegaard made his first Arsenal start in the 4-2 victory over Leeds United in the Premier League.

What were your first impressions of him now that you’ve worked with him for some weeks?

All the positive. From my first conversation that I had with him, a really focused and humble boy that was really keen to join. He just wants to play football in the right way and then he settled really quickly.

Really nice guy, the players like him, the staff like him, easy going, really hard worker and I’ve been very impressed with his leadership. He looks a little bit calm and reserved but on the pitch he’s got something about him and I’ve been really impressed with him.

Does he have more of a character than you expected?

Yes. And when I talk about leadership as well it’s how he talks to his teammates, how he commands, for example, the high press, and then the personality he shows. The opponent is close to him and he still wants the ball in the tight areas. The decision making is really good and he’s a really intelligent player.

Benfica manager Jorge Jesus (Photo by Pedro Fiúza/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

In your opinion what are the strong and weak points of Benfica and who do you think is the best player in Benfica?

Well, what I can say is it is a really competitive team, a really high rhythm team. Really high press, very dominant when you allow them to do it with very aggressive attacking players that when they have the space to attack and they are close to the final third they become really dangerous. A manager with a huge history in football that some of the players know him really well as well. So big respect they’re gonna be a really difficult opponent.

And the best player?

I would not like to mention just a player I think it’s a really strong team.

Do you expect Benfica in a 4-4-2 formation ora 3-4-3.And did you talk with Cedric and David Luiz about Benfica?

I expect them in both and the preparations for the games always are in relation to the possible formations they can use so we prepare the game in both, with the alterations they have, depending on the players that they play as well within the formation.

Regarding the players you mentioned of course I’m always interested to see about the history, about how they got coached, about the culture of the team. So it’s always useful to have some players who know the league and the team so well.

By signing up for our Arsenal newsletter, you will receive a once-daily email, focused around goings-on at Emirates Stadium.

You won’t miss a thing when it comes to the Gunners – you’ll get all you need to know directly into your inbox.

We’ll also send out special newsletters with any big breaking news too.

And with the January transfer window now open there’s plenty of content to get your teeth into.

How do you sign up?

It’s easy and only takes seconds.

Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article – or any article on the Arsenal section of football.london in fact – labelled ‘Get the biggest daily stories by email’ and click ‘Subscribe’.

And that’s it, you’re all set.

If you decide later that you no longer wish to receive the emails, simply follow the unsubscribe link in one of the newsletters – but we don’t think you’ll want to.

For more details, click here.

How can Arsenal prevent Benfica from playing out from their three players at the back? And also, Arsenal conceded from corners against Southampton and Leeds do you think this could be a problem against Benfica?

Well, they will propose different problems. In relation to what you said about the build up phase they’ve done it in many different ways. We have to be prepared for that and try to nullify that as much as possible obviously. The same that they will try to do with us.

The fact that we’ve conceded the goals and the manner that we’ve conceded the goals in the competition is huge because the goals become crucial in this stages. So it’s obviously something that we have to bare in mind all the time.





Source link

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on tumblr
Tumblr
Share on stumbleupon
StumbleUpon