Friday, December 8, 2023

Arsenal in the USA: New York quotes round-up feat. Smith Rowe, Arteta, Tierney & more

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.

Source: MetLife Stadium Mix Zone / Hayters


Bukayo Saka on the one word he’d use to describe Mikel Arteta…


Source: ESPN


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

Source: AFTV


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.


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A Different George

Wait–Bukayo Saka thinks the purpose of pre-season friendlies is to build physical conditioning and integrate new players into the team’s tactical schemes. If only he were a bit more tuned into social media, he would realize the importance of winning skills contests and, especially, how the defeat to Man United basically means our season is over.


Haha, my ManU supporting brother-in-law whatsapped me right away celebrating and looking forward to the new season.
I had to remind him that for Arsenal it was a warm-up and for Man U it was a cup final.



Heavenly Chapecoense

What a great assessment of the current situation by Saka. This boy will silence my never-ending complaint about winning mentality.


Most of us probably never appreciated how much difficulty ESR had to go through.
If he can remain fully fit this could be a season of fire from him.


Never realised he had 2 operations. Nasty.

A Different George

Same here. The story as I remember it, is that he had played through this chronic problem (literally for years), it never improved, and he finally decided to have surgery, which fixed it but required a period of recovery. This was serious enough, but apparently there was more to it.


Most importantly, he says “getting fit”.
This very much implies that he was nowhere near fully match fit towards the end of last season, which would explain why he wasn’t getting the minutes playing that he might have had under different circumstances.


I forgot just how tall he is until he was standing next to Trossard at midfield waiting to enter the game on Saturday. Think he could definitely really be a really strong option in that Xhaka role with his motor, physicality, drive into the box, finishing ability, tactical awareness, etc.. Obviously Havertz will get first shot at it, but hope ESR has ample opportunity there to impress.

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