Arteta – I would not like to play against Jesus

Arteta - I would not like to play against Jesus

Mikel Arteta cut a delighted figure in his post-match press conference on Saturday afternoon, following our 4-2 win over Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium.

Goals from Granit Xhaka, Gabriel Martinelli and a first-half brace from Gabriel Jesus guided us to all three points in our first home game of the season.

Here’s what the coach had to say after the game:

to victory…
I am very happy. I think it was a great performance. I think it was a very good game of football from both sides. I think Leicester had their moments as well and they did a lot of good things in the game and overall I’m delighted that we got the result we wanted.

about Gabriel Jesus…
We know what Gabby can do. He scored two and assisted two and is still disappointed in the locker room because he said he could have scored four. That’s the standard, that’s the mentality that if you want to go to a different level you need that mentality. I wouldn’t like to play against him. I’ve never been a defender but I imagine they don’t enjoy them. He is so mobile, so intuitive and always sharp and proactive to play at any time and in any phase of the game and is a real threat.

to the fans…
We are telling them every day that when we play we get better and better. What they did today with William Saliba is something I haven’t seen in my career and it shows the connection and really being there when it matters and when it’s hard for someone. We should be very proud to play in front of them because that was special. I think it boosted Wilo’s confidence and how he played the last few minutes afterwards and also for the team.

own goal…
The good thing is that you pay the bill, but you don’t really pay because you win the football game, so it’s a lot easier to learn when that happens, but I’m happier today than I was at Crystal Palace with him because he played after ‘this. it was amazing

on our decision making in the final third…
You can see the interaction and the speed of execution, it’s a different level now. The rotation can be the same and the way they can execute it at that speed and be so accurate is completely different. It is much more difficult to defend.

on the importance of playing with instinct…
Within this structure, within this form and within this unit you have the freedom to decide and occupy any space, and they know it and we work on it every day.

on whether Jesus can maintain this level of performance…
That’s what we’re doing because I think he’s made 18 starts in the last two seasons and we’re going to demand that he start a lot of games, so we’ve got to manage that load and the way we train is different. We have to be on top of this and we hope we are.

on whether the arrival of Jesus has raised people like Saka and Martinelli…
I think he raises the bar with the way he trains every day and the way he talks and the way they connect. I think it’s very natural, but at the same time it’s quite impressive to do it so quickly, but then we ask the other players to score goals as well. Granit comes into the box and he should have scored last week and today he could have scored two because he made another header, and that’s what we need. If you want to be at the top, we will have to score a lot of goals and we cannot rely on two or three players.

on Xhaka’s importance in our system…
He is there to play the role that we want and Granit has some characteristics, but we can develop other characteristics because he has the ability to do it, and when Fabio Vieira takes that position he will have a different role because his qualities are different, and with Martin it’s the same, so the team has to adapt, but the players also have to play with their eyes on the goal and with the feeling that they want to score.

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