Saturday, April 13, 2024

Arteta on beating Brentford, Smith Rowe, Ramsdale & using academy kids

Following Arsenal’s battling 1-0 win against Brentford in the Carabao Cup, Mikel Arteta was quick to praise the performance of goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale and the efforts of his defence.

Here’s what the manager had to say in his post-game press conference

On the win… 

I’m really happy, in this competition, you are in or out and we are in. It was two very different halves, the first half we had a lot of control, scored the goal and had some chances to put the game away and we didn’t. And in the second half, they had a more aggressive approach and we struggled to progress the ball and travel together, we were too direct and then it becomes a difficult game because it’s a lot of duels, then it’s free kicks, it’s long throws, you have to defend every time, bring everybody back and try to get out and win territory from there and they are really good at that. When we don’t play that well, you need to have some big defensive moments and we had that, some big blocks in the box and Aaron making a big save as well. 

On a good performance by Ramsdale…

For sure, I think he’s been exceptional around the place with the situation and like everybody, you know, like Jakub [Kiwior], I think he played really well, Tomiyasu, Jorginho, after what happened three days ago, he reacted and played a really big game. Reiss hasn’t started many games and he’s scored the goal and Emile. And for sure, Charles, it was a big day for him. It’s great to have an academy player playing with us and a lot of positives to take. As always, a lot of things to improve as well. 

On the fans loving Ramsdale…

We love him more, for sure. We have him every day, we know him, his character, we know what he brings to the team and we are really happy to have him. 

On it being even harder to leave Ramsdale out given his performances last season…

I don’t know. Every player is very important. We have a lot of injuries as well, a lot of players that contributed. But in football, it’s about now. It’s about the moment and today he had the opportunity to play and he played a really good game. 

On Smith Rowe’s performance…

I think he had really good moments in the first half and the game was much easier for him , the way he was developing with his qualities, than the game that we started to play after five, ten minutes in the second half. Then obviously he was struggling more. Physically he’s still not there to play 90 minutes. We have to bear in mind that we had four or five players on that field that there were subs and that was a big concern for us, to the line-up especially because we have seven at Colney that are not fit now. 

On whether Ramsdale’s performance makes picking next weekend’s keeper even harder…

We analyse every game with the right characteristics to understand what we’re going to find in the next game and we make the call. 

On whether Emile picked up a knock and if that was why he was subbed…

He did, but it wasn’t because of that. We had to manage his minutes. His load has seen a big spike in the last two weeks and he was struggling to finish the game, the same with Reiss. 

On whether Smith Rowe brings something different to the Arsenal midfield…

Yeah, he’s very vertical, you see when he’s running with the ball, the capacity he’s got to combine in shorter spaces, arriving in the box. He’s got different qualities to the other attacking midfielder, it’s great to have him, we need him at his best and now he’s starting to get some rhythm and minutes which is really good for the team. 

On Ramsdale’s fantastic save from Wissa and his response to the Brentford fans who were taunting him…

I didn’t see the second part, I saw the first one because I had a really good angle, it was obviously a great save. It was crucial for us to win the game. 

On the save demonstrating Ramsdale’s reflexes and quality…

I don’t think I’m the one to be asked about the quality of Aaron Ramsdale because I was the one that brought him when everybody was questioning that decision. So I don’t think I’m the one to ask that question to. 

On winning all three away games one-nil…

Yeah, and they’ve been different games, but the outcome it was the same and we are really happy that we can produce performances, especially with clean sheets, something that at home we’ve been struggling at. It’s a study case almost to understand a lot of what’s happened but we’re going to need that. We play three games away in a row now in the next eight days, and it’s going to be crucial to maintain momentum, have a good feeling, and go into the next one, which is Bournemouth, which is going to be a really tough match. 

On why he handed a debut to Charles Sagoe Junior…

Obviously the context of the situation we have, with a lot of injured players, helped that possibility, but every time we can we have to look in our academy and give chances and Charles was probably one of the most consistent players that we had in the under-23s for a few months. He’s been training with us quite a lot and it’s about giving opportunities to people, and if we don’t give it today, when are we going to give opportunities to our youngsters. I’m really happy that he had a good experience. 

On where he sees Sagoe Junior playing in the future…

He’s a winger. He’s a player on the right or the left, he’s also played as a nine this season,  quite a lot of minutes, so he’s quite versatile in those positions. It’s great to have him around and see how he develops.

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Jeremy

Oh for fucks sake will the journalists shut the fuck up about ramsdale. We love him, he played well as usual and he’ll play plenty. He might play on the weekend or he might not and we should be happy either way. Brighton rotate keepers every 2-3 games and nobody says shit. Tonight wasn’t about Ramsdale. It was a team performance.

gooner

I’d like to see them use that same energy to question Southgate every time he selects Pickford

A Different George

Arms too short to box with God.

Mikels Arteta

I think Rammers will start our next game. This will push him to the next level, taking the England no 1 shirt. No problem with rotating keepers

Mkh

Very unlikely that he plays in the weekend!

gooner

I think Arteta will decide who starts and I am perfectly fine with his call

Fezec

I’m not.

Raya’s distribution was wank against spurs.

Ramsdale came in and was pretty much flawless.

It’s a meritocracy or it isn’t.

To be fair, Arteta should play whom ever he feels is more likely to get us the points on the day. But don’t come out with all the ‘sharing games’ guff if that’s not what we’re doing.

Mark

“Saka and Charlie Sagoe”. There’s a song in there somewhere.

Big L HoP

Sagoe and Emile Smith-Rowe!
Interested to here Jeorge Birds POV on why Sagoe got the nod ahead of Cozier Duberry. I thought he was the next one up, but perhaps he’s fallen off a bit since he started getting minutes? It’s great to see so many Hale Enders at the club rn though

Matty T.

Seven players injured? Timber, Partey, Rice, Martinelli, Trossard, Saka. That’s six. Who’s the seventh, ffs?! Vieira?

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Excellent.
Enough talk, just to the decent and common sense thing, play our best keeper, Ramsdale.

gooner

You could also add “Arteta out” for not selecting your favorite lineup.

Bill Hall

I want to make a shout out to Tomi. I cannot remember the we had such an excellent defender who was equally as good anywhere across the back four!

gooner

We haven’t had bad luck with strikers but our Samurai isn’t bad as number 9 either

A Different George

Most Arsenal fans, including me, would describe the injury to Saliba last year as the single biggest reason (yes, there were others) why the title challenge failed. We mention, almost as an afterthought, that Tomiyasu was injured in that same match. Now, looking back, I wonder if Tomiyasu’s injury wasn’t as important. I don’t think he would have been as good as Saliba (because pretty much no one is), but he is showing that he might well have been good enough. If we keep our defenders, when Timber comes back, we will have Man City levels of depth.

Modha

I just want to see Smith Rowe given more minutes, especially with our increased workload. I think bringing him on for 30 mins can help him build fitness. He’s the definition of an impact player IMO. I love watching him play, so direct.

And I agree with the other commentators, the Ramsdale stuff has to stop. It is nonsense

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