Friday, June 21, 2024

“Hopefully something beautiful will happen” – Every word from Arteta’s final pre-game press conference of the season

Mikel Arteta was in optimistic and bullish mood ahead of Arsenal’s final home game of the season with Everton. 

The Gunners must beat the Toffees to stand a chance of ending a 20-year wait for the title but their fate remains in the hands of Manchester City who will secure a fourth consecutive Premier League success if they overcome West Ham United on Saturday. 

While his side are very much outsiders at this point, Arteta continued to stress the importance of having belief. He also batted away questions about contract talks and reflected on the journey the club has been on in the last few years.

On whether he’ll be nervous on Saturday evening…

Yeah, it’s one of the biggest weeks, for sure. For many of us and certainly now is the most important moment. I’m really excited, can’t wait for Sunday to be in front of us and obviously, I’m very optimistic as well with the possible outcome. 

On whether he had to lift his players after City’s win at Sp*rs…

Obviously, the hope is there and it didn’t happen [City losing to Sp*rs] and now we have to do our job, which is going to be tough because Everton are in a really good moment. We’re going to have to prove again that we can be better than the opponent and win the game and then we have to wish for the best, we have to wish for West Ham to have a really good day and help us to fulfil our dream. That’s what we’re hoping for.

On whether he’s chatted to West Ham boss David Moyes…

No, I don’t think I need to do that. But yeah, he’s been instrumental and so important in my career, not only as a footballer, but as a person as well. He could help us to fulfil our dream and my personal dream as well to win the Premier League. That would be unbelievable. That will always be in my memory, that’s for sure. 

On what he’s spoken to his players about…

The only thing that we discussed is we have to give ourselves the opportunity to live a beautiful day on Sunday where the dream is still alive. It’s possible, it’s football and once we are there we just have to live the moment and the moment is going to be to play like every single week, understanding that for that dream to happen we have to win, that’s for sure, very certain. And then we have to hope again for West Ham to help us to achieve that dream, but that part is on us and it’s the only thing that we can focus on. 

On what he’ll be most proud of if Arsenal don’t win the league…

I can’t think like this, I just think that we’re going to win the game and hopefully something beautiful is going to happen. Let’s wait.

On whether he senses his squad are optimistic and excited…

I do and around the building. Jesus, we are in the last day of the season playing for the Premier League! The Premier League trophy hasn’t been yet at the Emirates Stadium. And that stadium was built almost 20 years ago. So that’s a long, long time. So yes, we have to be very optimistic. The trophy is going to be there. And it’s possible. And we have to do our duties. And then we have to wait and see what happens. 

On history being against Arsenal and banking on a change in the law of averages…

That’s not going to change, you mean? It’s a probability, no? The more something happens, more probably something else can happen. Let’s wish that that’s the case. 

On City wobbling in previous final day matches…

It’s really difficult to beat any opponent in the Premier League and when something is at stake as well, obviously that task becomes more and more difficult, but that’s not in our control, that’s for sure.

On people talking like the job is done for City…

I don’t know. We all know that they were a little bit, a step closer, that’s for sure, because it’s one game less and they have to play at home. But they’re going to play a really, really tough opponent. We have suffered this season over the last few seasons [against West Ham] they are really tough to beat and again I’m sure they’re going to be very at it and, hopefully, they can help us to achieve our dream.

On whether he’s chatted with Pep at all…

No, no.

On whether he thinks City will lose…

I don’t know, lose or draw. This is what we need, that’s for sure.

On why he believes given City are almost impossible to stop…

Well, if I don’t believe today, imagine how much I could believe in August then. Because then, from August, 38 games against Manchester City, what they’ve done in the last 12, 13 years as a club, what we have done in the last 20 years in the Premier League, we have zero chance then. We cannot start like this. We have to believe, for sure. 

On the irony of Moyes and Pep, two people very special to him, going head-to-head in this situation…

That’s the beauty of this industry, that you come across with people that you had experienced in your life, that they’ve been super important for you personally. And now you need something from them. So hopefully it will happen.

On whether this season has been a success no matter the outcome…

Yeah, but we are here to win. And that’s my aim and that’s the only thing I’m thinking of. 

On whether the Premier League should retain VAR…

I haven’t been part of those meetings, so I want to have a meeting with the club next week and understand where these points are coming across, what happened in the last few weeks to get to this position, and then we will decide what our position is as a club and see what happens. 

On wanting to have his say before the club votes…

First of all, I want to understand because I haven’t been part of those meetings, so they will explain to us what happens, what are the points that they’ve been discussed, the reasons why, and what is the general feeling as well. And from there, we’ll make our own decision. 

On whether he has any complaints about Sp*rs application…

No. And I will never, you can never complain about the opponent. I can’t complain about what we haven’t done to have 91 or 93 or 95 points. That’s the only thing that we can do. 

On whether he’ll have someone monitoring the City game…

I think 60,000 people, plus all the staff, plus the assistant coaches, plus all the families behind the phones. I think it’s enough! 

On how he prepares his players for such an atmosphere…

It will be different. I lived it as a player a few times. You just have to focus on what you have to do. You understand by certain reactions what is happening, for sure. But we have to stay focused on what we have to do.

On whether he’s going to discuss his contract in the summer…

That’s something that after the season, or whenever the right time is, we will talk and sit down. 

On whether it’s important to get the talks done early…

Important is to win now and to keep believing that we can continue to win.

On whether the outcome of Sunday’s game will dictate contract talks…

No, I think everything is relevant. I think whatever happened, it will be very emotional on the day, so probably it’s not the right moment to make any conclusions on that. But afterwards, you have time to reflect. You have to go through the season, what we have done to come to the point that we have done, and try to understand the why. And then, we have to find the why and how we’re going to do the next bit and that’s more important now. 

On City having 115 charges against their name…

That’s one thing for the authorities to manage, it’s not for us. And if they are playing, it means that they can play and they are entitled to play. 

On the process of analysing his side’s progress…

Well, I will need a few weeks to answer that question. I think in pre-season probably would be a better time to do that. But, yeah, it’s impossible to evolve, to be better, to understand why the good things that are happening are actually happening, who is involved, how we make those decisions, and try to understand continuously how we’re going to get better. The ambition has to be there and you have to feel it and the right people have to be in the same mindset. It’s really important to find that alignment first in understanding why it happened and then, okay, this is how we’re going to move forward. 

On when he noticed belief growing in Arsenal’s title credentials…

I think it’s something that happened gradually. I think you see the signs, we have a lot of stability from ownership, from the board. Then you start to make very clear decisions strategically about the squad, then the the staff, then you see how people works every single day and and how much they want it and you start to believe something special is happening here. Then you start to evolve the squad, you have to start bringing new players and that’s very contagious. You get excited because he’s in the building, you have to get better, that one gets better and it’s like a snowball and it starts to get bigger and bigger and bigger. You start to perform, to win, to win, to win and to realise that the gap is not that big and there is something there to achieve. On top of that you have the people that we have supporting us every single day, home and away, with that belief and that generates unbelievable energy for the club. 

On whether there’s a specific moment when things changed on that front…

It was probably last season, definitely. When you see yourself, especially in the first part of the season when you take off and you are playing the way you’re playing. That, yeah, we [believe we] can reach that level. Now the question is, can we maintain it for 10 games, 20, 30, 38, for two seasons, for three seasons? Can we actually win it? That’s something else that we have to prove that we can do. 

On whether he’s confident Arsenal can keep challenging City on an ongoing basis…

I think that assessment has to be done after the season, understand where we are and then you have to look at the picture and say, yeah, I feel it. It’s very important. If you go there [tp pre-season] and you have to still tweak things and move things or move people or players, whatever it is, you really need to have that feeling. And I think we all had the feeling from pre-season and bringing the players early. We have a chance here. 

On the importance of doing early transfer business…

Yeah, that’s the ideal scenario. Every club wants that. We want that as coaches and for the players especially, you want that. And then for the team, for the environment. When you do that, something clicks, something starts to build there. And it’s really important because it starts to give you momentum. But there are Euros this season and the Copa America, so it might be a different summer. 

On if he’s stressing that point to the board…

It’s something that we all know. Given the choice, it’s clear it’s clear what we all want to do. It’s not the manager or the coach.

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Johnny 4 Hats

Something beautiful already did happen, Mikel.

Can I just ask, to all those who will be at the stadium on Sunday, please, whatever happens, do not stop clapping and cheering and singing for this team.

Do not allow Arteta to say a word at the end of the game. Fill that stadium with pride and joy and gratitude. And stay for hours and hours!

These boys deserve to know how much we love and appreciate them.

Do it for all of us who can’t be there.

Daveo

I think we have our next chant:
I don’t know, lose or draw. This is what we need, [that’s] for sure.”

Celebration Police

Ok, I don’t like Man U, but how great will it be if City end this season trophy-less? While you may disagree with me, it’s a win-win for everyone. Arsenal wins the league, City’s dominance will be broken, and it’ll buy ETH another of mediocrity at Utd.
Anyone says no?

Jay

Andrew, you wrote Saturday rather than Sunday for when the last match is.

Bobbert

It would be nice to leave that bald fraud and his bunch of mercenaries crying on the final day, I hate that artificial club from top to bottom.

Jimster

Baldist! Grass don’t grow on a busy road!

Daveo

You can only admire Mikel (and other managers too) at being able to stay calm and composed (Mikel more than others) during the monotony of pathetic, questions from the media, of which I reckon 50% here (which is pretty much the weekly average) are purely antagonistic and attempting to provoke controversy instead of the purpose – providing information to the public. This is the trashiest era of them all IMO.

Joker

I love the way Arteta answers questions. He has a beautiful way of thinking and expressing himself.

A Different George

There are no weird complicated permutations for us or for City: if we win, they must win. Everyone’s nervy for games like this, even petrostate machines. Do you want to see nerves? Watch Pep fall over when Son is racing clear on goal. Jarrod Bowen, be a hero. Have your name sung in London for twenty years.

Daveo

I’d even take him as our new striker signing if he pulled that off. He’d definitely be an upgrade on Eddie as his finishing and workrate are certainly better… it may not be the forward we all want, but if that’s what it takes for plastic hammers to pull off a miracle then sign me up…

Hi-brid

“I think 60,000 people… behind the phones.” Mikel’s obviously never tried to get a signal in the stands.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Seriously, even Positive McPositive who lives on Positive Street, in Positive Town in Positive land will not be betting that West Ham will beat the dull football machine this weekend.
Until August my mighty Gooners! COYS!!!

Hi-brid

You sure about that last acronym?

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Ha! My Spud brother thought he was funny. Suppose he had find something to laugh about this season!
Come
On
You
GUNNERS.

BVegas

Super impulsively bought two solo tickets (one for plane and one for game), now headed to the Las Vegas airport, then to JFK, then London, after which I just plan to basically camp at the Emirates and bask in…all of this. Love this club that uniquely inspires so many of us to do things of this (verifiably insane) nature.

Sagebrush

To the Hammers; this shitty is taking you for granted

Tony HenryKampGaard

As Arsenal fans, we have a certain class about us, which makes us not complain too much if we lose. However, I have had it with hardly anyone mentioning the big (105) elephant in the room. Now, don’t get me wrong. City could be innocent. If so, well played and we need to do better (yes, it’s over…West Ham? Lol. It’ll be 6-0 City. Moyes always opens his ringpiece for City,.) I would be the first to congratulate City and ‘Pep’s genius’ if innocent. But..if the rozzers had me on 105 charges I’d be shitting myself. My take? They (the… Read more »

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