Thoughts on pre-Everton Press Conference
Mikel Arteta has a very emotional connection with Everton, having played for them for six years, but as a manager, his record here is quite atrocious. For some reason best known to Chuck Norris, Lord Voldemort and the Witcher, Geralt of Rivia, Arsenal’s last win at Goodison Park was in 2017, which is quite wretched if you ask me.
Everton is a club that struggles a whole lot, and the frailties continued this season, with Sean Dyche’s side losing to Fulham and Wolves at home in the opening games of the new campaign. However, Sean Dyche’s first match for Everton was against Arsenal in February 2023, with Satanball prevailing on the day. The Gunners put up a stinkfest, as you’d expect for every time they visit Goodison Park. The closest we came to a goal on the day was a Bukayo Saka glaring chance that was cleared off the line by Conor Coady. Eddie Nketiah had an effort that killed a bird in the sky and that was it.
Arteta appeared in front of the journos ahead of the clash against Everton and was quizzed about a lot of things which we will break down in today’s post.
As expected, the journos wanted to confirm if all 17 players that went out on international duty came back unscathed, especially with Gabriel being an injury concern after Brazil’s win over Bolivia, as well as Gareth Southgate’s comment regarding Bukayo Saka. Arteta confirmed that all his players were available for selection, but Thomas Partey is still a few weeks away after his muscular injury he picked up prior to the Manchester United game.
On Martin Odegaard’s contract,
“He’s our captain. He’s a massive player for us, a really important player for us now and for the future. We’re extremely happy to have him and want to keep him here for a long time. I’m always optimistic and we have a really good relationship with him and his agent. We are really close to them and, whenever that’s confirmed, we’ll announce it.”
I’ve shared my thoughts regarding the Odegaard contract situation, and I will be elated when we get this over. Odegaard will join the likes of Gabriel Martinelli, Gabriel, Aaron Ramsdale, Bukayo Saka and William Saliba that have committed their futures to the club to remain part of the exciting project Arteta is doing at Arsenal. With the captain penning a new deal, morale will be high and it can only bode well for everyone connected with Arsenal.
Arteta also had some interesting things to say about Nicolas Pepe’s following his departure to Turkey after his contract was terminated,
Obviously, these are sad moments for players. Not only for him but also with Rob [Holding] leaving and all of our players who have left and those who have gone on loan as well. You have an emotional attachment with them. You have tried to get the best out of them. But there are periods and sometimes, it’s not about the will of the player and instead, it’s a player that plays in his position that does so well. There are many factors. But we certainly want to wish all of them the best and hopefully they can fulfil the dream somewhere else.
I don’t know. I wasn’t involved in the process of that deal. What I can say about him as a person is that he’s a phenomenal boy. He tried really hard. It is not his fault the amount of money that we paid at the time and that’s it. When things are not working on, you have to move on. There’s no point trying when something is not working and that decision has been made and I think it benefits all parties
Pepe’s situation at Arsenal is one that would be regarded with so much regret, as he’s obviously a very talented player, but it just didn’t work out for him at Arsenal.
There was so much to say about Everton, but Arteta’s focus is to end that poor record at Goodison Park and I believe the players have what it takes to get the job done.
A proper Everton preview will be done tomorrow.
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