Author: Edward Pitt
On the 15th of October, Mikel Arteta has given a very interesting press conference where he tackled some of the questions on every Arsenal fan’s lips. In usual fashion, the Spaniard was fairly coy in all of his responses, however here is a breakdown of what he had to say. Full transcript on Arsenal.com.
Partey likely to be in our matchday squad
Naturally, Arteta faced a number of questions about Thomas Partey, the most prevalent of which is whether or not he is likely to feature against Manchester City this weekend. The Ghanaian only arrived in London on Tuesday, however naturally every Arsenal fan wants to see him start against Manchester City.
The manager said: “well he was here just yesterday; he is getting familiar with everything around the club. Today he will have his first training session, so everything has to come really quickly for him. We knew that before we signed him that he is fit, he is very willing to start playing and we will see how he goes in the next few days.”
The Spaniard then acknowledged his glee regarding the buzz around the club thanks to the deadline-day signing, before detailing how Partey has already met many of his teammates and will be able to begin training with the others, those on international duty, today and tomorrow.
Saliba will be staying at Arsenal
The press were also very interested in gaining some clarity regarding William Saliba’s short term future at the club. There were a lot of rumours that Saliba would spend the season on loan at a championship side, however Arteta said that this is no longer the plan at this moment in time. With the domestic window closing midnight tomorrow, it appears unlikely that this stance is going to change.
Nketiah close to forcing his way into the starting 11
Arteta had nothing but great things to say about record-breaker Eddie Nketiah: “Well, he’s very close because he’s already challenging everybody every week, whether he’s starting or not. I always have no doubts with him because of the way he trains and performs, his goalscoring record is getting better and better every week.”
The danger of Manchester City
Mikel Arteta also made the point that the slow start to his former club’s league season cannot allow Arsenal to take the game anymore lightly. He pointed out the difficulty in playing Manchester City, whatever form they are in. Comparing it to our last outing against Sheffield United he said “City’s approach when they play us will be very different to [Sheffield United], very different demands for what we have to do with and without the ball as well”. He went on to say that the good form will come for City, who according to Arteta have still produced “incredible numbers” and have been unlucky in their opening fixtures.
The latest on Kieran Tierney
There was not much concrete news on Tierney. The left-back had been deemed to be in close contact with Stuart Armstrong who tested positive while on international duty. Arteta said that the club is still in talks with the relevant authorities and will hope to know more today or tomorrow. When asked whether Tierney is likely to start against City, Arteta replied “I hope so”.
Amongst other more peripheral points of discussion, these were the main things that Arsenal fans could take from the Spaniard’s latest press conference. Overall, he kept his cards close to his chest, but largely seemed focused on the match against City and optimistic that Partey might feature in the game too.
Header photo: Kieran Clarke, Flickr