Press conference

Arteta on... team news, Aubameyang, Villarreal

We're looking to turn our Europa League semi-final tie around on Thursday, when we host Villarreal in the second leg at Emirates Stadium.

And ahead of the game, our manager sat down for a virtual press conference where he was asked about team news, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and much more.

Here's every word from Wednesday's pre-match media.

on team news...
We will see today. We are training this afternoon so we will see how everybody is.

on criticism over last week's false nine...
Criticism is part of the job and normally comes when you lose. We all know that.

on the balance of the tie...
It's time to change it. We have to embrace the challenge and the opportunity we have ahead. I think it's the 10th time that the club has been in a European semi-final, so it doesn't happen very often. We have to take the opportunity tomorrow and earn the right to be in the final.

on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Kieran Tierney...
Let's see today how everybody is in training.

on having a clean sweep of English European finalists...
I think that would be a really good sign for English football.

on whether takeover rumours are helpful ahead of a semi-final...
We have to try to be away from all the rumours and everything that is happening around the club, and just focus on the pitch. The best way to help the club to be in the best possible position is to win football matches and be competitive at the highest level.

on whether he has spoken to anyone involved in the rumoured takeover bid...
No.

on whether he has been in touch with the Kroenke family...
They've been in touch with us in the last week or so, and in a really convincing way as I already said last week.

on how big this game is for the club in the short and long-term...
It's a massive game for everybody but in particular for the club because we are here representing a football club and our fans. What we want to do is to do it in the best way  by winning trophies. If we win tomorrow, we will be much closer to getting another trophy. This is the only aim and the purpose of us being here.

on whether this game will dictate our summer plans...
I don't know. It's difficult to respond to that. What I can say is that winning always helps for the future. It's the best way to prepare anything for the future.

on how often he speaks with the Kroenke family...
Often enough. The rest, like Vinai, Tim and Edu, do it as well really often. There is a really good communication line.

on how crucial our away goal is...
It is always really important. We obviously didn't get the result that we wanted but with the context and the situation that happened during the game, we got out of that situation in a pretty good way considering the circumstances and playing 40 minutes with 10 men.

on whether criticism towards Aubameyang has been harsh...
Again, [pundits] are all the time free to talk. My job, my responsibility, is to protect our players and try to get the maximum out of them. We know certain things that the outside world doesn't know. They can comment but sometimes without knowing all the details, which is a little bit unfair for the people. We make decisions that sometimes people are judging but without really knowing the detail. That criticism is part of our job.

on how he is after Sunday...
He played well and he felt much better than the days before that. Obviously, scoring a goal is really important for him as well, so he's in a good place.

on fans planning to come to the ground again to protest...
I think that they have to be able to express themselves and if it's done in a specific way, then they have the right to do it. We have to prepare for the game in the best possible way, I wouldn't like to use any excuses. If something happens with that, then I know that the only purpose of the fans is to defend the club and that they want the best for the team. We will try to do the same.

on his thoughts on the idea of fans cheering the players into the ground...
I think that would be great. We've been missing them so much, we need them. If the players and the team feels that they are right behind them, supporting them, again I think it's the 10th time the club is playing in a European semi-final, so it's a big moment for us. Hopefully we can have them closer than we have in the last few months.

on whether this is the biggest game of his managerial career so far...
Well, it's a big moment again. Not for me, but for the club and for everything that has happened in the last two years and the last months. All the instability that we've been living with for many different reasons. So I think it will be really important and a big step forward if we are able to be in that final and have the opportunity to win that trophy.

on whether it's acceptable for a club like Arsenal to have been out of the Champions League for five years...
It's a reality. It's not what we want, obviously, but there are a lot of things that have happened in that period, for many reasons. One is because the level is being raised to a level that is unprecedented in this league and we are not the only club that has been out of that. But obviously, we're not going to accept that situation and we want to change it straight away. This season, we still have the opportunity to do that.

on whether the result of the game will determine whether we've had a good season or not...
Well it would be judged like this, that's for sure. How good of a job you are doing is determined by many factors, by different people. Externally it's only by whether you win or lose, those are the defining moments.

on the lack of rotation at left-back and if that's been to help Granit to adapt to the position...
It's been one of the reasons, because of the way we wanted to play and the players around. We have managed to get some clean sheets since he's been playing there and that's something that didn't happen for 13 games. He gives something different to the team.

on Cedric playing regularly in January and February but less regularly since and what he needs to do...
Well, he's been a bit unfortunate because he played some good games as a right-back as well and then we had the injury of Kieran and he played some as a left-back and we were training with him as a left-back. We could have given him more opportunities, but it's true that Calum came in and did really well.

on defensive struggles at home...
There have been many factors. Errors has been one of the main ones. We have conceded some set-pieces as well and with other teams not creating much, they have managed to score a goal.

on coaching errors out of players...
I would say it is almost impossible. That's part of football and mistakes are part of any sport and I think it's the hardest thing to coach.

on David Luiz's injury...
No [there is no update]. He was feeling better yesterday. Let's see how he is today. We don't know the extent of the injury yet.

on if there's a chance he could play tomorrow...
With David it's always possible because he wants to be available. He's made an incredible effort to be in the position that he's in today and the fact that he played against Newcastle was already a big bonus. He had surgery on his knee so with David, you never know.

On if the stage is set for Aubameyang tomorrow night...
This game always gives you another opportunity. If you are there, then you are ready for the taking. He can turn things around really quickly so hopefully we can see that tomorrow.

on this being this group's last chance to win a trophy for Arsenal...
I don't want to think like that. I want to think they always have the hunger to win any competition that they're involved in. It's true for some players that this might be the last season for different reasons and I can see how much it means for them. How much they want it and hopefully, we can do that tomorrow.

on what kind of match he's expecting...
I'm not sure how they're preparing for the game. I think we spoke about this before the first leg and obviously, we conceded an early goal and that changed the game. Then there was a second one from a set play as well. We then had to play 40 minutes with 10 men and we'll see what happens. We have an idea of what they might try to do and we know what we want to do in order to get through. Then, of course, there are many games within the game tomorrow.

on what the key will be to turning the tie around...
We need to play better than we did in Villarreal. We're going to start with 11 players, something that we didn't have a chance to do in the last game and then we'll see what happens. There'll be many factors that come into it.

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