Arsenal were able to book their place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup last weekend as they scored a dramatic late goal to see off the challenge of Sheffield United at Bramall Lane. In the wake of one of his biggest wins as manager so far, Gunners boss Mikel Arteta took the time to speak with the media as the club – and the fans – look ahead to another appearance at Wembley.
On showing character:
Yes, I am very pleased with the result. This is a really difficult place to come and win and. After conceding so late, that reaction is not easy. We went for it again, we scored the goal and now we’re back at Wembley.
On putting bad form behind us:
We have to bear in mind that we played four away games, I think we’re the only team that has done that. With Manchester City and all the things that happened over there, then the way we threw the game away at Brighton, it was a very different game. I am very pleased today, I never fault the effort of the players. I am really happy about how the front players are going about the defensive job, we still have big gaps to improve in many areas but I am really happy today.
On Dani Ceballos’ winner:
We have to use the subs in a clever way because they are so key to try and win the games. The games are becoming really long and today the reserves did what they had to do.
On what pleased Mikel the most about the performance:
I think the attitude and the commitment of every single player that was involved in the game or that was waiting for his opportunity. There were really good moments where we played and we did the things I asked them to do and the way we dealt with Sheffield United’s play… They are really good at what they do, the way they commit people forward, the way they play in the second phases, the way they defend outside the box. I knew there were some phases that we were going to suffer and how we dealt with that… I am really, really pleased.
On importance of success in the Emirates FA Cup:
I think every win gives you a bit of credit and a margin as well and gives them some encouragement. At the end of the day the results dictate the spirit and the happiness of the team but it is much better than it was when we lost against Brighton so hopefully we can have some momentum. We can play at home as well. It’s been a while since we did it so hopefully we can get another win.
On whether Pepe feels more comfortable at Arsenal now:
I don’t know how he was feeling before, we just try to produce the right amount for players and try to treat them a little bit individually for their needs, and hopefully we are in the right direction with Nico and that he can feel our total support. The only aim from us basically is to try and improve him and make him decisive for the team.
Quotes courtesy of Arsenal.com
The reward for this win will be a semi-final tie against Manchester City, but that’s another story for another day.
Were you impressed with the club’s FA Cup quarter-final triumph?