Arsenal

Every word Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said on Emile Smith Rowe’s goal and Man United defeat

There were some controversial decisions tonight what were your thoughts on those?

I haven’t seen the images so I cannot comment on that. But the decisions were made, VAR checked them all and hopefully they were right decisions.

How disappointed were you not to push on after you got back to 2-2?

Well we scored the first one and then after that we had total control of the game. We started to give some very simple balls away in dangerous areas which opened some spaces for them and gave them some momentum. We had some difficulties there and we conceded the goal. The second half we had some difficulties again. We had total control, we conceded the goal, but reacted well and kept playing and we were dominant in the game and we scored the second one. After that we have to show maturity to not concede the third one. At that moment we didn’t manage well enough the situation and we conceded the goal. So I’m pleased with a lot of things that I saw but being realistic, conceding three goals at Old Trafford it’s very hard to win the game.

Did you see what went on in the build-up to the first goal (Smith Rowe’s goal where De Gea was down injured)?

No. We didn’t know what to expect. I was talking to the fourth official and they allowed the goal, but I haven’t seen the image again.

Martinelli looked bright tonight. How well is he playing?

He looked a threat. He had a big, big chance in the first half and probably should have put it home. He created the assists, he worked really hard and had really good moments. He looked a threat.

You’ve said your team have played with the handbrake on in the past. Were you disappointed your team didn’t go for that second goal?

No, I think we were sloppy in possession. We gave the ball away to the opponent when we had no pressure there and that creates the pressure, that gives momentum. We had a structure to play and suddenly we started to give the ball away. We had so many unforced errors and that leads them to have the belief that they can do something in the game. I didn’t see a team with a handbrake, I saw a team that wanted to play here. They were dominant with the right structure and the right freedom at the same time but we didn’t defend our box well enough at the right times and manage some situations well enough to concede the way we did.

You’ve spoken on how well the youngsters have played. Do you feel the senior players need to step up a bit?

That’s obviously the balance that we need. That balance is right. The senior players have to lead and the young players have to follow.

How do you plan to stop your players dropping back after they take the lead because that’s not the first time it’s happened this season?

Well it’s very difficult because when you are on the ball you have to make decisions and I want to encourage them to play freely what they feel. But you know, against those teams you get punished immediately with the quality and the amount of players that they can play here straight away.

What was the thinking behind the decision to play Elneny over Sambi Lokonga?

That I think we need a player like him with the experience that has played here in that arena, that was incredibly good last year when he played here as well. The way he’s been training, the way he plays and because I believe that sometimes we have to do tough things for the game.

 

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