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Mikel Arteta pre-Newcastle press conference – Arsenal boss has given these updates ahead of match

3 months ago
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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has taken his press conference ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup third round match.

Arsenal facing Newcastle United at 5.30pm, a game live on BBC.

Mikel Arteta giving fitness and injury updates, plus just how determined he is to retain the FA Cup.

Arsene Wenger won it an amazing seven times and Mikel Arteta is ‘only’ six behind.

In his first attempt at the competition, only five months ago the Gunners boss and players beat Chelsea in the 2020 FA Cup final, having done it the hard way with a defeat of Newcastle’s conquerors Man City in the semi-finals.

Mikel Arteta pre-Newcastle press conference as reported by official Arsenal site:

On the contrast between three weeks ago and now…

“Yes it’s great to win the last three games. The spirit, the energy around the place and the vibe is always better. I feel better myself.

“In this Christmas period, to win three games in a row is never easy in this league and we’ve done it, so hopefully we can pick up a much better run.”

On his memories of winning the FA Cup in August…

“It was a beautiful day. It was the last game of the season, everyone took off after that and it was a really difficult end of the year with all the COVID situations that we had. Obviously it was a great day to finish the season on a high.”

On whether he’s amazed that Wenger won it seven times…

“Absolutely. We’re going to go after every competition. We are the holders, we have to defend that title. We know what it means to the football club and the history that is related to the FA Cup. It’s a great competition to play in for us.”

On Mesut Ozil’s future…

“I don’t know what is going to happen. Obviously now he’s free to negotiate with other clubs. We will discuss internally what the best situation for him is for the near future, obviously with the player and the agent too, and try to find the best solution for everyone.”

On the fourth and fifth-round draw being made at the same time…

“It seems like every year we’re changing some rules in every competition, every cup. Something needs to be different, I don’t know why it is. I think we are doing something good in the country in that every cup is becoming more and more important. For example you saw in the Carabao Cup that the teams involved in the semi-finals and final compared to the last 18 years has improved. Everybody wants to win a trophy, everybody knows how difficult it is to win a trophy, so you have to stick to every competition. That is raising the levels, certainly, but we can do things a little bit simpler sometimes.”

On whether Ozil is training…

“He has been training with us, but he had some days because we decided to give him some days for something personal, but he has been training with us all the time.”

On Thomas Partey’s chances of playing against Newcastle…

“Well, we have an extra two training sessions [before the game] and we will assess after that whether he is completely fully ready to participate against Newcastle, or if we’re going to leave it another few days for the Palace game.

“He is training really good, he is comfortable, he is not aware of the injury right now and he has done more than what he already did before he played after the injury against Spurs, so he is in a good place, a good mood and you can see the player he is when he is training.”

On whether Mesut Ozil could be involved on Saturday…

“We’ll decide what we do.”

On if Flo Balogun is fit for Saturday…

“He is fit and available. Again, his progression and the use of the time that he’s had with us has been incredible. He will keep having chances while he’s with us.”

On playing out from the back…

“We have to adapt in certain moments, depending on where the team is in terms of confidence and the risks that we can take and the rewards that we’re going to have from it. It’s part of the game plan, depending on the opponent as well, how they approach this particular phase of play and in relation to that, we can decide one thing or the other.”

On if recent results will mean a return to playing out from the back…

“We can vary. I think Bernd has been playing with his feet in that particular set of wins. When it’s a close situation, when it is more predictable and more set up, we need to have in certain moments a little bit more to do what we want to do. In open play, when we use the keeper in that phase, we haven’t changed one bit. Again, it’s something about the capacity to adapt and then something that is related to the gameplan on the day.”

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