A limp 2-0 defeat to Manchester United was a disappointing way to round off the East Coast leg of the US tour but the players and manager are focused on improving ahead of the season proper.
Here’s what they had to say before their flight to Los Angeles…
Mikel Arteta on Jurrien Timber’s performance against United…
We are really pleased with his performance and the things we asked him to do. Obviously, he is adapting really quickly to the team, and you could see the confidence, the determination that he plays with.
Bukayo Saka on where Arsenal need to improve in the coming weeks…
Physically we want to get to a level that we were at last season and then go to another level and keep increasing that. Tactically we need to integrate everyone. We need to understand our game plan and how we play and keep progressing in each game so that when we come to the first game we’re ready.
Emile Smith on last season’s struggles and getting back in the team…
It was really tough because I had surgery twice. It was really hard, but my family helped me and my friends and the club as well helped me a lot to get through it. I’m just really happy to be pain-free right now and getting fit. This was my first time having surgery, and it was a really hard decision for me to take. But I went through it in the end and I’m happy that I don’t feel nothing there anymore. I’m really happy that I’m fully fit now.
I’m at a big club like Arsenal. If I didn’t have competition, there wouldn’t be no point. I have to push myself every day in training and I have to keep working hard. It’s tough competition, but it’s good at the same time. I’ve got to keep working hard and keep believing in myself.
I’m feeling good, feeling strong. Coming from the [Under-21] Euros, a big achievement for us as a nation. So, yeah, I’m feeling really confident in myself.
Bukayo Saka on the one word he’d use to describe Mikel Arteta…
Kieran Tierney on Declan Rice’s integration…
Declan actually said the other day he feels like he’s been here for so long,” he said. “It’s such a close group, great team-mates, great staff so I think they’re all loving it (the new players).We’ve had a few songs. Declan gave us Ice, Ice Baby as he always does. They’ve integrated really well and we’ve done team activities together. It’s been just what the new boys needed.
Source: The Athletic
Folarin Balogun on fans wanting to see him play for Arsenal…
That’s the aim, I want to play as well. We’ve got to see what happens
Auston Trusty on life at Arsenal and how he got there…
I’m here now and I take it day by day and I’ll just go to training and do my job, and any opportunity, I’ve got to come here and do my job.
It’s been a grind, you know? But I think no matter what, as a player, as a person throughout life, you have to back yourself and you have to back to your ability and believe in yourself. I did it the entire time, from Philadelphia to Colorado to now. I back myself and I believe in my play, I believe in my abilities and I believe in what I can do in the future. It just gets better and better, and you have to get more focused the higher you go. But it’s been awesome and it’s such a blessing. I’m so honoured to be in this position.