Few teams will be eager to get things going in the Premier League again quite like Arsenal.
Mikel Arteta’s Gunners were unceremoniously thumped 3-0 by Aston Villa before the international break, but Arsenal will have the chance to get back to winning ways when they face Leeds United on Sunday.
Ahead of the game, Arteta sat down in front of the press to offer the latest updates on his side.
“Obviously it’s been a painful week because normally when you have a defeat at home, you want a game straight away. That wasn’t the case but we used that as well to reflect on what we are doing, to analyse why that happened.
“We were all shocked the way we ended the game, the last 25 or 30 minutes, before that it was a different game but still we have to improve in many areas. That consistency is something we need to get much better at and after the good result and brilliant performance at Old Trafford, to get that loss was a shock to the system for everybody. But let’s take the positives out of it, learn and move on.”
On Thomas Partey’s Return Date
Summer signing Thomas Partey picked up an injury in the first half of that loss to Villa and did not feature for Ghana over the international break as a result.
“[I have no idea], he picked up an injury very early in the game he tried to carry on and he wanted to play the second half and we knew it was a significant injury. He has done really well, he is working very hard and he wants to be available. Hopefully we can get him back soon but it is an area where we have to be careful and a bit protective with the player.”
The Gabon national team were forced to sleep on the floor of an airport amid confusion over their health during the current pandemic, and Gabon boss Patrice Neveu recently suggested that Arsenal had decided to ban Aubameyang from joining up with the squad in future because of the issues.
“No [Neveu’s not right]. Obviously it was a shock to see a full squad sleeping the way they were doing. I always believe that everybody’s trying to do their best and the Gabon national team are trying to organise things the best possible way. Sometimes unpredictable things happen and it was an experience.
“I said to Auba, ‘Take it as an experience. I’m sure for many months or years you haven’t slept on the floor, take it from there and just make sure when you’re in your bed, you know how good it is, how comfortable is it and how lucky you are’ and that’s it. You cannot change it, you cannot rewind it so take it the way it is and move on. I hope that the next time it doesn’t happen and that our players have the rest that they need.”
On an Alleged Incident Between David Luiz & Dani Ceballos
A report emerged on Thursday stating that Luiz and Ceballos had clashed in training, with the centre-back striking Ceballos across the nose and drawing blood, although the Spaniard has since branded the report as ‘fake’.
“Nothing happened. Training is very competitive and issues happen a lot of the time, but those things get resolved immediately within the team. There’s not much to say. No problem at all [between the two].
“No [I didn’t see what happened]. I’ve got a really bad vision from far away! That’s why we train behind closed doors.”
Winger Willian surprisingly travelled to Dubai during the international break, and while the trip broke no UK laws, it’s obviously not the best thing for your new expensive signing to do during the global pandemic.
“You keep asking me for more and more issues. Whatever happens internally with any issues or things that we don’t expect, as always we will try to resolve them internally. That’s been dealt with and explained, and we move on.
“We had a conversation and I explained what I expected. There are a lot of personal factors at the moment and as well from our side, we need to be in their shoes. A lot of players are having different issues, like any person out there and sometimes they make decisions based on the needs of the moment, or what people are expecting from them.
“Whether they are right or wrong, it’s a thing that we have to discuss. But it’s been dealt with in the right way so let’s move on.”