Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Zinchenko on playing for PSV, set-piece training, academy kids & more

After arriving in Holland, Oleksandr Zinchenko was asked to represent Arsenal at this evening’s pre-PSV press conference.

Here’s what the Ukraine international had to say…

On maintaining motivation for a dead rubber game…

First of all, we’re always playing for our badge, we’re always playing for our fans. It doesn’t matter which competition it is, it could be a friendly game or whatever, we’re always trying to represent our club in the best way. That’s why we’re going to try to show our best performance tomorrow. 

On the need to rebuild momentum after defeat at Villa…

It’s not easy to lose games, but the most important thing I would say is how to react on the next one. Of course, we need to bounce back and definitely we’re gonna try to do our best. We have an amazing team and we’re also keeping in our minds that we have a lot of games ahead of us. But we’re trying to stay on our feet and we’re trying to work hard like every day and let’s see what’s gonna happen. 

On working with set-piece coach Nicolas Jover…

He’s amazing, honestly. An amazing professional, amazing person as well, and you can see it every single day at the training ground with the way he worksm he’s absolutely a professional in terms of everything and he’s working so hard trying to improve us on set-pieces and we’re learning. 

On his experience working with set-piece coaches…

Before City, I never had one in my life. Today, in modern football, it’s so important, Any set-piece can make a difference during a game. It could be 0-0l and then at the last moment you can get a corner and you can score from it. So you just need to be fully focused on each set-piece. And it’s not about just free kicks or corners or penalties, it’s also throw-ins. So that’s why we’re trying to improve in all these directions. 

On players not especially liking set-piece training…

Well, first of all, all of us, we are professionals and we’re trying to give our best on the pitch, whether it’s at the training ground or stadium. It’s a good question to be fair, because as a football player, you always want to move, you always want to compete and play some games, so I don’t know, whatever. With set pieces, I would say it’s about being focused and just paying attention on that. 

On his time on the books at PSV Eindhoven…

First of all, that was an amazing experience for me, a very important year in terms of my career, even if, when you look at on the paper, I didn’t play much or I didn’t get what I really wanted a tPSV. But, honestly, I couldn’t buy this experience. And honestly, I wouldn’t buy this experience anywhere else than this place. Whatever people ask me about PSV, I always say good words because the place here is absolutely fantastic in terms of everything football-wise. Even since I left PSV I used to come here a couple of times for holidays because I have few friends here and for such a young player, like I was that time, it’s am amazing place. Always a full stadium, they always love football. Wherever they meet you, they’re always happy to see you and this is the most important thing for every football player 

On old teammate Luke de Jong…

Honestly, I would say he’s one of the best players at playing with his head. It was a bit a joke, but in a good way, because I respect him so much and he’s my friend, but I used to laugh with him and say when you go one-on-one with the keeper and he is close to you to give him the ball for an empty goal, it’s better to chip for to his head because the way he plays with his head is absolutely amazing. 

On his defensive work being scrutinised…

I’m definitely not the guy who’s going to judge myself. I have coaching staff and I have a manager who’s going to describe my games. Obviously, I know that I’m doing mistakes on and off the pitch every single day. I’m learning from it, but the most important thing is understanding that all of us, we are human being, we do mistakes, but importantly we know how to react to them. I don’t try to repeat them, and at some point, at some moments, I’m losing concentration. So the thing is you need to realise where and how to solve these kind of problems and try to avoid this for the future. 

On how he blocks out such criticism…

I’m trying to be focused on the things which I am doing every single day. I’m trying to improve myself, I’m trying to be a better version of myself every single day and then the rest, honestly, if pay attention to some of the things around me that’s not mportant then I’m going to lose my concentration for sure. 

On the trio of young players in the squad…

They are amazing, all of them. I see them almost every single day at training and the way they train, the way they are working, they definitely deserve this chance. Hopefully, we can see them, see them very soon on the bench. From my side, when I was younger and when someone was giving me any advice I was really appreciative. We are different and we’re reacting to situations in different ways. Some people may think when someone is trying to teach you that they are maybe above you, but I used to react to advice like this in a very positive way, because when someone with more experience gives you advice, that means he’s paying attention and paying his time for you. So that’s why I’m always open for anyone who is younger than me or whatever. Even now being 26, I’m not shy to ask some advice from Jorginho or more experienced players. 

On the need to show leadership…

I would say “we and me” as a team and as an individual we’re trying to be the best version we can be every single day, we’re trying to work hard and the rest is don’t give up and carry on what you are doing. If you have dream and you really want to achieve it, you just have to give your all for it and if you’re not gonna achieve it in the end that means you didn’t want this enough. 

On whether he wants to become a referee…

Definitely not. Not me because I think it’s it’s a hard job. I don’t know my opinion about that. Definitely, I know that it’s a tough job and I know that there was a lot of pressure around at the moment about referees and all these things. We are all human beings, we can do mistakes, but our job is to try to be focused on our performances.

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Funsho Patrick

Zinny! He loves the badge.


Say what you will about his defensive lapses, the lad is a proper professional and super high character guy for our club and squad, he’s brought such positivity and a winning mentality and also tactical intelligence, and always has insightful things to say. Not many players in the world you can say all of those things about.


I like his attitude and honesty about his defensive lapses and that he is trying to improve and be a better player. Good solid lad.


Most goals scored from corner kicks in the league, well done boys and Jover. But those throw ins are something else. Most times I am screaming at the TV, just throw that ball, get rid of it before you get booked. I don’t care if it’s to the other team but just get rid


This. It’s especially a problem with White and Tomi.


100%. There must be a reason for it, but I’m buggered if I can see it.


Reason is too many guys aren’t moving into space to receive the ball.


This is a game that would’ve tested some of our academy strikers with little risk. Would’ve loved to see that lanky 15yr old kid that put 10 past Liverpool given a run here if only to spice up the records

Teryima Adi

What a level headed man- I enjoyed the interview very much.

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