Every word Mikel Arteta said on Arsenal’s West Ham win, Lacazette’s contract and Nketiah


Was that another sign of the progress Arsenal are making?

“Yes, but I think we were a little bit lucky in certain moments for sure. But as well, we find a way to win it and it’s the mentality I want that the team always believes that we can do it up until the last moment. Even if we have difficult games when we suffer, we make it difficult for ourselves in certain periods, but in the end it’s three points. This is why we are here. As well, take some big notes because there are a lot of things to improve.”

Great skill for Saka before Nketiah’s goal…

“Both goals were really, really good. Again, we created some really good movements in some phases in the game but we weren’t consistent enough and that’s where we still have a long way to go. We make it really hard for ourselves in the first 15-20 minutes with the amount of balls we gave to the opponent without any pressure [which] obviously creates uncertainty. You cannot sustain any attacks well enough and you let the opponent run which is exactly what they wanted to do. Apart from that, the way the guys keep fighting, keep going and how happy they are today because finished themselves as well mentally, I’m really glad.”

Two wins from two. Are Arsenal genuine title contenders?

“No, I think we are still very far away from where we want to be. I think if you ask any manager in the Premier League if they are happy with everything [that] is going [on] with their team, it [the answer] probably is no. We had a super-mini pre-season and we’re still adapting some things. Some players are still not 100% fit but it’s great to start winning, you have six points already and find ways to win.”

Was that one of the poorest performances on the ball?

“Yes, certainly in the first 15 minute and it’s very strange. We were talking with the staff. They [the players] had the best week in terms of decision making, quality and execution with the ball by far since I joined the club. But then the first 15 minutes, they give the ball to the wrong colour [shirt] too often. We need to improve on that. We still have a lot of work to do here but at least they kept trying and nobody hid. They can make mistakes but they are not allowed to hide and none of them did that and at the end you get rewarded.”

Mikel Arteta of Arsenal applauds his players against West Ham

Was that another sign of the progress Arsenal are making?

“Yes, but I think we were a little bit lucky in certain moments for sure. But as well, we find a way to win it and it’s the mentality I want that the team always believes that we can do it up until the last moment. Even if we have difficult games when we suffer, we make it difficult for ourselves in certain periods, but in the end it’s three points. This is why we are here. As well, take some big notes because there are a lot of things to improve.”

Great skill for Saka before Nketiah’s goal…

“Both goals were really, really good. Again, we created some really good movements in some phases in the game but we weren’t consistent enough and that’s where we still have a long way to go. We make it really hard for ourselves in the first 15-20 minutes with the amount of balls we gave to the opponent without any pressure [which] obviously creates uncertainty. You cannot sustain any attacks well enough and you let the opponent run which is exactly what they wanted to do. Apart from that, the way the guys keep fighting, keep going and how happy they are today because finished themselves as well mentally, I’m really glad.”

Two wins from two. Are Arsenal genuine title contenders?

“No, I think we are still very far away from where we want to be. I think if you ask any manager in the Premier League if they are happy with everything [that] is going [on] with their team, it [the answer] probably is no. We had a super-mini pre-season and we’re still adapting some things. Some players are still not 100% fit but it’s great to start winning, you have six points already and find ways to win.”

Was that one of the poorest performances on the ball?

“Yes, certainly in the first 15 minute and it’s very strange. We were talking with the staff. They [the players] had the best week in terms of decision making, quality and execution with the ball by far since I joined the club. But then the first 15 minutes, they give the ball to the wrong colour [shirt] too often. We need to improve on that. We still have a lot of work to do here but at least they kept trying and nobody hid. They can make mistakes but they are not allowed to hide and none of them did that and at the end you get rewarded.”

Glad not to be asked more questions about Aubameyang’s contract, but what about Lacazette’s?

Alexandre Lacazette reacts during Arsenal’s win over West Ham

He is a player that I am really happy with. We have shown him a lot of faith since I arrived here but we cannot stop speculation. We know that any player under the two years contract there is always going to be speculation.

No situation where you’re trying to get him to sign yet?

At the moment we haven’t started negotiations. We have options in the market and at this moment we are focusing on all things.

More of a mental thing you have had to change to get these three points?

Well I had sensed that between 55 and 65 minutes that we were dropping, I could see the team dropping off, it was difficult and they were suffering. They [West Ham] had a few good moments and so I tried to pick them up. In the last 20 minutes we believed more and had better focus and determination with what we were trying to do and in the end, we won the game. We are going to have games like that and with a lot of games in the calendar year, the most important thing is to find a way to win.

Was it a tactical change?

I think it was two things but in the end, they had to execute it and I believed that we finished the game on song.

How is Kieran Tierney?

Kieran is fine. He had a little muscular discomfort in the last few days. He tried today but it wasn’t possible.

Again on Kieran, how much of a disruption was it?

We could not control it, we believed he was going to be fit. But he said in the last ten minutes [of the warm-up] that he was not going to be OK and we made the decision. We were prepared just in case and Kola came on and had a good game.

Which is more important? Balance or tactic?

There has to be a balance. It is how you keep the team alive, with the right spirit, that is something we have to look at and do in the right way every day because it is so easy to lose it. The tactical discipline to and knowing what the game requires in each moment, making the right decisions, again is vital.

I think they are both really important.

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Nketiah and Ceballos’ skirmish last week, must have had a smile on your face for the goal?

That’s the beauty of this sport. The highlights found something between them and made iot negative but today they found a way to understand each other and create a winning goal.

Central midfield, did the second half show why you were looking for reinforcements?

No. They have been really good since I joined the club and I see more every time they play. Mo [Elneny] he deserved to play again today but I wanted to rotate. It was a game that we had to attack their smaller spaces and the way they defend, to create situations with Dani in there.

We are going to try and strengthen the team until the market is done.

Heavily lined with midfielders, is it an area you want to look at?

Depending on what happens with some of the other players in the squad, we are open to discuss. The market can surprise us and can come for any of our players in a different position and then we have to react.

Let’s see what happens.





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