Every word Mikel Arteta said on Arsenal, Aaron Ramsdale, Smith Rowe display and Sagoe Jr


Thoughts on the game?

Really happy. In this competition you are in or out. We are in. Two very different halves. The first half we had a lot of control, scored the goal and had some chances to put the game away. We didn’t.

Second half, they had a more aggressive approach and we struggled to control the ball and we were too direct and then it becomes a difficult game because there are a lot of duels, free kicks, long throws and you have to defend every time, bring everybody back and try to win territory from there. They’re really good at that. When you don’t play that well you have to have some big defensive moments and we had that with some big blocks in the box and with Aaron making a big save as well.

Was that the response you wanted from Aaron?

For sure. He’s been exceptional around the place with the situation. Like everybody. I think Jakub played really well, Tomiyasu too, Jorgi after what happened three days ago he had a really big game, Reiss did too, he hasn’t started many games and scored the goal. Same with Emile. And for sure Charles, it was a great day for him. It’s great to have an academy player with us and a lot of positives to take and as always a lot of things to improve as well.

The fans clearly love Aaron with his reception…

We love him more for sure. We have him every day. We know him, we know his character and we are really happy to have him.

Is it more difficult to leave him out when you consider how big he was last season?

Every player is very important. We have a lot of injuries as well and players who contributed. But in football it’s about now, it’s about the moment. Today he had the opportunity to play and he played a really big game.

What did you make of Emile’s display?

I think he had really good moments in the first half and the game was much easier for him with the way he was developing with his qualities. But then with the game we started to play after five or 10 minutes in the second half, he was more struggling. Physically, he’s still not ready for 90 minutes. We have to bare in mind that we had four or five players in that field that were subs and that was a big concern today for us in the line up especially because we had seven at Colney that are not fit now.

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Does Aaron’s display make your selection for Bournemouth more difficult?

We analyse every game with the right prism and characteristics to understand what we are going to find in the next game and we make the call.

Did Emile pick up a knock in the second half?

He did, it wasn't because of that. We have to manage his minutes. His load has been a big spike in the last few weeks and he was struggling to finish the game. The same with Reiss.

Does he bring something different to the midfield?

Yeah, he’s very vertical. You see when he’s running with the ball, the capacity he’s got in short spaces, his arriving in the box. He’s got different qualities to do that attacking midfielder. It’s great to have him. We need him at his best. Now he’s starting to get some rhythm and minutes which is great for the team.

What did you make of Ramsdale's save and then his celebration after to the home fans?

I didn’t see the second part! I saw the first one because I had a really good angle. It was a great save that was crucial for us to win the game.

Does that show his quality?

I don’t think I’m the one to answer the question about Aaron Ramsdale's quality because I’m the one who signed him when everyone else was questioning that decision. So I don’t think I’m the one to answer that question.

You’ve won three away games 1-0 this season. Your players seem to enjoy these gritty away games. How happy are you with that?

Yeah and they were different games, but the outcome was the same. We are really happy that we can produce clean sheets. Especially away from home which is something we’ve struggled with historically to understand a lot what happened. We’re gonna need that. We play three games away in eight days. It’s gonna be crucial to maintain that momentum and that feeling going to the next which is Bournemouth and it’s going to be a really tough match.

Can you tell us about Charles Sagoe Jr because it was a surprise to see him start?

Well the context with the injuries helped the possibility. When we have the chance we have to look to the academy and give opportunities. Charles is one of the most consistent players that we had in the Under-23s for a few months. He’s been training with us quite a lot. We have to give opportunities to people. If we don’t do it today when are we going to do give opportunities to our youngsters? I’m really happy that he had a good experience.

Where do you see him as a player?

He’s a winger. He’s played off the right and the left and as a nine. He’s played a lot of minutes this season so he’s quite versatile in those positions and it’s great to have him around and see how he develops.

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