Arsenal boss, Mikel Arteta faced the media out in Portugal earlier today ahead of Arsenal’s round-of-16 clash against Sporting. During the press conference the Spaniard touched on Gabriel Jesus’ fitness, latest team news, Kieran Tierney’s future & more.
Find the best quotes below…
Mikel Arteta on team news: “News on the squad will be tomorrow. We have brought a few players and you will see who is available.”
Mikel Arteta on Tierney, Trossard and Nketiah: “Let’s see how they evolve. We’re trying to accommodate everybody and get them in the bst position for tomorrow.”
Mikel Arteta on getting inside knowledge from Fabio Vieira: “For sure, that’s the first thing that we did. It’s great to have the knowledge of someone from the country.”
Mikel Arteta on Kieran Tierney: “He’s played under me a lot. He understands the situation and he needs to challenge the situation.”
Fabio Vieira fitness update: Vieira has been suffering with a sore throat but Arteta confirmed that he’ll be OK for tomorrow.
Mikel Arteta on rotation: “Because we have one team and we have to play the games with the best possible players to win it. There have been moments where we have made eight changes. We try to accommodate. Players have moments throughout the season, players are available and not available throughout the season. For sure we will try to put the best team to win the game.”
Mikel Arteta on whether he risks frustrating players with a lack of rotation: “Yeah of course everyone wants to play. It’s true as well when we’ve wanted to rotate players they’ve been injured and unavailable. Tomorrow that may be the case. Sometimes it’s been difficult and players have to deserve to play the minutes. Being fair in football is very difficult. You have to be really good at communicating your decisions to help players understand what you do, but all the time you have to think for the best of the team. We want everybody to feel important and we are going to try to make them feel like that.”
Mikel Arteta on Madrid links: “It’s things that managers or players can’t control what is written. What I can tell is that I’m fully focused on what I’m doing here and extremely proud and grateful to do what I’m doing in this football club. That’s it.”