Don’t look now, but Arsenal have registered three consecutive wins in the Premier League. It’s been a tough, tough journey to get to this point but after talks of a change at the top just a few weeks ago, the Gunners are now in a position of strength heading into the rest of January.
They may not go on to qualify for a place in Europe and they may still struggle to break into the top half come the end of the season, but manager Mikel Arteta will just be happy to see his side win a few games.
On being able to enjoy the performance:
It’s always tough to win away from home and the way we’ve done it was in a really convincing way, especially in this difficult weather but I’m really pleased. It’s three in a row now in the last week and we talked about the importance of this week for us and to be able to win all three of them is really important.
On whether that’s the kind of Arsenal he wants to see:
Yes. There were moments that I thought we were really good both defensively and offensively and attacking-wise we had movement that is exactly what I want and exactly what we try and teach the players to do. In other moments we became a little bit sloppy in certain moments when we thought that the game was won. That’s something we have to improve. But overall it’s close to what we want.
On if we can now build from these three wins:
I hope so. The energy and the convincing momentum that you get from everybody that is involved is much more positive. I wasn’t that concerned with the performances. We lost games where I felt we were really unlucky and most of them it was our own fault because we made some errors and we lacked some discipline in certain moments. But obviously you need to win football matches and now this brings a different momentum, energy and as well the players get the handbrake off and you can see that they are more free to play.
On increased levels of energy in the team and if he puts that down to Smith Rowe and Saka:
When I talk about the energy, when you are in a moment where you are winning and playing with confidence, you can see that you can transmit that. The body language is better and you have that enthusiasm that wins help massively for you to build. When we were going through a difficult moment, I said that the most important thing is to maintain the team spirit and the belief that we would turn things around and belief in what we are trying to do. This week, obviously, is paying the price for the way that we have been going together through that period.
On whether that’s the closest we’ve come to playing like a Mikel Arteta team:
Well, this is an Arsenal team with the idea of what I want with our staff to transmit to the players to play, but in certain moments it was very close to that, yes.
On Aubameyang’s need for a goal:
I keep saying, we can’t keep putting all the weight on Auba’s shoulders to score the goals. We need contributions. The midfielders need to score more and give more assists, and we need goals from our wingers as well. Laca is in great form and has scored five goals in his last four games, which is what we need from our strikers. Auba had some chances today to score and it was the same in the last game or so, but I am so pleased because in the final third we looked lively and there was a lot of movement. There is good energy, there is a real purpose and everybody is playing forwards. It’s like we are free to play there and the understanding is allowing us to generate a lot of things there.
On whether Partey could be involved against Newcastle:
Well, he hasn’t trained fully with us, but he has done most parts of training in the last few days. He’s feeling good and we will assess him if he needs another two or three sessions to see if he’s 100 per cent available to play.
On whether it will be like a new signing:
Absolutely. We’re in January and I think he’s played two and a half games! He was our main signing, so we’ve been missing him. He brings something different to the team and it’s a player with an enormous talent, but he’s also someone that can transform the team in the way we want. If we can have him and keep him healthy, he will contribute in a really positive way.
On Tierney’s performance and overall development:
From the moment I joined this club and he went through this shoulder injury, I saw a player with enormous talent with the perfect attitude and commitment. He is a joy to work with and I’m so happy for him with the goal he scored and everything he’s put in to be better every day towards the team and towards the club. He had some issues to adapt and it was a challenge for him to leave his house, and we are all trying to help him because the kid really deserves it. He’s a joy to work with.
On Tierney wearing a t shirt and shorts in the snowy warm-up:
He’s got something special in his blood because we’re all wearing snoods, gloves and hats! He just goes out in his shorts and t shirt! It’s not like he’s acting, believe me. He’s very comfortable like that.
Quotes courtesy of Arsenal.com
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