The Premier League season is officially over, and while Arsenal did manage to pick up a win over Watford in their final game on Sunday afternoon, it only helped them up to a measly 8th place in the table. After the game, manager Mikel Arteta spoke with the media as the club now turns its attention to the FA Cup final against Chelsea next weekend.
On whether he was encouraged by what he saw:
It was a crazy game, right from the start. The moment that we went one or two nil up you could sense that their front players were a bit ‘cheating’ and obviously even if they couldn’t finish the actions every time the counter was open, we allowed them too many balls in the box. This is where they are really dangerous. They had some really good quality moments with the ball in the final third, but we weren’t at the races without the ball, like we have been in the last few games.
On what he means by ‘cheating’:
I mean that they stayed up front, because they know… more than cheating it’s more like gambling. Obviously it’s hard to control when you lose the ball or you don’t finish your actions. There were some open spaces and some mistakes, it was a little bit of a basketball game and there was not much control there.
On whether Emi Martinez will start in the FA Cup final:
Emi has earned his place with another brilliant performance today again when the team needed him. He made some fantastic saves, Bernd is still recovering from his injury, so Emi is the one now.
On whether that is long-term:
In football a week is too much, so let’s hope he is available for the game, and if that’s the case he will start.
On how much better we’ll have to be next week to win the FA Cup:
Yeah, it will be a completely different game. First of all from the mental side it will be equal. How much they want it compared to how much we want it, I don’t think that was the case today because of the necessity they have, the way they had to approach the game was different to us and you can see that. Hopefully [Saturday] will be very different.
On how gutted Aubameyang is not to have won the Golden Boot:
You could see that he was really trying. You could see at some stages that his teammates were trying too hard, at some stages forcing things to give him the opportunity to score another goal but his numbers are fantastic so it doesn’t change much.
On Mustafi missing the FA Cup final:
Yes, it looks a really nasty injury again. We have lost Calum Chambers the week after I arrived here, we lost Pablo for three months and we’ve lost Musti so at the back we are really short. Musti’s been playing really consistently and at a really good level with me and we wish him a quick recovery.
On if it’s expected to be a long-term injury:
I think so, yes.
On if Mustafi will miss the start of next season:
Yes he will, yes.
On what sort of time he’ll be out:
He pulled the tendon of his bone in his hamstring and that’s normally a lot of weeks.
On whether he has enough defenders:
I already mentioned three central defenders who are not available and we haven’t had them available for a long time anyway, during this season. We will have to address that.
On what was annoying him when the second goal went in:
A few things that I didn’t like.
On what they were:
No, sorry. I won’t say that.
On whether it was to do with the control of the game:
It was a few things that weren’t at the standard, in my opinion.
On Watford being relegated:
I feel very sorry for them and I think they were unlucky today. It’s a team who are our neighbours around the training ground and they are very local. It must be really hard to have chances at the last minute. You could see today how much they wanted it. I’m sorry. Hopefully they will be back in the Premier League next season because I know how gutted the players and the club will be with that result.
On Troy Deeney saying it could be his final game:
I hope he doesn’t [retire] because I think he’s a player who can still make a stamp on the Premier League with the way he plays, the way he expresses himself, his character and everything. I hope he recovers from a really hard day for him and then hopefully in the next few weeks he can make the decision, and try to help them get back into the Premier League.
Quotes courtesy of Arsenal.com
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