Press conference

Every word from Arteta's post-Bournemouth presser

Mikel Arteta celebrates against Bournemouth

It was the winning feeling once again for Mikel Arteta after our home clash with Bournemouth on Saturday.

Goals from Bukayo Saka, Leandro Trossard and Declan Rice gave us a 3-0 victory to extend our lead at the top of the table, and after the game the manager faced the media to discuss the match, our clean sheet record, the VAR decisions, Kai Havertz's performance and more.

Here's a full transcript...

On it not being an easy match…
I never expected it to be. We started the game with probably the best first half we’ve played all season. I think we were unbelievable, we were super composed on the ball, really aggressive without the ball, we generated so many chances, we could have scored three, four or five easily. But we didn’t, we scored one and then credit to Bournemouth as well, they changed a few things, they created some issues for us and the game became a little bit more open. That was something we wanted to avoid, but within that game as well we resolved certain situations in the right way and we were very efficient in front of goal to score the goals, and maintain another clean sheet.

On the nerves in the second-half…
Because of the quality of opponents you play, you have to navigate through those moments. We knew that. If you score two or three goals in the first half, it’s a different game. We didn’t, so you better be so good at managing those moment.   

On David Raya’s Golden Glove award…
I’m really pleased. It’s a huge success for the team, in this league to achieve that with a few games to go still, with the numbers we are producing. It gives us a huge foundation, to be closer to winning titles and winning trophies. The contribution of everybody, including David obviously, is really good. 

On how much the summer signings have raised the level…
Yes, a lot. That was what we were looking for and if you spend the money you better do it wisely and in the most effective way. We are really happy with the recruitment that we had, it’s had a big impact in the team. It’s raised not only the level of the team, but the level of the rest of the team as well. And you saw today we had some big performances from individuals. If you want to be at that stage, you need that. 

On Kai Havertz’s performance…
He was unbelievable today, honestly. Everything that he did, intelligent, timing, the movements, how he keeps the ball, the way he goes to the press, how he links the play, understanding of the game. He was unbelievable today. 

On the VAR decisions…
Honestly I haven’t seen the incidents because I knew you would ask me! The analysts asked me if I wanted to watch it and I said no because then I can tell the truth and say I haven’t seen it! I can have an impression, the one on David, the foul, I cannot see because it’s too far. The one on Bukayo, is it on purpose or not, I don’t know. It’s difficult for me to judge. 

On whether the team is more mature after last year…
If a year is enough to do that? But for some it takes five, ten years to achieve that. But yes, at the end we are trying to do the right things. The energy and the commitment from the boys in everything we do is unbelievable. And hopefully it will pay off.

On what development he has seen from Bukayo Saka…
The level of consistency compared to last year is very similar. Probably there are areas in the game where he’s become more effective. I see a different edge from him, the way he competes. Not the way he plays, but the way he competes, and he loves winning more than three months ago, six months ago, a year ago and now that is something that hopefully is in his system. 

On whether he will watch the City game…
Yes, I will be there sitting with my kids and my family, in my pyjamas!

On whether he was happy with the Kai Havertz penalty decision…
I was happy when I saw the decision, very happy, and I was happier when Bukayo scored the goal. Kai is not someone who dives, but I have not seen the image. 

On Declan Rice’s goal contributions…
We thought that was going to be very related to his location on the pitch and the spaces he was going to occupy. Then something else is to do it in this league and credit to him. Sometimes we have changed him from position to position and that’s not easy as a player to adapt to that, so I think he deserves a lot of credit to do that. 

On whether it is difficult to decide his best position…
Yes, but that’s why sometimes we have to think as well about the relationships and within those units, what comes out of that and is that better than using certain other things? And that’s related as well to the moment that the player is in the season and obviously with the opponents you play, and what kind of game you can imagine, to try to be more of a threat. 

On how he feels going into these last two games…
Very excited. We have done it for nine and a half months now so it’s two weeks to go. We really want to get it done. We are closer to where we were yesterday and hopefully we can bring that title here.  

Video

In Focus: Saka's dazzling display v Bournemouth

Bukayo Saka gave us the lead from the penalty spot in Saturday’s 3-0 win over AFC Bournemouth, and you can now take a closer look at his performance with In Focus!

The penalty was Bukayo’s third direct goal contribution in the last three games, having also scored against Tottenham Hotspur and registered an assist in our 5-0 win over Chelsea.

Watch his tireless display against the Cherries by pressing play on the video above.

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