Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Every word from Arteta’s pre-Bodo/Glimt press conference

Arsenal touched down in Bodo, Norway this afternoon and Mikel Arteta was quick to get his pre-game press conference over and done with.

He fielded questions on his squad’s preparations for the home side’s artificial pitch, Gabriel Jesus’ absence, the FA’s investigation into Sunday’s mysterious incident and the spirit in the Gunners’ dressing room.

We’re not going to lie, it wasn’t exactly a thrilling watch.

On whether the pitch influences his team selection…

What we are thinking is how are we going to win the game, that’s it. How we win every three days in different conditions, in different contexts, in different weather, in different competitions and that’s the only way that we are approaching the game.

On whether the home side have an unfair advantage with the pitch…

We don’t know. A player can get injured in an artificial pitch, he can get injured in a training session. Obviously, we’ve done what we’ve tried to do to protect the players as much as we can. At the end of the day, tomorrow, we’re going to have 11 players on that pitch.

On his squad selection…

Our selection is based on how we think we’re going to win the game, that’s it.

On Gabriel Jesus staying in England…

We thought that with everything that he’s been through in the last few weeks that it was better that he stayed there.

On Bodo/Glimt’s 6-1 win over Roma being a warning…

I think I mentioned it before we played the home game. Obviously what this team and this coaching staff has done in the last few years is remarkable and in Europe it’s got more headlines to the rest of Europe. Without a question of a doubt the result they had here [against Roma] speaks for itself.

On the Bodo/Glimt fans…

They were really loud, really passionate. I already spoke to Martin [Odegaard] and we can expect a great atmosphere here. It’s great, that’s why travelling to Europe is really nice.

On whether Arsenal have practised on an artificial pitch in the build up…


On Gabi Jesus being in the wars and Arsenal having a target on their back because they are top…

I don’t know how other coaches, players approach the games against us. Gabi is a player that gets involved in a lot of physical contact, it’s the way he plays as well. That’s in his nature, it’s on the referees to protect the players.

On how happy he is with the way his players are being protected…

I’m really happy with how our players are performing and that’s the most important thing. Then it’s up to the referees to protect them.

On which players have been spoken to by the FA about the incident reported to them by referee Michael Oliver…

It’s something that I don’t want to touch. As you’ve mentioned it’s in the FA’s hands and I don’t want to get involved in that.

On whether he’s supportive of his players’ take on events…

100 per cent.

On Odegaard being labelled a wonderkid so young and whether that was good or bad…

That’s his journey to get the spotlight very, very early in his career and probably as well that’s why he’s so mature at the age that he is now. He’s been around for so long, sometimes we forget how old he is. It’s his journey, he could not pick it. He was so good at that age, he got a lot of attention and he’s dealt with it in a really positive way.

On what role Odegaard will play tomorrow…

I don’t know. Probably on the pitch at some stage. Hopefully, he can have a good time. Obviously, it’s an important moment for him, he loves coming to his country, you know how much it means for him. It’s a good opportunity for him.

On whether the conditions will be an issue…

No, whether it’s windy, rainy or snow it’s no excuse. Our focus is to win every three days and find a way to do it as a team all the time.

On playing in Europe being a help to him this season…

In terms of sharing minutes, that’s for sure. It’s something really positive, especially as there were players not playing a lot of minutes in the first five weeks. Now it’s managing that. Again, it’s down to the players to perform to give us the right reasons to play and win.

On how Tierney reacted to being dropped in favour of Tomiyasu…

Like any other player. We know that we made a decision based on the best preparation to win the match and Kieran accepted that like any other player.

On Arsenal making quick starts this season…

I think every manager wants to score in the first minute, obviously it’s not something that is possible but our aim is always to attack, to be dominant in the game and get in front on the scoreline as quickly as we can.

On how Bodo/Glimt stand compared to the other teams…

They are one of the candidates, for sure, to be top of the group at the end of the other games. Tomorrow again, we will have a difficult test.

On Aubameyang’s recent comments about him…

People are free to discuss what they want.

On the atmosphere in the Arsenal dressing room…

Phenomenal, I’ve never been in a better dressing room; more enjoyable, more hard working, better relationships with the staff and players, it’s an absolute pleasure as a coach to be part of this group.

On how long the FA’s investigation into Sunday’s incident will take…

I don’t know. It’s something that I don’t decide, I think timings are really difficult to predict. The FA is in charge of the situation and we’ll have to wait and see.

On whether he agrees with Jose Mourinho who said playing football on artificial turf was a totally different sport…

Obviously, everybody is aware that there are a lot of different things that are different, the speed is different, the way you use the grass is different, we have to adapt to it. We know that, we are here to win the game and tomorrow night, for sure, we’re going to play on an artificial pitch.

On the importance of winning the group because it means Arsenal bypass an additional round of the competition…

Yes, that’s why every game is crucial. Looking at the group, it’s going to be important tomorrow. Obviously, there’s an extra two games and you don’t know the opponents you’ll be facing after, so we know that we want to be at the top of the group.

On any other absentees…

A few players that were injured. You’ll find out tomorrow, I cannot give you everything.

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Sounds like he’s been getting media training from Ben White!

Man Manny

Or the other way round.

Naked Cygan

He looks like he had a few drinks last night.


Haha, making my hungover deathstare look rather pleasant.


Did Mikel not get enough sleep? What a screenshot!
Good luck to our boys tomorrow.

Boy Bastin

Hope the team is more awake than Arteta appears to be in the screenshot. It must have taken some time to get that “just right”.

Cranky Colin

Moaninhos comments…… like Mikel gives a fuck😂😂😂


I’m not convinced that’s Arteta’s arm


Wow, someone is grumpy today!

Billy bob

Anyone any the wiser about the incident Michael Oliver reported? I get the impression it was something someone said, but what was said that would be worth reporting?


Don’t quote me but it could be racism related (something which Henderson should not have said). We’ll know more when the report is out.


Not surprised if that was the case, especially on the weekend they decide to do the stupid knee thing. For some reason TV giants love to shove the idea of racism down everyone’s throat.

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