On his first European cup game as a manager:
Well, it’s another big competition for us. The run that the club has been through in this competition and last year as well makes it really important for the objectives that we have for the season, and we know the type of game we are expecting tomorrow. Papa has made us even more aware of that, if we had any doubts. We have to be ready.
On what Sokratis has said:
He knows everything about Olympiacos, about the country, about the type of fans that we are going to find here. I’ve been very aware from the games that I’ve watched about them and their passion, their quality and the atmosphere that we are going to have to be playing in tomorrow. So yes, it’s a difficult trip away from home and we’re going to expect a tough game and we’ve prepared for the game knowing that it’s going to be a difficult challenge.
On last season’s Europa League run and if it sets the bar for this season:
Yes. We have to go game-by-game. Every year, every competition is completely different, you play different opponents so you cannot compare what you did last year with this year. The context is different but the objective is still the same one. A club like us has to try to win every competition that we are involved in. That’s the mindset that we are playing this game and this competition with.
On Guendouzi’s absence from the squad for the Newcastle game:
I just make my team selection and the squad is selected in regards to how they play, how they train and how they behave. Every week it will be different. One week it will be on reason, another week it will be another reason.
On whether Matteo’s absence was a disciplinary measure:
It was about the way we train, the way we play, the way we live. I want the best players for the game and I select them in relation to what I see on a daily basis.
On his thoughts on Olympiacos:
I would say that collectively it’s a team that seems very alive. They have a very clear idea of what they want to do, they don’t really play in relation to the opponent. They have very clear principles of how they want to play and they try to execute them against any opponent, whether they are a big club in Europe or a smaller team in the domestic league. That’s what I like the most. Obviously they have some individual qualities that we are going to be really aware of, but I’ve been highly impressed with the level of the collective function of the team.
Quotes courtesy of Arsenal.com
To be continued…