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What Mikel Arteta said about Xhaka, Grabiel,Williams, Chelsea

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta handed a start to Emile Smith Rowe against Chelsea (Image: Mark Leech/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

Arsenal coach, Mikel Arteta, has spoken after defeat of Chelsea.

What does the win say about the strength and depth you have in this squad?

Well I think it’s down to everybody because the senior contributed in a different way, some of them on the pitch, some of them outside. When were coming on the bus I sensed the energy and how much they wanted it. It doesn’t get any better than playing in the Premier League on Boxing Day in a London derby. I said today we have to take this opportunity now to put some performances that we didn’t have results in the past, that we need a big performance and the three points. I think the boys did it really well.

Xhaka showed the fight and leadership you’ve been calling for?

Since I’ve been here he’s always shown that. That’s why I’ve been really supported of him. He makes mistakes like we all do but his commitment and his character and how much he wants to fight for this club and team is unquestionable. I think today he showed that again.

Do you feel it’s a significant result for you?

Well it’s a really important win for us. Because as I mentioned before some of the performances have not been enough to win football matches and that’s something obviously difficult to handle all the time. We needed the points, that’s for sure, and today we’ve done it against one of the best teams in the league in a really convincing way. That shows you we’re able to do it when we’re at our best. Can we do it every three days? That’s the question mark we need to respond in the next weeks or so, but today we needed that lift. The boys are delighted and of course for our fans because it’s been some difficult weeks.

You must have been delighted with the performance of the youngste

Yes. I think it was a really good mixture today of senior players, experienced players and young talent that we have. They’ve been showing us in the last few weeks that they’re capable of starting the games. I had no doubt that they would respond today and I think they were really good.

What’s the latest with Gabriel?

We have to follow all the guidelines and protocols with COVID. The doc is on top of that. For how long still it’s not 100 per cent convinced but he was in contact with someone who has tested positive, then he has to stay away for a few days.

Was it anything to do with the game against City because Gabriel Jesus has tested positive?

No, it wasn’t with another player in the Premier League. It was with someone in his bubble.

Is it linked to David Luiz or Willian?

No, that’s for some different reason. They were having some symptoms and we have to be really cautious when that happens. The protocols say that they have to stay away. They have tested negative but we still have to be really careful that we don’t pass that onto the players and make sure they don’t have it.

Gabriel hasn’t tested positive? He’s just been in close contact with someone who has ?

Yes.

Pleased with Martinelli and Tierney on the left?

Yes. I think both of them were really good. Really good understand, communication and courage as well. Every time they were attacking they were involved in good actions, so I’m really pleased with them.

Was Partey close to being involved?

Not yet. He hasn’t started to train with us yet so I think he’s still a few more days away

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