Mikel Arteta has spoken to the press ahead of Sunday's north London derby at Emirates Stadium.
on Martin’s new contract:
It’s great news for the club, great news for the team, I’m really happy for him as well because he really deserves that. It just shows that there are many ways to make it and many pathways to arrive where you want. In the end, it’s about finding a place where you feel comfortable, where you feel valued and you can express your talent. I think he’s found that place. He’s loved by everybody, respected by everybody and he fully deserves what he’s doing.
on how much better Martin can get:
We don’t know. They don’t have to look for a ceiling. They have to look to be better every single day, be humble enough to admit there is still a big room [for improvement] for them. That’s one thing you can do individually every day, which I think he does. The other thing is his contribution to all the players that you have around you. When you have players that have the qualities to make you better, that’s a huge bonus. So I think you are as good as your team, and the players he has around him elevate his qualities, and that’s why he’s better and better.
on if preparations for this game could have gone any better than wins against Everton and PSV:
No, winning always helps and maintains the spirit in the right place. This game doesn’t need any motivation, it’s the most special game of the season. It’s a derby, it’s a special moment for all of us and we just need to focus on that.
on availability of Partey and Martinelli:
With Gabi we are still assessing him, so let's see if he can make the game or not. Thomas for sure is out. The rest we hope are available, yes we still have two training sessions, but there were no big issues in midweek.
on how Ramsdale has reacted to not playing:
I understand it, and it’s very difficult with every player, and I suffer and care about every player who is not playing. But this is the competition and it is my job to make decisions in the best possible way for the team. He’s been very supportive, he’s been really good around the place and that’s what I expect from every single player, because when you are on the field there is someone else who is not. So it goes both ways and so far he’s been really really good.
on having to make ruthless decisions and how comfortable he is making them:
Comfortable? Maybe I look [it], but in your tummy when you have players sitting, or you have to announce the line-up, it’s one of the hardest things, because players feel happy and valued when they play. When they don’t it’s very difficult. You want them to feel loved and trusted, and the way to do that is to play them, but everybody understands it’s a team sport. It’s always 11 players starting, but we have seen as well how important the finishers are, and how important everybody is going to be in the season, and not look back on the team who have played the first six or seven games of the season.
on how we approach this game against Tottenham:
A new challenge, a new opportunity. Obviously they have a new manager who has done really, really well and changed the vibe and everything around the club. It’s a different style as well, so adapt to that, be ourselves and produce the performance that we need to beat them.
on what he thinks of Ange Postecoglou:
I really like him. I had players and I know players who had him and they always speak really, really highly of him. That’s not a coincidence, and you can tell straight away he is fitting in the right way. That’s the beauty of this league, we have top, top managers, top competition and every game is very difficult.
on memories of playing and managing in the north London derby:
I have many. The recent ones from the last years as well are beautiful. Living those moments with our supporters when you manage to win the game and that satisfaction that you give to everybody, because it’s a special day for everybody. Hopefully we can produce that again.
on how hard it is to make a decision on Aaron playing:
It is hard, but with all the players it’s the same. Aaron is an exceptional character and he’s got this charisma and aura around him and we all know that and I fully understand that. It happens with many other players. See the reception everybody gave to Emile the other night, it’s sending him a message that we really like him and I really like him and we have to deal with that, but in the end, you have to make the team and the lineup of what you feel and the best way to prepare the game.
on how Martin has dealt with the pressure from the age of 15:
At a very early age, he had huge expectations. He made his debut with the national team as well when he was 15 or 16 and has played for five different teams in three different countries in that period. That’s a lot for someone to take, but I think you are made of the experiences and the journeys that you go through. Martin is the player that he is today at that age because of what he has been through in the last four or five years. That’s what makes the player and the person he is today. We are really happy that he’s found a home.
on the type of captain Martin is:
I think he has a really good balance. You notice him around the building all the time because he’s doing all the right things that he needs. I think he’s quite funny and a really likeable person, so committed and I’m really, really happy to have him as a captain.
on having the core of the team committed to long-term contracts:
The club has done really well in the last two or three years to try to give some consistency and try to maintain the talent that we have. We are trying to develop it to be consistently where we want to be and that’s the objective, to keep maintaining that and improving the team.
on Postecoglou’s connection with the Tottenham fans:
I don’t know, it’s just a feeling. When I see the team or him talking, but I don’t have that much information to compare that.
on Spurs being without Harry Kane and how much of a boost it is for us:
They have many other qualities and many other players that can create and make a difference in the game. Probably, for them, it’s a big change, but I think they have adapted well to it.
on if he has decided who is going to play in goal on Sunday:
No, I haven’t decided.
on differences about Tottenham without Kane:
Well obviously he’s a special player and everything was going through him. He was the one that glued everything together and he did it in many different ways from many different areas of the pitch. Now it’s a bit different. I think they have a different style from the last two coaches as well there for sure. They have some specificity in some movements that they make with certain players, so I think it’s a very different team.
on Kane being the all-time top goalscorer in north London derbies and if it’s a relief for him not to be involved:
We tend to forget quickly! We just focus on the team that they have and especially what we have to do to play the best possible way to create problems for them and that’s what we’re going to try to do on Sunday.
Credit: The Arsenal Football Club Limited
Tag: Mikel Arteta Tottenham Hotspur Arsenal
Written by Omooba Alekuwodo (omoobaalekuwodo)
Published 9/23/2023 10:54:21 AM