Team news: the latest on Fabio, Smith Rowe, Cédric | Team news | New
As preparations for Saturday’s game with Bournemouth continue, Mikel Arteta held his weekly press conference to discuss the game and many club topics.
On the coach’s program this week, his relationship with Scott Parker, Fabio Vieira’s first outing in the Arsenal jersey, or even training sessions open to our supporters.
Here’s everything Arteta said during the briefing:
on the latest team news:
Everyone is well. As you have seen, we have played Cédric, Fabio and Emile with the Under-21s and they look good, they have been training with us all week so they are available for selection.
on the team’s confidence right now:
It’s great to win and play like we’re doing right now, but it’s only two games, we have a whole season ahead of us. Let’s focus on the next game and what we need to do and where we can improve.
do not get carried away by our good form:
It’s just two games. It’s nothing, the whole season is still to play. We know that, we are very aware of that and we are very aware of the improvements we still need to make as a team to close games better, play better and that has been our focus all week.
on the Bournemouth challenge:
It will be a really tough game. I have been there many times, I know how difficult it is and I know the atmosphere will be hectic. They are a team that are used to winning because last year they had a really successful season, and they started this season well. I know Scott Parker very, very well and I know they are going to make this game very difficult for us.
on Bournemouth’s style of play:
I think it’s a good mix between what Bournemouth was doing and what Scott is as a manager, and I think he’s developed the team in a really positive way. They have a very clear idea of how they want to play, a very clear identity as well and they execute that against any opponent and credit them with what they do.
on Scott Parker’s coaching philosophy:
Very well. I’ve always admired him as a player, his character, I know him pretty well personally and I’m really happy for him. The way he presents himself and the way he wants to play this game – I think it’s good for the game to have managers who want to play the way he wants and I wish him luck…except tomorrow!
on Parker’s fashion sense:
I think he’s always been like that as a player and I think he’s showing up very well.
on Gabriel Jesus’ debut with us:
Probably the biggest difference since I’ve worked with him before is his maturity. Obviously, a few years have passed, a few experiences, and as you mentioned, his language has improved so much. He has a different role here, it feels right away. I’m happy that he’s having a good time and that he’s doing very well for the team.
on the main changes Gabby has made since his time at Manchester City:
Not many differences. I think he improved a lot of areas in his game because he has more experience, he worked on it. For me, what makes the difference with him is his attitude, his drive and his desire to win every training session, every ball in the game and that’s what makes him the player he is.
on the difference a confident striker can make to a team:
Top teams need top scorers and not just one, ideally three. When you have these players and they can reach certain numbers, it gives you every chance to be at the top of the table.
on whether our good start has changed our transfer plans:
No, we are still in the same situation. Obviously the market gives you a lot of information and something that you might expect to get, you don’t get and that’s the same when it comes to the ins and outs. But we are focusing on the players we have right now and getting the most out of them.
on senior players appearing for the U21s:
One hundred percent. I think there were three different cases; Marquinhos played with the U21s, and we didn’t think he needed to play again. Fabio and Emile – they were hurt, they didn’t have minutes, they needed this exposure.
With Cedric, it was more about giving him a choice. He wasn’t in the squad last week, he didn’t play many minutes in pre-season. We have to give them the option. He immediately said he wanted to play, and you can see his attitude.
when he starts looking at the league table:
After 10 or 12 games. I think it’s more or less when it all starts to play out a bit, and you figure out where you’re at. Because of the schedule, matches are going to play a big role in that, but I’m not focusing too much on that. Probably late March, April – that’s when it really starts to count.
ensuring that only good players are brought in:
It has to be the right person and the right player. We only want to bring the best quality through this door, otherwise it’s not worth it.
if the right player does not enter, and if he would be happy with the current team he has:
I will be totally happy and focused to get the best out of these players.
on Nicolas Pepe’s interest from Nice:
What we can communicate, we always do at the right time. We discussed that we had a great team, we made decisions and we authorized certain players [to leave]. As long as the window is not closed, anything is possible with any player.
on the possibility of loaning Ainsley Maitland-Niles:
Again, we approach these things personally and internally
to find out if there are any updates on Hector Bellerin:
Not for the moment. No update and it’s like the other situations.
on Granit Xhaka, and how proud he is of himself:
He doesn’t need the armband to be among the leaders. It is his personality and his way of approaching his job that make him a player apart. I think he is very important for the team. He shows it. What we expect of him is that he behaves the same way or better.
on the idea of open training sessions at Emirates Stadium:
I think anything that brings us closer to our supporters, we have to try to do. The club is studying this.
on what he remembers about his first game in charge, against Bournemouth:
It was raining, I got very wet! I was excited and nervous, and I looked forward to what was to come. It seems like a long time ago.
on how he has changed as a manager since:
Many I think. I think the team and the club need a certain person in every phase and every moment. I think the coach or manager the team needed, or the club needed a year ago is different from what they need today. You have to constantly evolve because now you have to take this club to another gear.
Before, there were times when we probably had to give a lot of protection and keep players in the right place to not collapse. So it’s evolving and we as individuals – especially people who have a lot of decisions to make – have to inspire others, evolve and change as well.
if he now feels like the team has his stamp on it:
It was from day one, because I made the decision to come here and train these players. I always felt they were our players, and we always tried to get the best out of them and try to improve them. Obviously, when we start recruiting, we want to recruit alongside the club, with players who we think together can make a difference, and that’s what we did.
on Aaron Ramsdale dealing with criticism:
I think Aaron was very good at the start of the season. What you saw [in the documentary series] is a very precise moment. If you turn on the cameras when someone makes a mistake you see they are in pain and it takes a few days to swallow and you can see how much families are hurting. I think it’s good to see this idea that players really care.
on whether he plans to play Fabio Vieira on the right:
Fabio’s versatility is something that caught our eye and we think he’s going to give us a lot of options. It’s about cultivating the way they work together and the kind of players Fabio needs around him to exploit his qualities, which we think could be very powerful, so we’ll have to wait and see how that develops.
on the installation of Marquinhos:
I am very happy with him. He’s adapted really well and he’s a really likeable figure in the locker room and around Colney. His language isn’t great yet but I think his physicality has been quite exceptional, for someone who comes from Brazil and has a different way of training and playing, but he did it.
I think he has the qualities for the way we want to play. We will keep him here for a few more months and we will make sure that he imposes himself at the club and in the team, and then we will see what is the best move for his career.
on whether he will play in the Premier League:
For each player there is the possibility to play it. If he trains and convinces us that he is up to it, then he will have that opportunity.
to bind Bukayo Saka to a new contract:
I am very confident that as a club, Bukayo, his family and his agent are very aligned with what we want to achieve. I would like this to be done because I don’t want the player or anyone else to get distracted in the middle of the season, but those things take time and have to go through the right process.
on a potential partnership between Vieira and Smith Rowe:
We want players who make themselves better, and to do that there has to be chemistry between those players first, understanding and timing and different qualities that they need to get what we want to do.
We build that relationship; Fabio has been training with us for a week so he needs to develop that and see where he clicks and where he can have a big impact for the team.
if it will help improve decision-making in the final third:
We need to continue to develop this and be more unpredictable and a greater threat in the future.
if he intends to go to as many U21 matches as possible:
When we have time, we want to take the opportunity to be there, to be close to them and to support Mehmet, the coaches and the players. We need to establish the link between the first team and the academy and be very aligned on how we want to play, develop our players and bring talent into the first team. This is the goal we have as a club.
on managing a deep team:
I think the first three or four weeks of competition are delicate because we only play once a week because there is no Europe or cups, and we will have to manage the frustration of players who are not in the group. But it’s a long season and everyone will have their opportunities.
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