It was a potential banana skin that turned out to be a real moment of triumph for Arsenal last night as they tore through West Bromwich Albion with a ruthless and efficient 6-0 win in the Carabao Cup. Many will point to the fact that the Baggies had a weakened side out whereas the likes of Aubameyang and Saka were present for the visitors, but at the same time, you can only beat what’s put in front of you and that’s what they did.
After the game, manager Mikel Arteta spoke to the media about the relevance of the win and what comes next.
On the victory – and how satisfying it was:
When you lose a game, you have to win as quickly as possible. Today’s match is going to give us some confidence. We had some players playing their first minutes – for example Auba – so to get some minutes and score three goals is going to be great for his confidence. Overall I think [it was] a really positive night.
On Auba’s qualities:
I said at the beginning [that] the leadership, the solutions and the tools to win football matches has to come from the senior players. The rest has to be complemented to that with the energy, the vibe and the passion that they bring to the group, and not the opposite way around. I think tonight was a good example.
On what that win does for the mood:
The spirit has been really positive, to be fair. I’m really pleased to win tonight, to score six goals away from home, to get a clean sheet and to be in the next round. But I’m even more pleased about the preparation during the last two days and the togetherness and dedication the players are showing, how much they want to turn the situation around. I’m really happy for them and for the fans – that we can give them something to cheer, because we had a lot of supporters here tonight.
On starting Auba through the middle – and if that’s the plan moving forward:
I think Auba is really comfortable playing in either position and we have Laca as a nine as well. He came on later on. With the players we had available today and the plan [we had], we believed it was better to play Auba up front.
On if having away fans at Manchester City on Saturday gives the players more of a motivational feel:
Winning always helps but the motivation and the desire to go to Manchester and try to win the match is not going to change at all. It’s great to see the support that we got from the fans today. They came all the way here to give us support on a midweek night. The players were talking about it – and [now it’s about] getting ready mentally and physically to go to Manchester and try to win.
On drawing AFC Wimbledon in the next round – and if he’ll field young players in that match:
Well, I think we play more young players than any other team in the league, that’s for sure. I don’t know how many more we can play!
On how Saka is:
I think he got hit knee to knee. It was sore – he was limping. I don’t know how he’s going to be. Hopefully he’s going to be OK.
On if having fans back in the stadiums will help to get the best out of Auba:
I hope they do. Obviously he’s a really happy character and he needs that connection with people, with family, with friends, with fans. You could see the interaction when he left the pitch. I think that’s something really positive for him, yes.
On Ramsdale’s debut:
I’m really happy with him. He hasn’t trained a lot with us, but you can see the qualities he has. He’s a really young goalkeeper – he’s done a lot already in the league and you can see the presence and the personality he has when he plays.
Quotes courtesy of Arsenal.com
Could this be a turning point for Arsenal’s season?