MIKEL ARTETA – ARSENAL v MAN CITY – PRE-MATCH PRESS CONFERENCE – FA CUP SEMI-FINAL
Um we’ve got an embargo of 12 45. Today on this first section and we’re, going to start with joel, please from bt sport, hi macau. Um i’d like to talk to you a little bit about the hailand academy and the young players in your squad, um what? What is your philosophy when it comes to developing and producing young players? Well, first of all, you have to assess the in whatever stage of the development they are, and i consider there are five different ones: um. We are pretty lucky because the academy has done as such a great work in the last few seasons to produce the players and the personalities that we have in the squad right now so when it comes to, that is how can we support them? How can we create the right environment for them to grow in a place where they have some protections, but at the same time, they have the exposure for them to grow under the circumstances of a context that they have to deal with the pressure and big competition And i love working with young players um, you have a very you, have an important core now of young english players: who’ve come from helen sakha, nelson willock and ketia. How important is that for the future of this team really important, because this is part of our dna um if we can produce at home with all the facilities we have with the structure that we have in place: players of that caliber and that level yeah, something That you cannot compare with anybody that you bring from the outside, because their feelings um the relationship that they have within the club.
How much they care and the passion they’re gon na put in for our team is – is different. You know and uh for me that’s an extra that you don’t get from anybody else. You said that they’re different. How far do you feel these players can go? I think they have to see the limits and we want to give them as many opportunities as possible. Again with the right environment and when they write a structure around them, but then depends of them. This is not about doing it for one month or three months or eight months. This is doing it for a long term, and you know the demands of this football club and the level that you have to be there, so you have to be really consistent and probably that’s the hardest thing to do brilliant. Thank you, mikael. Thank you, george bbc. Miguel, hello um, i just wondered uh with you, obviously knowing manchester city so well, uh at the start of last season, eward and pep would have sat down and discussed their weaknesses um. So do you think you can target their weaknesses tomorrow, that’s what we would try to do as much as possible and like any other team um, they have some weaknesses, as you mentioned, and as well as about a stopping as well their strength which um they are A lot it’s part of any game plan is not about cities about any other opponent that we are facing, and tomorrow we will do exactly the same um in terms of pep dude.
How long do you think he will stay at manchester city for there’s there’s? A lot of talk about where he’ll go next, you think he’ll be there for a while, or this could be his last season or i don’t know he’s been there four years which, for him is quite a long time already, and look at the success that he Has so he feels really happy there. I think he has surrounded with great people as well across the club, and he feels that the the players and the style and the identity he has created belongs to him as well he’s close to the fans. So i seem really happy, but i don’t know that’s a question for him and just uh on your program notes on tuesday he said that danny ceballos has been outstanding. Does he want to stay, and do you think you can keep him next year? Well, that’s conversation that we are having with the club and to see what we can do in the future with him. But i’m really really happy with the progress and and how much is improving and how much he’s giving to the club as well. And i always put the example that he’s a long play about you see his celebrations for every goal. You know the way he trains, everything how much he cares he’s fighting is he stopped i’m really happy with him. Thank you very much. Thank you. Ian. At talk. Sport hi miguel.
How are you hello good? Thank you. Can i start by asking what your reaction is to boris johnson, the prime minister, who today has said that the aim, if it’s safe to do so, is to get football fans back into stadiums by october and then how many but um? Can i get your reaction to that? Please well that’s the rumor that we are hearing. Obviously things are evolving in different countries, um in different ways: um. I think we have to be patient. I think we are all desperate to have our people back in the stadium and and make football what it is again but uh. Obviously, we are able to create a well a safe environment for everybody to come and join, and my opinion is that it will be gradual and the sooner the better but let’s do it carefully. It’S good that the prime minister, though, is talking about it. Yeah very good, very good because they can see obviously that in the near future, things are going to improve and that’s another sign of that which is really good, not for food, but for a society in general you won the cup as both. Well, you want to come as a player you’re trying to win it with the same club as a manager and it’s massive for us, so isn’t it to win the fa cup this year, because it would seem to be the way into europe for you and our Arsenal football club needs that absolutely for many different reasons, but as well, because this competition is is a big part of our history in the last 10 years.
Even even more so it’s a great opportunity for us to go and win a trophy and we are very excited and we will try to go there again tomorrow and make another step forward. Finally, tweeted before the liverpool game, that he was ready. I’M not sure what he was ready for, but he said he was ready. I assumed to play um and he’s been pictured. Training is, is he in your squad for the weekend? Is he in your thoughts yeah he’s been trained? Is he is in the squad? I haven’t done the squad yet, but he’s in training. Thank you mikko! Thank you. Uh darmish, at sky, hey mikael, hello, um, the result uh against liverpool and and the manner in which you managed to keep them out after they scored that goal. Does that set you up nicely for this city game, because the way city play they’re expected to have a lot of the ball on there? Unfortunately, yes and yeah, we had a really good reaction after the goal and it’s not easy because um they are such a dominant team i’m, really pleased with, with the result that we got um, they’re gon na be very different games within that game and it’s going To happen tomorrow as well, you cannot expect to be dominant for 90 minutes and i don’t want to be defending deep for 90 minutes. So they’re gon na be some a lot of little games within that game that we have to play really good.
We’Ll have our moments as well, and you know how crucial is in big games in this competition to make it always good and make the right decision so yeah. I expect not a similar game, but level of difficulty will be again really really high after the liverpool game. You spoke about your worries over the finances in in advance of the summer. Transfer window is selling players in order to buy new ones. Is that an inevitability? Do you think i don’t know we are facing a lot of uncertainties at the moment and obviously well. Kobe 19 has hit all the clubs um it’s. Obviously, a big worry, the uncertainty we have with some of the players, the uncertainty we have as well, because we don’t know where we’re going to finish and how much impact financially. That is going to have so we’re going to have to sit down at the end of the season and see what we are able to do. But we are working together with the club since the last few months to put different plans together and see how we have can minimize these all uncertainties that we have just following up on what you said about mesut ozil. I know you’ve been speaking about him. A lot and and on gwendoozy as well, could you just describe if all of your selections are just based on on the footballing reasons or and and could you describe your relationship with those two players because i’m guessing they can’t be happy that they’re not playing pure Footballing reasons, my decision is always that my only ambition is to put the the best squad, the best players that they give us the best balance in and out of the field and the best possible chance to win the game.
Final one for me: mikael where’s, your positivity level. With regard to the future of your captain, pierre emerick aubameyang. Are you more hopeful that he will sign a new contract and stay beyond his current deal? I’Ve been always very positive about it. I don’t have the key of the future and in football anything is possible, but i see his reaction. I see how he’s training every day and know that he’s happy. I talk to him a lot and, and we are able to do it, i think we can do it and we know how important he is for the team. Thank you. Thank you. Uh mark p.a hi, michael hello, um. During your time at city, you faced arsenal. Nine times and you won seven of them scoring 22 goals. So obviously, as a coaching team, you must have worked out the best way to beat arsenal. So what have you had to change to make sure that doesn’t happen again this weekend? Well, it’s it’s a different team. We are a different team as well and i know their strength and i know the flexibility. They are the the things that they’re going to try, but even like that sometimes it’s very difficult to stop. I want to focus on what we want to do. If i worry too much about them is not the message i want to send to the players is what we’re going to do? What we have to do to try to win the game, to give us the best chance to compete against them throughout the 19 minutes and put them under difficulties and that’s what i would do and that’s the game plan that we always put against any team.
Is it is a bit of a worrying trend, though, because it sevens city wins out the last seven games yeah. But if i look at the trends as well before, we play liverpool as well with the calendar a year or the last two calendar years, that they have you get depressed. And what i need now is energy to transmit, to my players, belief and uh and is a fake up, and we have a lot of experience here. We have a history related to that and let’s go for it um a player who flourished during your time. In the city was obviously uh david silva, what is his, what is his legacy in english football and do you feel he’s been slightly underappreciated in a more and more global scale? I don’t know if, if i could read the articles and the comments when he joined the premier league saying that player so small, he hasn’t had the physicality he won’t adapt. You know what that we’ve done is the league is it’s been incredible again. The level of consistency to play the way he’s done with the noun of goals, assists and chances that he creates every single season in tight spaces against very low blocks. Time, and time again is, is incredible. I always said – and i agree with what pep said – that in shorter spaces is the best play that i’ve seen, but then just finally um you’ve been asked a lot lately about the future of pierre and how impressed you’ve been with this gold square record.
Could i just flip that and ask you about alex lacazette? Are you oh there talks to you over a new deal for him and it’s three or four games for him now, so is he starting to show you what you wanted to see from him when he first took over yeah, but i really like alex. I said that even before i joined here this is the type of striker that i really like um. I think he had videos where he was very unlucky because he was having the chances and not converting, which is not used to him, but the way he can link play, you know he’s a massive competitor he hates to lose. He goes for every ball. You see in every challenge how he’s ready to go, how works he heart and his very intelligent player. I am really happy with him so he’s a player you, you don’t, want to lose and would expect for contract talks today. I am really happy with him. Thank you uh, charles at goal. I’M mikael, hello, um. I just wanted to quickly ask about ainsley macdonald niles. I mean you brought him on against liverpool, but there has been reports that he he wants to leave and that um he doesn’t really feel like you trust him. Have you spoken to him about these reports have come out and has he told you he wants to leave? No, i don’t discuss the reports first of all, because i don’t read them so i don’t know about them.
I spoke with the players about how they are feeling and how can we help them if they are having difficulties again, speak to them and and make them easier for him he’s a player that can play in many different positions. We have discussed the things that, in my opinion, he can improve or adopt to his game, because he has incredible. Quality has every quality that you need a football player to to play at the highest level, and he needs to do it in a little bit more consistent way, but he’s someone that can adapt to any position as well so that he does have a future under You at arsenal, you do have trust in him. Yes, and i maybe i didn’t play as much as as i wanted him to play, but i play in many different positions and some very important games as well. Yeah your comments after the game on wednesday night about financial backing um been seen by many as a bit of a challenge towards the owners, the hierarchy, you know sort of back me um. I can only go so far with this group of players. Is it have you been sort of sending out messages to to those above you about what you need? No, and if that was misinterpreted uh, it wasn’t my intention, uh. We worked so closely with other years at the club with the owners to put the plan that we need to take this club forwards.
Everybody has the same ambitions we are on in all of this together. But if you ask me if i know right now, what do i have? How can i do it? I’M. Sorry, but i don’t know because there are some a lot of questions that we cannot resolve right now with the situation we have one financially, the other one is because we don’t know if we are in europe, because we have place that we don’t know what is Going to happen and that’s the reality he is not about sending the message we are all with the same objective is to try to bring the club back as quick as possible, fighting with the top teams in the country and in europe and that’s it, and i Want to do that as quick as possible. Do you talk directly with the cronkies over in the states or you’re, mostly you’re, dealing with with raoul? No, i speak with them and i had a really really good and open relationship that’s. Why, when you are mentioned that i am surprised, because i don’t need to do that, because i have the phone call and i can speak to them and and they’ve been very, very supportive. From the first day that i joined the club, they were very much participating in the decision to bring me back here and the same with raul with vinai with edu. There is no gaps or frictions or anything there, so you can just pick up the phone and speak to stan whenever you want yeah just.
Lastly, as the assurances you were given, i presume when you were talking with them about taking over the job. Have they changed at all because of obviously the context has changed? Nobody knew what kobe 19 was going to do. You know we didn’t know where we could take the team. The team was in a really difficult moment that sometimes we were looking down and don’t forget the relegation zone and saying oh jesus. We want one in 13 and um and we want to move this forward. You know, and i am very ambitious, because i can only think about this football club moving in one direction and i’m gon na push with everything i have, and my job is to do that. First of all, with the place that we have and it’s not just about the place, if i can improve with a staff member with somebody else, that is going to give us an extra yard on something. I will push to do that. You know, and the first thing is to improve the players that we have – and i think we’ve done that so far and we can go to the next level.