Arsenal F.C., Aston Villa F.C., Premier League, Mikel Arteta v Arsenal – Mikel Arteta – Embargoed Pre-Match Press Conference

Please hi, michael hi, just done uh on nico pepe again there have been uh lots of moments in the last 18 months when we’ve thought. Yes, he’s arrived he’s ready here he goes and then it dips again and he falls out the team. What does he need to do this time to or what do you need to do as well to sustain what he’s doing the last few games? If you ask me personally what i think, the performance that he put overall in all the phases of the game – and i think is the best he’s played and his contribution to those aspects – is the best that he’s done, and he needs to sustain that when you Have momentum in in football when you have to end the right to play, you cannot lose it and in order to that’s you have to keep the basics right and um. I keep doing what you’re doing and if not you know that somebody else is going to be knocking at your door. You’Ve mentioned before that he’s a free spirit as a character as a player and as a personality. How much does he need guidance from you, or does he want guidance? Is he quite hands on in that sense? I don’t know how much he wants, but he needs guidance uh and he needs clarity in what he needs to do and then he needs the discipline on the pitch and to do what he needs to do and obviously he needs the freedom in certain moments.

Uh to express himself as a player, and you cannot restrict that for sure um. Just moving on to uh. We had obviously two departures with uh ainsley going and joe willett going it’s interesting how we know how important the academy is for the club’s strategy, but it now seems that the slightly younger lads have overtaken the ones who are a couple of years older. What? What do the likes of rhys, joe and ainsley need to do to to get back in ahead of emile and pocayo? Joe’S situation was very clear for me. We talked in the summer about a possible loan. I said to him that i wasn’t comfortable with that, because i wanted to give him minutes. He was going to play different competition and, in my opinion it was the right thing to do for his development. I think he’s played 17 or 18 games uh in this period, which is a lot he’s played to a big level and uh, and now we have less competitions, and i thought that he had. He was going to have less time, and probably the best thing to do is to give him another. 14 15 16 games in the premier league to have 30 32 games in one season for what his age and what he’s done in the last few years. It will be a really positive thing. He completely agreed. We find the right club, the right manager and coaching staff to do that.

So hopefully, it’s going to be a really successful period for him with ainsley is in a different face of his development. He’S 24 and he’s. An english international he’s played more games and um and he just wanted to start football games and he wanted that guaranteed and in my position it was really difficult to do that. So he was willing to to experience something else. He’S never been alone like joe um, and i decided to to allow him to do that. Um he can play in different positions. He might have the possibility to play midfield, which, for him is important as well and when a player is his main will is not financial is not something that is just to play. Football it’s really difficult to stand on his way. Uh, when you don’t feel that he’s going to start that many games, do you expect that ainsley comes back and eventually does become a starter at arsenal for you, i expect all the loans that they come back and we make a decision in the summer. Okay thanks michael thank you, john of the mirror, hello, michelle nice to see you um. I was just going to ask you about uh a couple of players. If i made firstly about oba, it was, it was clearly it’s been obviously a very emotional time for him. What was completely overwhelming was was the support he had from his teammates. You know that shows his standing, i guess as captain as a leader and as a player in the dressing room, how how sort of touching was that, and also how difficult has this period been for a player like him? Well, i think it shows um the spirit around the the dressing room and how much we care for each other and um and when things are difficult is when you, you really need to see as well, when you are a little bit away from from that place.

Okay, are they thinking of me? Are they supporting me and the answer is a big yes and um he’s a player that is very much liked and respect because of his character and what he’s done at the club – and i think he solidarity deserves that supports and um individually for him. It’S been tough because when you see a member of your family suffer and go through a difficult period and emotionally it drains you and uh, and you have to be close with them and i think he he made the right thing to be next to them. Do you have to to be strong willed? Strong minded? Has he shown that you know that this week, since since he’s come back just just his qualities, yeah, because as well, it was difficult because he wants to be here. He wants to be 20. He doesn’t want to miss football matches. Uh. I think you guys know moba i mean that he wants to play every minute or every single competition, so he was having the responsibility to be there, but at the same time he wanted to be here. He was trying on his own and uh and i think he’s managed that really well yeah he’s. His quality is just is outstanding. You can see when he’s full of confidence is maybe showing you know just just of light. You know there’s few better. I think in the premier league is there. I think you, you touch the keywords and every player needs that confidence, but uh his ability to to produce the big moments and to score the goal, which is the most difficult thing in football.

It’S, uh, it’s, unique and he’s got that ability. Can i just finally ask you about thomas parte he he was so dominant. I mean, as you played so well in that first half you could see his quality and he dominated the midfield. He dominated the game didn’t. He. You know he’s going to be such an important player for you, clearly yeah, obviously that’s that’s the reason we signed him because we believe that we needed a player like him and to impose himself in in games and and give us that dominance. And that is still as well that he brings to the team and um and we have to see more of him and more minutes and more games and and slowly get partnerships and units and chemistry around the team. And – and he needs to be one of our leaders mikhail – you played in some wonderful arsenal, midfields, you played with some wonderful midfielders, you’ve, probably seen them down the years at arsenal. Does he remind you of anyone and – and i was just going to ask you – you know it – makes these wonderful forward runs and maybe sometimes does he need to shoot a bit more you’re going to tell him to shoot a bit more because he’s clear he had A shot the other night when he should have passed the ball, so he needs to shoot. When is the right moment to shoot, but he’s got that ability to get in the opponent’s box as well and run forwards with or without the ball and um, and have that present.

Unless you call madrid he’s quite a few really good goals and and he’s something that he needs to do more, does he remind you of anyone? Finally, i wouldn’t like to compare him with anyone.

What do you think?

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Arsenal F.C., Aston Villa F.C., Premier League, Mikel Arteta v Arsenal – Mikel Arteta – 'Pepe Has Become A Threat, Team Pushing Each Other' – Presser