Mikel Arteta faced the media for the last time before the World Cup break after seeing us beat Wolves 2-0 to go five points clear at the top of the table.
Martin Odegaard’s strike saw us overcome the opposition and maintain our momentum in the 44-day break without a Premier League, and Arteta on whether the gap will affect us at the restart, as well as a host of other topics surrounding Confrontation spoke to Molyneux.
Everything he said in the post-match press conference:
On whether a 5-point gap after 14 games matters:
It’s great to be where we are. We enjoy the moment and have a great break. We have to think about what we are doing and be very prepared for what is going to happen after the World Cup. But, our goal is to play better as a team every day. To have better tools to do what we want to do on that earth. I can say that working with these players and staff has been wonderful.
As for whether he’s disappointed that we’re breaking up with so much momentum now:
When a team is in that moment, you obviously want to keep playing, but that’s not possible. We have to make the best use of the present time so that the players who are not in the World Cup have some time off that they fully deserve. and the rest [will] Just fulfill the dream that every kid had when they had the opportunity to represent their national team in the World Cup. It doesn’t get any better than this.
On whether Odegaard not going to the World Cup would make a big difference to the restart:
I have no clue, obviously he had two international caps before that, so he’s going to commit to the national team. After that, we try to prepare him in the best way. But we don’t know; Sometimes it’s much better when you’re in a rhythm and when you’re competing. So the players who are here should compete and be fit enough to play against West Ham. We will try to prepare them in this way.
On the decision to captain Odegaard:
this is [a big decision], he is a leader in his own way, with his character, he is a great person, he is a great footballer and what he does at his age is not easy. We are really happy to have him.
On adding Odegaard’s goals to his game this season:
That’s what you want, your attacking midfielders to win games and not just assist them but score goals. He’s changed that mentality, he trains so much and wants to be the best he can be, that we don’t know what his limits are like a lot of our other kids. That’s what we want, to embrace the good times and support them when they’re not.
Regarding the departure of Granit Xhaka:
He’s fine, he wasn’t, and Granite raised his hand to say, “I’ve got to go.” It wasn’t good at all, we had a couple of guys with stomach problems and obviously we can’t change three or four guys in the first half, but I’m glad we adapted to that situation and managed to win the game.
On our season reflection so far:
I need a week or so to do this. Obviously, nobody expected us to be where we are now and the number of games we’ve won, but I’m more focused on the way we play and the way we live together, the atmosphere we have in this dressing room. And around Colney and what we have created with our fans in our stadium and the relationship between each member of the club is much stronger, and my job is to focus after every game to play better.
On whether it exceeded his own expectations of what was possible with this team:
Yes, but I don’t take it day to day or even game to game. I understand that the better we do the day-to-day things and commit to doing those things better every day, each individual will help make the team better, and that’s what I want.
Regarding whether there is disease around the team hotel or not:
Not overnight, I think it was after the pre-game meal, but I didn’t even know about that. And the doctor was trying to sort things out because they weren’t feeling well.
On whether he and the team watched the Manchester City game:
Yeah. We were on the bus and we all watched together, like many other games.
Regarding the reaction of the team when Toni scored against Manchester City:
As you can imagine.
On whether thinking about other teams can sometimes distract you:
That’s the way you live in this league and that’s the beauty and you start to do that in the second game of the season because the competition is so big that you really look at the other opponents and I think that’s what every team does. he is doing it. . When I was in other teams, we did it all the time. As a player or coach, it is natural.
But then you have to focus on your stuff, your performance and winning the game. This week, I think it was very difficult because there was so much in the World Cup and certain people, but the boys did what they had to do.
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