Saturday, May 25, 2024

Post-Luton quotes round-up: Arteta, Edwards, Smith Rowe, Trossard, Keown, Lockyer

A much-rotated Arsenal secured a 2-0 win over Luton thanks to a clinical first half performance that included a fine strike by Martin Odegaard and a promising cameo by Emile Smith Rowe.

The England international, one of five changes to Mikel Arteta’s starting lineup, played a part in both of the Gunners’ goals, most notably providing the cutback that saw Daiki Hashioka put through his own net just before the break. The 23-year-old midfielder was later awarded the man-of-the-match award.

While the game was anything but memorable, the victory does return Arsenal to the top of the Premier League table before Liverpool face Sheffield United tomorrow.

Here’s what the managers, players, pundits and stattos had to say…

Mikel Arteta on his rotated side doing the business…

I look at my players in my squad in a different way – it’s a joy to have them fit. If we want to utilise the squad and maximise what they have, they have to play. I think it was the right moment to do that and they responded really well. I’m so happy with that because I think we’ve won again, especially with a few players with good confidence, physically with the rhythm right now and they’re going to be really important for us.

Source: Post-game press conference

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Rob Edwards on his side’s performance…

Parts of it were exceptional. After we went 1-0 down we saw a bit more of us, we were a bit braver and committed to be the team we wanted to be. I saw so many good things out there today. I thought the second half was an excellent performance by us. To stay in the game and still be in the game late on was really pleasing. We were aggressive but when we got into the final third we were lacking that final pass. I am really proud of the lads. It is hard to be at our best but we have come to Arsenal and lost 2-0 – that happens to many teams. There is no shame in that, I thought there were loads of good things.

Source: TNT Sports

Emile Smith Rowe on making an impact on his return…

It’s been a really tough season for me and some of the other players haven’t played as much as we’d have liked to. It’s important that we came in tonight and put in a performance and show the manager that we can be a part of this team. He told us [we were starting] this morning, but I think it just shows the mentality of the team. All season, the boys are ready to step in and put in a performance and I think it just shows how tight we are as a team – it’s like a family. We’re really happy that players can come in and still perform. That’s what it’s about, the strength in depth is really good.

Source: Arsenal.com

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Arteta on the five players he introduced to his starting lineup…

Emile had an impact for sure, and Reiss as well. Alex had some really good moments, Thomas had his first start since August, that is unbelievable. Leo comes into the team and he makes an impact. It’s really important because now they’re physically better, mentally better, they are confident and they are ready to go.

Source: Arsenal.com

Mikel Arteta on Kai Havertz earning a ninth booking of the season…

Yeah, we have to be careful. Hopefully he doesn’t get booked anymore because with the 10th we know what happens.

Source: Post-game press conference

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Leandro Trossard on getting the job done this evening…

We knew what we had to do. We played well. We know Luton are a tough opponent. We wanted to win our duels and hurt them in behind. Everyone showed that they can play and make it hard for the manager. Confidence levels are really high. Brighton will be a tough game, we have to recover now. Today there were five changes and everyone did their job. We need competition.

Source: Guardian

Mikel Arteta on Bukayo Saka’s fitness…

He was close [to being available today] but he felt something in a very similar area against City and it was a very short turnaround. Hopefully, he will be able to train tomorrow and be available for the weekend.

Source: Post-game press conference

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Mikel Arteta on Emile Smith Rowe…

I love him as a player. It’s a joy to watch him, how he moves, how he changes direction, how physical he was today as well without the ball. He won a lot of duels and he was thinking with that killer instinct to play forward and to make things happen and when Emile is in that moment it’s very difficult to stop him.

Source: Post-game press conference

Martin Keown on Kai Havertz…

It was one of those where I looked at it when he came in and I thought ‘I’m just going to hold up my opinion.’ I wasn’t sure at the beginning. Now he’s in his proper position as a front player. [He’s] very definitely [at his best there]. He’s so intelligent; he ghosts through. As a centre-half, you want someone to mark, but when he keeps disappearing into midfield all the time you get a bit nervous, and suddenly he’s there with two or three other players, so he can be really effective and that’s working for Arsenal.

Source: TNT Sports

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Injured Luton captain Tom Lockyer on Kai Havertz’s work rate…

The amount of times he did double movement today where he went short off [Teden] Mengi and then spun in behind, and he would have got the ball if it was played to him. It might not get picked up by the cameras, but they’re the sort of movements that even if he doesn’t get it, he might get the next one. Then he’ll keep going and get the next one, and eventually something will happen to him. When someone works as hard as that, making those selfless runs, then something will fall in the end.

Source: TNT Sports

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Ebo

Arteta on ESR: “…something something something, something something HE WON A LOT OF DUELS something something and more something…”

That’s when you know ESR is back on Mikel’s good side.

Reality check

Physical too.. Arteta loves physicality and defensive work is one of his non-negotiables. ESR has the potential to play the left 8 role probably better than most including Rice and Kai. He is also the only midfielder other than Rice who has legs to cover ground. He combines really well, he can pass, he can finish, left foot right foot he’s a weapon for sure. I’d love him to find a place in this team.

SG_Gooner

Left 8, give him the left 8,!

Let him n captain swap numbers too 😁

Jay

Kai is actually on 8 yellow cards. Reporter’s question for Mikel was incorrect. Per Prem website below, Kai is on 8 yellows. Two more matches before a ban is 15 yellows.

https://www.premierleague.com/stats/top/players/yellow_card

Thenge

The Luton captain’s analysis of Havertz perfectly sums up the arsenal attacker. That said, I didn’t know Kanu’s goals tally was that modest, given that three of them were against Chelsea! He played in so many games for arsenal between 1999 and 2004

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