Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Arteta on Rice, Partey, West Ham and EFL Cup

Mikel Arteta met the press ahead of our EFL Cup tie against West Ham on Wednesday evening. Here’s what he had to say in full.

How much will Newcastle be on your mind?

Nothing. We just have to beat West Ham. It’s a competition that we have the chance to progress and win a trophy, and our mindset is going to be focused just on West Ham.

Is EFL Cup an opportunity for your team …

Doing what we are doing, being consistent, playing better than the opponent and tomorrow against West Ham it’s going to be a really tough game. It always is, away from home against them. And continue with the momentum and the form that we are in. That’s it.

A chance for some players …

Yes, the context is a bit different because we picked up some injuries and we don’t have too much availability in terms of the squad, but yeah, prepare the game the same way that we did there to try to win it.

Is Declan Rice likely to feature?

He’s likely. He’s fit, he can be involved, it will be his first time back at his old club and a beautiful moment I think for him. I think I had experience to do it a few times and then you really see what they think of you and what you left at that club, and it’s a really good way to measure your experience and your reality within the reality of the people that share moments with you.

Will he get a good reception …

I would say so. I hope so. I think every time you hear him talk about West Ham and what they did for him and everybody at the club, he cannot talk any higher, so hopefully it will be the same way towards him.

Using Eddie while Jesus is injured …

We have to be conscious with the amount of minutes that they play, he has started a lot of games in the Premier League, but I think in terms of how we have utilised him, I think he’s fresh and he’s in a really good moment. So when players are like this, they have to be used, whether we do it as a starter or on the bench, we’ll see.

Lionel Messi winning Ballon D’or …

When you talk about Messi, he can never be wrong. I think, you know, what he’s done, he won the World Cup at his age. It was the pinnacle of his career, everybody was expecting it. It’s just incredible. The consistency that he’s shown, you know, the level that he’s put world football into, I think it’s incredible. I’m so glad as well that we had a few nominated as well in those lists.

On Arsenal players being nominated …

It’s always good to look at yourself there next to those names and in those lists. It’s a compliment for them for what they’ve done. Now the challenge is to be higher up the list next season, because that would mean that you’ve done it again.

Odegaard’s little injury, this game a chance to rest him again?

We rested him the other day, innit! It’s how long we rest him and how we manage now the minutes and the rhythm that he needs as well to be at his best. We had the opportunity to do it, we didn’t use him at the end, so that was a good offload for him.

Is it a case of just rest? 

It’s not only that, there’s a lot of things that you have to do. It’s impossible to play with no niggles in football at this level when you have games every three days. It’s impossible. If you try to do that, you better stay in bed, you know, because I don’t know any players there that are constantly perfect to be in the best possible condition. So you have to adapt to that.

Should Odegaard be commended for playing through pain?

Every player it is the same, you know, they are all willing to push any boundaries. We have players that they are supposed to be six weeks out and they were back in three and a half, four weeks for big matches and made an incredible impact. And when you talk about changing the mentality, this is a big thing, you know. And not only him, but all the physios and doctors and everybody pushing in the same direction. Your teammates pushing you to demand you to be there because you are needed. And that’s what we need.

Any time frame on Gabriel Jesus?

With him, honestly, I’m not going to put any, because I did it once and I got it totally wrong. We need to be cautious, you know, because we need to treat it in the right way. But he is already pushing everybody, you know, he wants to be back as quick as possible. And we need him. So that’s great.

Lots of experience in midfield with senior players, is that important for squad building?

It is. I think age is something, but the experiences that those boys had and the human qualities of those are exceptional. You just mentioned Mo, the way he lived those six, seven minutes that he was on the pitch, you know, after 10 months out, the way everybody looks at him is just fundamental for me. I always say that he’s one of the most important players because what he brings to the team, even when he’s not playing every week.

Jorginho, Elneny, Partey – contracts are running out. How do you keep experience?

I think it’s something critical for our squad and as well the way the squad is designed and the profiles that we have, that they have always players there that can be role models off the field, but very important as well that those players can as well be respected for what they do on the pitch and we have a few of them that are really good.

Is there a pathway for Charlie Patino?

There’s always a pathway. And when we make decisions on those kind of players, it’s always to keep an eye on them and see can we evolve the squad in a way. And the first thing that we do is look what we have internally.

Any clarity on Partey’s injury?

I think he will be out for weeks. I don’t know how long, but yes, he’s got another appointment today and we’ll see more after that.

Is there any wider concern about his injury record? 

Yes, he’s a big concern because when Thomas is fit and available and he’s been part of the team, we’ve seen what the results and the impact that he had on the team. This season we have more protection, especially for that reason as well, because we know in the last two seasons what has happened and the impact that that had on the team, so we have to address that. And now it’s happened, and it happened in football. I’m so sorry for him because I think he’s doing every single thing that he can do right to be there. He was gutted, we are all for him but he needs to lift himself up again with our support and go again because he’s a player that is critical for us.

Does the EFL Cup matter?

Yeah, I live it exactly the same as in the Premier League tomorrow. I have the same thing in my tummy, the same uncertainty, the same way to prepare and I’m going to be there closer to the game and I just want to win the game for sure.

Can EFL Cup be a stepping stone to other trophies?

Yes, and as well because even if you are doing rotations, I think the role of the players that now are committed to challenge for this trophy or this game, I think it’s critical for them to show what they can do. And when they are really important, when they are given the chance in a moment when you are in or out, how you are going to approach that game and how you are going to win the game for the team.

And I think if you want to grow as a team and you don’t have that mindset it’s very difficult. So the mindset of every three days being able to do it in a different way, in a different context, when you have a big game next to it or when you just played in the Champions League or another big game here, it’s ‘OK, what’s the behaviour of the team?’. How the team responds to that, I think it’s very important.

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Let’s go strong tomorrow and win this trophy!!!

Johnny 4 Hats


A Different George

Maybe Arteta has been listening to recordings of Hector Bellerin interviews.


Will this game be televised?

Johnny 4 Hats



On Sky


Yes it is. But sometimes I think broadcasting rights can leave some people out. Where I am from it’s on telly


We get our games from sky but it’s but it’s not being televised.

Norwegian Wood

It will. But the revolution will not!


For fellow fans in Sweden, it’ll be shown on Viasport Extra.


Trying to find the video, to see if he really said “innit” 🙂

Gunnar Elí



“Does the EFL Cup matter?”
“Is EFL Cup an opportunity for your team ”

Are these guys asking genuine questions or reading out questions written out by kids to ask the manager?
I’d want to see Arteta go out with “No it doesn’t ” and “No, it’s not an opportunity ” just to make the presser lively. Can’t wait all week to ask such dump questions


In general Mikel is much less prone to philosophising than Wenger was but sometimes you get gems like this – “it’s a really good way to measure your experience and your reality within the reality of the people that share moments with you.” Don’t want to drag this away from football but I’ve been really thinking about this a lot and think this might solve a lot of the world’s ills, especially nowadays, if people realised their realities aren’t necessarily the true objective reality and made an effort to see the realities of other groups. Interesting to see this reflected… Read more »

Santi’s Thigh Grab

There is but one reality, your own. When your reality overlaps with other realities focused on the same thing, you can share realities to some extent, like Arsenal supporters but even in that subset of reality, there are realities that don’t overlap that well with others.

A Different George

Sartre’s thigh grab.


He’ll is other people, especially Tottenham other people.


That’s a pretty passive view of what it means to connect with people and/or solve conflicts. Sure you can just do the tribal thing and only connect with people who already happen to be around you or like the same things you do, but I reckon a lot of the current polarisation and sociopolitical issues we see everywhere could be improved if people make a real effort to see beyond their own reality constructed by their immediate environment, family, friends, social media echo chamber and wherever they get their news from, and ask themselves what makes people in other groups… Read more »


(not as you might have suspected Henri Lansbury whom I’ve just googled and has apparently retired last year at 32 sniff sniff)


I have a sneaking feeling that Jesus will play at St James’ Park on Saturday.



Naked Cygan

This will probably be the team tomorrow.
Ramsdale, Cedric, Kiwior, Gabriel, Tomiyasu, Georginio, Havartz, ESR, Nelson, Trossard, Nketia —-Saka, Martinelli, Odegard, Rice, Saliba, Raya, Elneney, Zinchenko, White, Vieira of the bench if needed. Hopefully West ham will rest a few first team players too.

I miss santi cazorla

Well done



Naked Cygan



You have 5 of the names wrong spelled, why we should take your opinion

Naked Cygan

English is not my first language. I dare you to go on another Arsenal fans site from a different country, with a different language and alphabet system, understand what they say and spell every Arsenal players name correctly in than language. Then come and correct my spelling? Sounds good?

Naked Cygan

I also don’t give a rats ass what you think or care that you take me seriously.


This contains no spelling errors!

Santi’s Thigh Grab

Should rats have an apostrophe?

Naked Cygan

Hrkaaramdteoegeaimdzkausn’s. 😉

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Won’t be the first 11 but I don’t think we’ll use any academy players. Our squad has evolved a lot the last couple of years. Can’t really see a start either for Cedric or Elneny but you never know.

I’d go something like Ramsdale; White, Gabriel, Kiwior, Tomiyasu; Vieira, Jorginho, Smith-Rowe; Nelson, Havertz; Trossard.


I agree with White CB, Tomiyasu RB, Kiwior LB


Elneny should start- he needs minutes and we’re going to need him match sharp for more cameos in the league and champions league. Rice can’t play 90 minutes 50 times a year or he’ll be as crocked as partey.

A Different George

I think White gets a rest above all, with Tomiyasu at right back and probably Zinchenko at left, with a view to starting Tomiyasu there against Newcastle. Kiwior as the right centre-half with Gabriel seems likely, though a bit nervy (that’s why Timber was bought). I think Rice has to play, because it is West Ham (and because he can play three games in eight days easily). Two of Jorginho, Havertz, and Vieira, though Havertz could be the 9 and Vieira could play in Saka’s role. I think Nelson, Trossard, and Smith Rowe are all reasonable starting choices, with lots… Read more »


I think Vieira will be good for us eventually but it won’t be as a RW. He is more sited to MO’s spot. I would try ESR at RW.


Elneny will almost definitely start, the way Arteta talks about him, I can’t see how he doesn’t automatically start league cup games when healthy. Cedric much less so, but I’d much rather he play than risk either White or Tomiyasu, both of whom we can absolutely not afford to lose right now.


hope ruell walters gets a start in place of white


Partey, while a good player, is unreliable and over 30, so it’s surely time to cut our losses in the summer. Ideally, his replacement in the side would arrive in january, but we are in need of at least two midfielders (one of which needs to be ready for the first team) before the end of next summer, 3 if jorginho moves on as well.


Ramsdale, Tomi, Saliba, Kiwior, Zichenko, Vieira, Jorginho, Havertz, ESR, Trossard, Nketiah is what i think 🤔 likely starting 11 maybe Nelson might edge his way in, we don’t seem to get much luck with draw lately, loads of teams from the below divisions in this comp that could of gotten a healthy payout drawn away from home to us yet we get a PL london derby away to Hammers in a competition i have little interest in and only hope our players do not get injured, that said i still expect us to pop their bubbles.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Would have been nice if Ramsdale would have been in for the SU game, so he wasn’t cold for this one. Look forward to him having a stormer and then being pulled for the Newcastle game.
Not the usual classy Arsenal way, this Ramsdale situation.

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