Mikel Arteta has been speaking to the media ahead of Arsenal’s long-awaited return to the Champions League on Wednesday night.
The Gunners host PSV Eindhoven at Emirates Stadium in their opening group stage clash and Arteta has been looking ahead to the game at his pre-match press conference.
Here is what the Arsenal boss had to say on several topics, including the fitness of Gabriel Martinelli following the injury he picked up against Everton at the weekend.
On being back in the Champions League
“We are proud and excited. It’s been a long time for the club since we’ve been in this competition. It’s the first time for me as a manager as well. We’re really looking forward to it.
“We’ve been chasing it and been fighting for it. Now we’ve got it and we have to make the most out of it.
This club has to be in the Champions League, when I got the job I felt very responsible to bring the club to the biggest stages. Now we are here we have to make the most out of it. We fully deserve to be here.”
On Gabriel Martinelli’s fitness
“He felt something in his hamstring, we need to do some further tests to assess if there is any big damage or not. He will be out tomorrow that’s for sure.”
On Martinelli being fit to face Spurs
“It’s a possibility, we need to do more tests to see what happens.”
On the atmosphere against PSV
“I’m sure it will be an incredible atmosphere which will create a special night.”
On if he’s been surprised by the reaction to him starting David Raya over Aaron Ramsdale against Everton
“No, because I respect opinions. I understand the questions and I understand historically what happened.
“But for me there is nothing different, we’ve been doing it for many years. When Bernd [Leno] was here we brought Aaron and I don’t see any differences.
“It’s my job. I have to answer the questions in the most honest way and as a manager my job is to do what I feel is the best for the team and for the club, not for Mikel, that’s for sure.”
On Aaron Ramsdale’s reaction to being dropped
“Honestly, I don’t want to talk about the response of every player whether they play or not.”
On PSV’s qualities
“Every player is dangerous at this level. Tomorrow we have a lot of things we must control, but the most important thing is we focus on ourselves.”