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Every word Arteta said on Saka fitness, Smith Rowe’s future and Partey contract ahead of Brighton match…



Mikel Arteta addressed the media regarding Bukayo Saka’s fitness, Emile Smith Rowe’s future, and Thomas Partey’s contract ahead of Arsenal’s upcoming match against Brighton.


Saka’s condition will be determined after our training session later today. As for the rest of the team, I was pleased with the changes made the other night. The players responded well and delivered a strong performance despite not having played much recently.


Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta addressed the media ahead of the Gunners’ upcoming match against Brighton, providing updates on various players.


Regarding Bukayo Saka’s fitness, Arteta mentioned that they will have a training session in a few hours to determine if he is fit or not. When asked about the rest of the team, Arteta expressed his satisfaction with the changes made in the previous match.


He praised the result, the performance, and the positive response from all the players. Despite not having played much, the team performed exceptionally well.


How happy was Smith Rowe?


You could observe that. A good example is Reiss as well. In the previous game, he was not in the squad, and in the next game, he’s ready to start. If someone doesn’t react the way he did after that, then they’re not ready to perform. I’m really pleased with his reaction and the rest of the team. Emile was also really strong in the game.


Yes, but also at home. We have the Champions League games as well. Every game in this league is extremely difficult. Look at what happened last night. Everyone is struggling a lot to win. We’re going to face a tough opponent in Brighton, so we have to prepare well, try to be better than them, and aim to win.


I was watching a bit of both, to be honest. I stayed up late because the game, especially Chelsea vs. Man U, was worth it. It’s fantastic. It’s unbelievable the level of the league we’re involved in. The quality that they show is a joy.


No, I was not sitting there in a Sheffield United shirt.


He must have his focus here because we have important goals to achieve. We rely on him and his skills as a top player. His impact on the pitch the other day showed how crucial he is for us.


There is no update on his contract at the moment. He is currently our player and has one more year left on his contract, which makes me very happy.


I am extremely pleased with Havertz’s performance. He possesses incredible qualities such as his ability to find spaces, create opportunities, and contribute defensively.


His high press and overall effort for the team are outstanding. However, there is still room for improvement in terms of his goal contributions, and I believe he will strive to enhance those numbers.


I have my doubts about that, especially considering his age. However, it’s important to note that he has just joined our team and is still in the process of building relationships. We have also experimented with different positions for him, and he has shown great potential to improve.


We have only conceded four goals in 2024, which is a remarkable achievement. I am extremely pleased with our defensive performance. We have emphasized the importance of organization and the players’ desire to keep clean sheets and make it difficult for our opponents. This has provided us with a strong foundation. It will be crucial in our upcoming match against a top side.


I am highly impressed with the job De Zerbi has done. He is an exceptional manager with a top-notch coaching staff. The football club itself is incredible. They have achieved remarkable success and are now competing with the top clubs. I believe they have done a fantastic job. Roberto has implemented a clear and attractive style of play, making them a formidable opponent.


To secure the top spot, we need to keep winning. It’s crucial to maintain our winning streak and strive for victory in every match. This is the only way to position ourselves for success at the end of the season.


We need to secure more victories. Our current position is not satisfactory. The key to changing that is through continuous winning. Winning consistently is the only path to potentially reaching the top by the end of the season.


Isn’t it surprising that there are still teams ranked higher than yours despite your efforts?


This is the norm. It has been the norm for the past six or seven years in this league. The competition is extremely tight. Let’s wait and see. We will need to analyze the statistics at the end. If we can maintain our performance, we stand a good chance.


Which achievement are you most proud of?


I am proud of our winning record. The only record that matters to me is the one that signifies victory. While the process is crucial, we aim for it to translate into positive results, which is our ultimate goal.


De Zerbi prioritizing rest before facing Arsenal – what does that indicate about your team?


We all share the same mindset towards our opponents. I immediately shifted my focus to Brighton after the last match. We are strategizing on how to select the best lineup, plan effectively, train diligently, recover properly, and secure another win.


I cannot predict for certain. Each game will present unique circumstances, and my decision to watch will depend on various factors, including the preferences of my wife and children.


Considering my youngest child’s inclination to engage in activities like playing with Lego or participating in outdoor sports, I anticipate that I will likely watch a portion of most games while spending time with my family.


It is crucial to recognize the significance of prioritizing stopping the opposition as a key component of your coaching philosophy. In order to assert dominance in matches and put pressure on the opponent, possession of the ball is essential.


Utilizing the ball effectively with a high level of threat is imperative when in possession, while also focusing on regaining possession swiftly when not in control. If this cannot be achieved, alternative strategies must be considered.


It is universally understood by all players the critical role that each phase of play plays in achieving success.


It’s crucial to secure more victories in order to climb to the top. Consistent winning is the key to success at the end of the season.


Do you find it surprising that there are still teams ranked higher than yours despite your efforts?


The competition in this league has been intense for the past six or seven years, with very narrow margins separating the teams. We will have to wait until the end of the season to see if these rankings hold, giving us a good chance.


Which achievement are you most proud of?


I am most proud of our winning record. Winning is the ultimate goal, and we are focused on ensuring that our efforts translate into positive outcomes.


Difficult few years for Smith Rowe, still consider him a significant part of the project?


Indeed. When reflecting on the past few seasons, including three seasons ago, it has been a challenging journey for Smith Rowe. However, I believe that these experiences have the potential to greatly benefit his career, as long as he utilizes them effectively. Instead of dwelling on the past and pondering “what if,” he should embrace what has happened and use it as a catalyst for growth. By adopting this mindset, he can acknowledge the highs and lows, gain clarity on his aspirations, and develop the necessary skills to become an even better player. When he is in good physical condition and performing at his best, it is evident that he possesses immense talent.


Rob Edwards claims that Smith Rowe has no weaknesses – do you agree?


That statement is likely subjective to managers. As managers, we often focus more on what our team lacks rather than recognizing their strengths. However, it is always encouraging to hear positive feedback from other managers regarding our players. Nevertheless, there is always room for improvement, and we will continue to strive for progress.


What areas can you work on to enhance your performance?


I cannot disclose specific details, but I believe there are several areas where we can make improvements.


The Invincibles used to instill fear in their opponents even before the match began. Are you starting to develop a similar aura?


It is challenging to gauge how our opponents perceive us in the tunnel. I have personally been on the opposing side, wearing a different jersey, and felt the sense of impending difficulty when facing the Invincibles. Our goal is to create that same aura of strength and intimidation. If we can achieve that, it would be a highly positive attribute for our team.