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Every word from Mikel’s pre-Sporting presser | Press conference | News

Mikel Arteta held his pre-match press conference ahead of our crucial match against Sporting CP tomorrow night.

Back in London Colney, the manager answered questions from the media about the return of Gabriel Jesus, possible squad rotation and what it takes to reach the Europa League semi-finals.

Here’s all he had to say:

about the atmosphere at the training ground…

First of all, they get along very well and you can feel it. There is a good combination of winning and competitive spirit between players, and they know when to have fun. That’s why the mood is always good.

about how good it is to have Gabriel Jesus back…

It was great to see him again. You can feel the joy of everyone around him: fans, players, staff. We missed him and now we’re glad he’s back.

looking to make sure his comeback is done right…

We have to manage his minutes and we have to manage his engagement in the squad and in the team. But Gabby feels good every day that he works out. He says those senses are getting better and better, so that’s really positive.

whether there will be a squad rotation tomorrow…

We want to win. It was the same in Lisbon, but we have to do better than in Lisbon to win against Sporting tomorrow.

on strengthening against Fulham after Lisbon disappointment…

Yes, there was a big difference. The will to win back the ball, the aggression we showed and how we defended the boxes. We have to show that against a top-class team tomorrow. They punish you the moment you give them some space, and tomorrow that can no longer be the case.

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on whether the Europa League is a distraction from the domestic campaign…

No. We haven’t had a big European night in three years, mainly due to COVID. Tomorrow is probably the first we’ve had in a while and hopefully we’ll build a really good vibe and enjoy it. Our fans will play against a really good team that will give us a big challenge.

on Eddie Nketiah’s recovery…

He is doing better. It’s still in the trunk, so a few weeks away. We have to be patient – ​​it was a bad injury. It’s a challenge Eddie has ahead of him, but thank goodness he could have been worse, so he’s not in a bad place.

for all other team matters…

I don’t believe.

about whether he expects Ben White to be selected for service in England…

He’s available to us, so for sure he’ll be available for the England team. As far as I’m concerned, he was in really good form, he was available for every single game and he performed really well for us.

on Emile Smith Rowe’s return to the squad…

He knows how much we love him and how much we missed him and how much we need his qualities. Now he has to prove it. He needs to prove how badly he wants to win and how much he will bring to this team. To be better and to win and he has to show that to get into the team.

will it be gradually reintroduced…

We have to manage his load but he’s certainly in a position where we can use him in the team at any time. Then it’s about how he’s generally coping with the game and whether you put him down or use him for the last few minutes.

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whether Erling Haaland’s performances surprised him…

No. When you look at what he’s done in the past and be surrounded by the manager, team and individuals City has, he only gets better. It’s incredible what he’s done.

on whether City’s recent form is a cause for concern…

We can’t control that. We know the standards they have set in this league over the last four, five years and we have to live up to them if we want to beat them.

about his sporting idols…

Someone I’ve admired for a long, long time is Rafael Nadal because of his mentality, what he did and how he did it and how many times he bounced back. So he will definitely be at the top of the list.

Copyright 2023 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted on condition that appropriate credit is given to www.arsenal.com as the source.

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