Thursday, May 30, 2024

Arteta on Jesus, Nketiah, leadership and more

The second part of Mikel Arteta’s press conference saw him asked about Gabriel Jesus, leadership in the squad, Eddie Nketiah and more.

Here’s a full transcript.

Have you had to do things differently after the departures of Xhaka, Holding and Tierney, players who were part of the leadership group?

Yes, and there are many, many ways to do it, you know, and I’ve been part of teams that have done it in many different ways. In December, in January it was different to June. Why? Because a few players left, a few players went on loan, that they were part of it. Some of them are playing, some of them start not to play. And you have to feel the temperature there to make sure who is involved, why they’re involved, for how long are they involved. And as well, don’t seek for too many changes, you know. It comes to a point when that culture is set, then it’s about living, you know, how we want to live together and what the standards are and the necessities are within the squad to continue to evolve in that sense and we have everything that we need right now.

One player who last year was very quickly made a senior player was Gabriel Jesus. I’m just wondering, he got that goal against United and he’s had a slightly, obviously, up and down start of the season with a knee injury. How are you seeing him now and how important is he and what does he bring there?

When you look at the last six months of Gabi, or seven months, and after the long-term injury that he had and the amount of football that he missed, then he came back in pre-season and he started to get the rhythm again, then he had another injury, another surgery. So we have to build him up. He’s a tremendous player, a really important player for us. He changed our world last season, you could all see that, and he’s going to be a really important player for us.

In what way did he change the world for you?

I think he brought a different energy, a different belief, a different threat, a different fear to the opponent. He did it in a really natural way and I think he contributed hugely for the step that we had in the season.

You said in the past about Gabi Jesus, he brings chaos to the team, is that something that you like to see when there’s a forward just causing mayhem in the box?

In certain areas of the pitch I love it, in other areas of the pitch I hate it. So it’s where you produce that chaos. And he as well, obviously he attracts a lot of attention and plays the way he plays and creates a space for others and that’s a big quality of Gabi.

When you signed him, getting him in from Manchester City, was it was almost a statement signing? Did you feel that players from the very highest level were prepared to come to Arsenal and maybe in the past you were getting players from slightly just below that level?

Yes, and obviously when you sign a player that you know and he’s done it in the league, you know, and he’s got the anger and the right reasons to join us, it was a no-brainer for us to do it and we could see the impact that he had straight away in the team.

On Everton, you’ve got this poor record, as you say. Obviously you know what’s coming and how difficult is it to actually combat? You know what the atmosphere is going to be like, how do you get the players to understand exactly what’s coming to play?

They know. Obviously we have experienced it, the majority of the players have experienced it. It’s the level of focus and attention that you need when you play against a team like that. Last year when we were 0-0, we had the best period in the game, which is when we conceded the goal in the set play and the game changed. And you have to be prepared for that because in any moment the team momentum shifts,and you have to be prepared for that. That’s the challenge that we’re going to have on Sunday.

Eddie went away with England, didn’t get a single minute, did that please you as a manager because he’s obviously not injured or possibly not even tired but does it annoy you as well because what was the point of taking him if he’s not going to play?

Well, I think it’s a big point to be named in the England national team. I think it’s a big point. He was really happy, I was really proud of him. And then, yeah, it’s Gareth and the coaching staff’s decision. He’s going to have to earn the right to play as well and that tells you the level that there is there. And when you see the competition and he has in this position, it’s a welcome to the competition.

So he’s not disappointed?

I’m sure he is because he wants to play every minute knowing him, but at the same time I think he has to be really happy to be part of it.

What has he got to do to be an England player?

That’s a question for Gareth. I have enough with my job!

With Everton obviously physicality is a point that a lot of people bring up. In what ways can you try and prepare and combat that? And it’s obviously early days in the season. Can this game potentially be a bit of a blueprint for future games where physicality comes to the fore again?

There’s a lot of games that you play in that way, but for me, Everton’s quality is not physicality, it’s what they do. They play really well the game that they play, really, really well, and Sean is extremely good at doing that. And I think just talking about physicality, for me, doesn’t reflect the quality they have. The reason why they do, the intention that they have, how they build sequences and momentum in matches, there’s a lot of work there, so it’s much deeper than that in my opinion.

In terms of timescale on Mohamed Elneny, what’s the timescale there? And for the season ahead, what kind of role do you think he could play on the pitch for you guys this season?

Well, first of all, he’s been training with us. He had a little niggle in his hamstring a few weeks ago and he’s back in training now. It’s been a long-term injury, the last stages of that rehab right now, and then it’s about building momentum and game time with him. But I always say he’s our glue player. He’s the one that brings everybody together, sticks everybody together. He’s a really important player for me in the squad and I’m delighted to have him.

With Gabriel, because obviously you had two potential knocks for Brazil over the international break, do you have to be careful in terms of time management for this game, or is he fully fit again?

Yes, we try to always check the players and understand what happened. We have good contact with the national team and Gaby had a little issue while he was there. He managed to play the second game. It’s something obviously that for the next sequence of matches we’re going to have to be aware of.

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Which Gabriel had the knock?


It was in the first game right? Seems positive he played the second game and should be fit for Everton?

Mikels Arteta

Where can I buy Slurm?


Mikel has a funny comment every week this season.. ‘That’s a question for Gareth. I have enough with my job!’


Gareth is a horse.


I’m curious about who formulated the question, “In terms of timescale on Mohamed Elneny, what’s the timescale there?”

A Different George

In terms of an answer, how would you answer this?


In terms of being curious, how curious are you?


In terms of journalism, it was a “journalist”


It takes some limescale to answer this.


Three points needed tomorrow, to keep pace with the Sky Blue Scum, Liverpool and the wank stains up the road, who all won.


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