10 goals, three cities and two wins; the 2023 tour of the US has had plenty of talking points.
Rounding off our coverage of an action-packed 10 days, we bring you quotes from before and after Arsenal’s 5-3 victory over Barcelona in Los Angeles.
Leo Trossard on the level of work done in pre-season…
A lot, a lot to be honest. We want to prepare in the best possible way and I think we were on the right track and we want to keep going.
That always helps a lot, of course, if you can have a full pre-season with the guys. It’s been an amazing 10 days and like I said we wanted to end on a positive note, we’re happy with that and now we can go back to London.
Mikel Arteta on a hectic tour of the USA…
I think it was a challenge because we had a lot of travelling and a lot of things to adapt to, but I think the team showed a big capacity to adapt to different times, to different pitches, to the heat, to different opponents. It was a really good test but I’m really pleased with the outcome. We certainly feel a big difference now in the States with the support we are having. We were in three cities, Washington DC, New York and now in LA and it’s getting bigger and bigger. So thank you so much to everybody because we really feel at home now here.
Barcelona boss Xavi on Arsenal’s attitude toward’s last night’s friendly…
I said to Mikel at the end of the game, it was like a Champions League tie with the intensity they put in. It was not normal for a friendly, but I understand everyone wants to win. For us, it was our first friendly and we went into it off the back of loads of players having had a bug.
Declan Rice on making friends at Arsenal…
I think it was important from the first day I got there, I tried to be as outgoing as possible, and I’m like that anyway, but I really wanted to put myself out there, go speak to other players, speak to the Brazilian guys, speak to the Portuguese guys, show them that I’m a nice guy, that I wanted them to get along with me. And you know what, it feels like I’ve been here for ages already. I don’t feel like a new player. Even all of the staff members, the physios, the chefs, the people behind the scenes, they’ve all been so welcoming. I feel like that’s been really important. Like I’ve just said, I feel like I’ve been here forever already, which is a massive positive and also has made it really easy for me to settle in.
Kai Havertz on his new position…
I really enjoy it, to play that position [as a No. 8]. I am more on the ball, more integrated in the game. I am really enjoying it. I think I have a lot of room to improve in the games, I am still adapting to the game and everything. So far it is working quite well. I think [goals are] important for my position, and also with my height. I want to score goals. It’s part of my game. I always have to arrive there. Hopefully, it works more times in the league now.