Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Arteta talks Pepe, Eddie Howe and Auba partnership with Laca

In the second half of Mikel Arteta’s pre-Newcastle press conference, the boss recovered from the cringe-worthy party-popper exploits of the lonely fella from Sky Sports to touch on Nicolas Pepe’s status in the squad (again), Eddie Howe recovering from Covid to be on the touchline (insert rolling eyes emoji), the chemistry between Auba and Laca and Newcastle’s financial muscle. 

Here’s a transcript…

On whether Pepe needs to show more in training to get more game time…

No, Nico has very specific qualities that, when he can put them in place, are magnificent. We have talked about consistency but it’s not only about that. Sometimes the coach makes a decision based on other qualities that are necessary on the day or in the game plan or whatever. Nico needs to try to do what he’s doing and even raise the level because that’s what we want and the team will be better. 

On whether Pepe fits his system…

There are only 11 players on the pitch and when you have 24 there are another 13 who don’t play. Then, yeah, who makes the decision? It’s the coach. It’s not about training well, you decide between two or three or four players and that’s it. 

On whether Arsenal have had value for money out of Pepe…

We’ll see that in the next few seasons if he’s capable of achieving what we expect from him. It’s a difficult answer, not just with him but any player. 

On how Pepe’s contract will play out given he has a couple of years left…

That’s still a lot. You’ve seen players changing completely and even during the season, having completely different performances that can reset the value for money question, which is very particular, is it just for individual performances or do you put the collective performance there too. When you pay money for a player and then you’re in the Champions League, it’s difficult to answer.  

On Eddie Howe being in the dugout for Newcastle despite a positive Covid case…

That’s why we have the regulators. I’m sure they will be aware of all the protocols to follow. I don’t know every single detail but I’m sure if he’s on the touchline it’s because he’s gone through everything necessary and he’ll be entitled to be there. 

On whether he’d have an issue with it…

I have to know every detail but that’s why we have our regulators to go through everything and makes sure that if he is there he is safe for everybody. I don’t see anything happening if that’s not the case. 

On Auba not making an impact at Anfield…

We needed more from the team at the weekend when the game changed and we had that period of 15-20 minutes when we struggled. The game just got away from our hands. It’s not about something individual, it’s about the collective. 

On using his current preferred formation to get Auba and Laca on the pitch together…

We can play the same formation with different players. Obviously, the shape and the team looks different because the qualities and the cohesion and way they complement each other are different. We can vary one or two things or one or two players and do it in different ways. That’s the positive thing about it. 

On Auba and Laca sparking off each other…

They have a special chemistry, you can see that it’s not just on the pitch but outside it as well. They provide the goal threat that the team needs. We have other ways to attack and other ways to be dangerous. We’re always looking for ways to combine that. 

On their partnership being important to the dynamic of the team…

That’s another alternative that we have. It’s worked well in recent weeks and we have other alternatives as well to make it work. 

On Newcastle spending big in January and whether it’s a good thing because it’ll raise the level of the league…

It’s going to raise the level, for sure. The ambition will be there. When the ambition is there, normally the club is going to make decisions to fulfill those ambitions and then the level is going to raise. That’s the beauty of this league, bringing new players, improving even the way we sell the product of the Premier League on a broader level has a consequence that we’re in the best league in the world. We have the best managers, best players, best facilities and that’s part of it. 

On Newcastle improving setting Arsenal a challenge…

Absolutely, the demands will be better so we have to better and we have to find the right resources and ideas to go another step forward. 

Related articles


newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Wow, those questions were really rubbish.


Let’s hope we get back to winning ways.


Not much to talk about then?…..


Does Arteta know his brand of football? Arteta has always wanted to play the same way that Pep does but in 2 years of time he has failed to achieve that. His good run of wins has always been with a strong defensive performance and not attacking. The sooner he realises his brand of football or his strong point it shall help even us getting behind him. Because right now like me I am sure most are still unsure of Arteta’s methods and the reluctance to back him.

Laca New Signing

You’re a comedian for sure. Arsenal are 5th on the table, 9 points off the title with only 12 matches played, with almost half of the team playing for the first time in the country or for the club. That’s an achievement for the manager whatever angle you look at it from. Just stick to comedy and let Arteta run his project the best way he knows. We trust the process.

Bleeding gums murphy

By half the team you mean 3 that will probably be 2 today as I expect tierney to return.


I’d say he means 5, which is almost half the team – Ramsdale, Tomi, White, Sambi, Tavares. He said “…in the country or for the club


9 points off top and we’ve lost to the 3 best teams in the country. Possibly Europe.
Not bad!


Speak for yourself. You really don’t for me

Tomaury Bischfeld

Let me know when you find the perfect manager who will win 100% of games with any squad playing only the best football because I’m pretty sure he’s the only one who might satisfy a section of the fan base. The rest of us are happy with a human being.

Trust that it’s Arsenal who have to face the new manager bounce twice in a week in Eddie Howe and Ralf Rangnick.

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x