Thursday, May 30, 2024

Every word from Arteta’s post-Zurich press conference

It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t much fun. But Arsenal got the job done against FC Zurich to secure top spot in Europa League Group A.

The prize is less Europa League football, which we can all agree is a good thing.

Here’s what Mikel Arteta had to say when he faced the media after the 1-0 win. 

On wanting his side to make a fast start…

We always try to start faster, we have an opponent all the time who has something to say in the game. We try to start as quick as possible always.

On being nervous in the closing stages…

I was expecting a really tough match, I watched them in the last few games, how they changed things since their new manager arrived, how they played against Bodo. The game that they proposed, you’ve seen it, it’s really difficult to get any real momentum with the way that the game developed and we have to adapt. Obviously we had some big chances that we didn’t put away and that made the game more difficult in the last 15 to 20 minutes. We didn’t control certain situations and we had to dig in which we did. We found a way to win and we’re top of the group.

On needing to reset after the PSV game…

That’s what we wanted. Losing football matches is part of it, it will happen at a certain stage, I don’t know when, and you have to react to that. It affects you just in the moment and move forward, analyse what happened and try to become better as a team. That’s what we’ve done, we’ve managed to win the last two games and now we have to go to Stamford Bridge.

On whether Lokonga took his opportunity playing in a more advanced role…

I think everybody took the opportunity, obviously, it’s true that we played him there more in pre-season. When we signed him we had another idea but in pre-season he developed and played well in that position and having Mo [Elneny] back and having to rest Thomas today, it was a good option.

On Tomiyasu’s injury…

We don’t know. Obviously, he felt something and we didn’t want to take any risks. With the amount of games that we are playing, it’s part of what happens. It can happen in training, it can happen in games. Unfortunately, it happened to Tomi today and for the rest of the players, they need to be ready, because we’re going to need everybody now.

On whether it’s a hamstring injury…

We don’t know yet.

On whether he might miss the World Cup…

We have Chelsea on Sunday, this is where I’m interested.

On Gerard Pique retiring…

I just found out, I will remember that you gave me the news. I don’t know what to say, it’s an incredible career, an incredible character. I think he gave so much to this game and if he’s made that decision, I’m sure he’s thought a lot about it. He will be missed because he’s a top world class player.

On Jesus needing luck to score a goal…

That’s going to change, he’s getting the situation, he’s getting the chances, he’s contributing to the team, an awful lot. He’s helping to win matches, the way he competes for every ball to every single action is incredible. That will come [goals], he needs to be patient, he’s been through that in the past and he needs to learn those lessons and don’t stop doing the other things he’s doing so well as that’s going to maintain the level of him and the team.

On Elneny’s return…

Really good. He’s been out for eight weeks, we expected him to be out for 12 weeks. He has made an amazing recovery, he’s a guy that has been pushing everybody around the training ground to be ready as soon as possible. Today he competed really well.

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Champions manage to grind out wins in the ugly games.

Funsho Patrick

Yes but it’s obvious we couldn’t control because of partnerships in the middle xhaka/Odegaard/partey is infinitely superior to their alternatives. I’m still struggling to see the trade-off for viera’s lack of physicality. I would have preferred to go for a premier League ready player like Michael olise of crystal palace… hopefully Mikel knows everything I don’t…..we’ve been bullied and not protected in several matches now…I hope it’s not a pattern…


Sky Spots have published an Europa Round Up stating how Viera impressed in this match.

He is young and slight but has incredible technique. It irks me how physicality is deemed such an important factor especially considering how well Viera actually performed in this match.

You also look at Martinez for Man Utd, a player pundits and fans were saying is too small for the premier league who is now a key player, fan favorite and considered ‘a warrior’, transforming the defense.

I think Viera will be a fantastic player for us.


So everybody says they don’t want to buy into a ref conspiracy against us. Did Tierney having half his jersey ripped away and the Assistant saying “you have to get off and put on a proper uniform” change anyone’s mind? I’m guessing Tierney was saying “I’ll change shirts when you acknowledge the defender ripped it off and call a foul”. “Nope, just change”. It’s a mistake any official can make, right? Judgment call or just ignoring the fact? Clue: its not a judgment call.


Ikr. Yesterday game, it was nuts with the amount of kicking and pulling the opponent got away with that the ref didn’t even acknowledge as a foul, let alone give a card for. I’ll say it was even worse than that game at Saint Mary’s. You’d have to be really crooked to not give that foul on Tierney


We play well and blow teams away. We play badly and manage to win. Seems a good deal to me!

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