Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Every word from Mikel Arteta’s pre-Bayern press conference

Ahead of tomorrow night’s Champions League quarter-final second leg with Bayern Munich, Mikel Arteta faced questions from the press at the Allianz Arena.

Here’s what he had to say…

On what he wants to see from his team tomorrow…

A performance that puts us in the Champions League semi-final. All the preparation has been to achieve that and we have earned it. We have earned it for 10 months and everything that we did last season to start that journey in the Champions League after so many years. Tomorrow we have an unbelievable opportunity to make that happen.

On the atmosphere in the dressing room since Sunday’s defeat…

Throw the game away and the one that we played a few days ago because regardless of that result it’s going have no impact in what’s going to happen tomorrow. Refocus and manage now to build the confidence and the trust and the standing or the performance that we have to put tomorrow to beat them and be through in the tie.

On whether Arsenal need to take the emotion out of the occasion…

Emotion is needed in football. It’s tweaking it, tweaking, tweaking and touching the right person in the right time for the team to be always stable, be hyped when it has to be hyped. I think we did that really well in London because after scoring the first goal, we had a game that we had a big chance to score the second one. And then suddenly in five, ten minutes, they are ahead. And we were really controlled, really mature not to throw everything away in that moment. Find our rhythm, our moment, to score a really good goal. And the reaction of the team was straight away to try to score the third one.

On his players not having much experience and how he alleviates the pressure…

Most of our players they haven’t experienced a night like this and it’s going to be the first one and they’re super motivated and they are prepared, they feel confident and it’s something that tomorrow we’re going to have to show against an opponent that has this experience but we want to make it happen.

On changing Arsenal’s history against Bayern…

We have to change it and the opportunity comes there. There are a lot of things that we can do to write that story very differently tomorrow, we know that. And it’s going to be about putting up a very, very strong performance, collectively and individually, to earn the right to be in the semi-final.

On whether Arsenal will go for it or play disciplined…

Well it depends on their approach. For sure, I want my team to be ourselves. Regardless of the stadium, sometimes you want to do some things but the opponent doesn’t allow you to do it. But we want to be very clear how we’re going to play the game, where we’re going to play that game and what is going to give us the best chance to win it.

On whether he’s spoken to Xabi Alonso about Bayern…

First of all, big congratulations to Xabi and Granit [Xhaka]because he was our player as well. I’m so happy for them. I’m very impressed by what they’ve done. And yes, I congratulate him, obviously, because we are good friends and because I’m really happy for them. But that’s a different story. We don’t face their competition regularly and it’s a Champions League tie so the game is very very different.

On the fans relationship with Zinchenko…

I love Alex, he has given us so much. He has given us a lot. He’s a player with different qualities and an unbelievable courage to play football in any circumstances. As we always demand, stay with our players, give them support because for sure they’re going to perform better.

On blocking out talk of Arsenal fading…

I cannot control that. I cannot take their phones, their TVs away, the people around them. We didn’t lose anything last year because we didn’t win anything. First of all, you have to win it, and then maybe you can lose it. What we had is an unbelievable journey against the best team in the world, here and in Europe, in the last seven years. This is where we want to be. We’re not satisfied. We want to be better, and this is where we want to be. We’re not satisfied. We want to be better. And that’s the level that we are competing with. So we’ll try again our best in the last day to try to bring those cups and be successful.

On needing to pick the right team from the start…

Every game, we try to make the best possible decision regarding the moments that the players are in, the opponent, the scenario. We will be considering every fact and not only to start the game but as well how the game can develop in relation to game state and that’s what we planned.

On whether he’s made a decision about Zinchenko’s future…

The decision is to be focused on the Champions League quarter-finals and to be through tomorrow.

On Saka and Odegaard being fit…

Hopefully, yeah. Today, obviously, we had only 48 hours to recover from the game and we’ve done very little training so we’ll assess them tomorrow and see how they are.

On competing against a man-marking system…

I think they are very used to that. There are a lot of teams when we played [who do that]. A few days ago against Aston Villa the holding midfielder had very similar behaviours. It’s normal and it frees up spaces for other players.

On how transformative a win would be…

Absolutely, it would be unbelievable. If we make it happen tomorrow, we’re in the semi-final, we’ll be in a really high emotional state with something that we haven’t achieved as a club for the last 15 or 17 years. That’s an opportunity.

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He doesn’t give away much in his pressers, does he? Whatever he does tomorrow, he mustn’t start Zinchenko again. Last Sunday was a rude reminder of the cliche – don’t fix it if it’s not broken. Revert to rice / jorgi in the middle and havertz upfront. It’s better to be predictable than take stupid risks by upending your system in the name of unpredictability.


By that logic Kiwior should have had a blinder against Bayern, but he didn’t, and Zinchenko helped us get a draw. Not as simple as that. Neither are bad players…..though maybe it just means Tomi is the answer!


One can argue that Kiwior against Bayern was a blip. You can’t say that of Zinchenko. He’s become the prime target of every opposition. They know he’ll leave gaps behind, can’t run, can’t defend 1/1. The team was more balanced and productive without him. I think we need to move him on this summer. Until then, he has to be the last choice on that LB position


Our undoing in the previous Bayern game was starting Kiwior. Our undoing in the previous PL game was starting Zinchenko. My takeaways from those games are: Tomiyasu might not be fully fit, which is a continuation of issues from Bologna. Still a really nice player. There’s a good reason Arteta bought Timber in the summer – his injury was sheer bad luck and was always probably going to catch us short at a critical juncture. Our performance will probably depend less on who starts and more on the instructions to the player and their execution of those instructions, including how… Read more »


The left back wasn’t the problem. The problem was the breakdown in play which allowed them time and space to play a quality ball into their wide players.

We are usually better at protecting our back line with pressure.


And if he’d started Tomiyasu he could’ve had a mistake like he did last year at City that allowed them to win tjr game, and we’d be saying the exact same thing about him! I find the short term memory so silly, it’s whoever is currently most trendy to blame… until the next guy comes along. Timber could also have made a mistake given his relative inexperience. Football players make mistakes, even the best ones sometimes. Did Zinchenko make more than his fair share against Villa? Yes. Does that cancel all his previous great games for us or mean can’t… Read more »


To be clear I don’t think he’s our most in form left back by any means and wouldn’t start him against Bayern personally, but the way some fans are talking about him, as if he should be chucked into a bin and disposed of, is ridiculous and also a disgrace.

Henri Like-a-new-signingsbury

What exactly did Zinchenko do last Sunday? He wasn’t great but he wasn’t at fault for either goal any more than any other player.

And before you talk about his positioning for the first I suggest you look at which post he’s tasked to defend during a corner.

I actually seem to remember him playing an inch perfect ball over the top to Havertz in the first half, along with plenty of other positive moments.

This scapegoating needs to stop! He’s not been at his best recently but he’s received way more stick than he should’ve.


Same as people claiming Raya is a failure after Sunday. He did nothing wrong. They’re the scapegoats…


Yea, used to be havertz now it’s Z. Fanbase needs to chill. Still so much to play for, we need to support all of our dons out there


I actually think the most decisive moments on Sunday were Trossard (and Saka to a lesser extent) not scoring their chances and then Mikel not adjusting the (midfield) setup in the second half until we were essentially chasing a goal in the last 10 mins and exposed to counters, which is when Jorgs excels the least. Essentially, we put on Jorgs (I think bringing on Jorgs or Partey at 55mins was so obvious) at the worst time in the game. I think Mikel will learn and let’s be honest his tactics have been brilliant this season, but I think arguably… Read more »


He is the new Senderos.

Spanish Gooner

Where we are now reminds me of that horrible West Ham at Christmas where we obviously battered them but things weren’t clicking up front just yet so we got caught by their first shot on target. People who didn’t watch the games were surprised when we then went on a huge winning streak because they thought it had come from nowhere.

Anybody who watched us vs Bayern and Villa can see we could and should have beaten both teams. The pundits will be surprised when Arsenal win tomorrow, but I won’t.



Oh sure but when I “touch the right person at the right time” there’s a few angry coworkers. Why can’t they understand emotional touching?

Jesus of Sao Paulo


Declan Fried Rice with Egg

Right person right time wrong place?


I am equally excited and terrified about tomorrow’s game. Ultimately it is great feeling that Arsenal are finally performing on this level again. Just go out and give it everything you got tomorrow and keep fighting to the very end


Everybody on their best pre-match behaviour and rituals. Coyg. We can do this!

Guns Up

All things considered, I genuinely think this is the best remaining chance at a trophy. Lots can happen in just one or two matches – watching PSG and Dortmund right now confirms that. It’ll be ever so tough, but our boys can do it!!

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Saka, Ode and Jesus do not have enough of dog in them. They are too nice. If they are owners, can they kick out a single mother with seven children in the winter because they don’t want to lose money? The answer is No. Until it is Yes, we will have troubles winning big things. This is my two cents you may not want in your pocket.




He means they are not ruthless enough and not able to take games by the scruff of the neck and chuck them out of the opponent’s way.


Hopefully neither you are one of such owners.


I think this is a post which fundamentally wants to convey that they aren’t ruthless, and I agree. Not sure if the analogy is correct though!

djourou's nutmeg

you made me laugh, please comment more often!


Please don’t!
I don’t agree with the toughness statement about the three players, but my biggest problem is your glorification of violence. WTF. Why would hurting people like that be something to strive for.

Man Manny

You don’t need to be a Hitler to win things. Okay opinion, cringe-worthy analogy!

Billy bob

I think I would play saka on the left and Trossard on the right, just to give BM something different to think about!!! Also Tomi at leftback, at least to start with!!


Start Kai at left back


Also start Ramsdale up front and Big Gabi at CAM?

Naked Cygan

The Premier League title belongs to City, they might draw one more game till the end of the season. For this reason, we have to fight tomorrow like it’s the Champions League Final. We have to go for it tomorrow. As we saw with the PSG and Dortmund games, anything can happen and we still have a chance.


Mate, I agree with you . But this is where we are fundamentally like last season. The diff between Pep & Poundland pep. Harsh but true!!!!


The key is martinelli.


and how arteta shows him how to deal with double marking. which has not been the case so far for him and saka


For real. He should START! He MUST start! My gut feeling is that we are playing a mid block tonight, and we would need some speed upfront. Martinelli has to start.


I think he’s going to score the decisive goal!

djourou's nutmeg

i hate these routine procedure press conferences. there’s nothing to talk about, nothing to ask. can you win tomorrow? yes. what do you have to do to win? play well. do you respect your opponent? yes. will bob play? i don’t know.

Arsene Wenger's Secret Lovechild

Agree. But I don’t think Bob will play.


Well said, it’s a shame our side which has given us so much pleasure this season that when we have a blip the blame game warriors are quick to put the boot in, Zinny being it, what this natural left mid playing at LB has given us since his signing has been 1st class, lets not forget the grim situation his country are in also, it can’t be easy for him, give the guy a break…


It’s so quiet here before the storm. I’m very nervous and excited.

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