It’s going to be a fascinating night of action this evening as the Premier League returns for the first time in over three months. Prior to the game, in his pre-match press conference, manager Mikel Arteta had the following to say.
On his emotions going into the first game:
First of all I hope everyone is there, I can’t see anybody! But I hope you guys are all well, I miss you a lot. It’s been a long process, we’ve been through very different stages but now we are really excited and back to doing what we want to do. Hopefully we can do it in the right way and we can sustain it, so now it is really important that everyone does what is required.
On how he has balanced the work between fitness and tactics during the build-up to this game:
We need to know how to get to this way of working with all the limitations we have, we have tried to make the most of it. I think we have found the right balance, and the most important thing was to provide the players with a safe environment to work where they could feel where there was no risk, or a very, very limited risk, to develop their profession. I think we have managed to do that and from now on, the physical part is really good and the mental side as well has been a challenge over those three months. Now let’s see how ready we are to compete.
On the fitness of the squad:
So far everybody is okay, we will see how training goes tomorrow to pick the right team and the right squad. Again, it is going to be different with the amount fo substitutes that we can have on the bench and the amount fo substitutes that we can do, so we have to think about how we can do that.
On the influence Pep Guardiola has had on him:
Well, he was an influence for me since I was 15 years old and we met at Barcelona, both as players. And in my coaching career and my personal life, he has an enormous influence. If I have to talk about the person he is, his values, the way he has treated me and how he deals with the players and the staff around him, its phenomenal. As a coach, I have learned so much from him, we have spent some amazing moments together, some difficult ones as well, but the experience next to him has been incredible
Can Arsenal pull off the upset?