Every word Mikel Arteta said before Bayern Munich vs Arsenal.

We can write that story DIFFERENTLY TOMORROW! Mikel Arteta before Bayern Munich vs Arsenal.

Good evening, everyone. If you have a question, raise your hand and we’ll come to you. I’ll look down to Paul Gilmore from Skyports UK. Hi, Mikel. How defining a week is this in your season, and what do you want to see from your players tomorrow night?

A performance that puts us in the Champions League semifinal. All the preparation has been to achieve that, and we have earned it for 10 months. Everything that we did last season to start that journey in the Champions League after so many years, and tomorrow, I have an unbelievable opportunity to make it happen.

Okay, Jo Cross from Mirror. Hello, Mikel. What’s the atmosphere been like since Sunday? Is it a dressing room that’s immediately determined to kind of put the records straight and embrace this challenge? What’s it been like?

I throw the game away, the one that we played a few days ago because regardless of that result, it’s going to have no impact on what’s going to happen tomorrow. Refocus and start to build the confidence, trust, the understanding of the performance that we have to put in tomorrow to beat them and be through in the time.

S.M. from Mail. Hi. Do you instruct your players to take the emotion out of the occasion, or is it a case that you actually want them to use that kind of raw emotion to thrive in that hotbed of pressure?

Emotion is needed in football, is tweaking and touching the right button at the right time for the team to be always stable, be when he has to be hyped.

And I think we did that really well in London because, after going, scoring the first goal, we had a game that we had a big chance to score the second one, and then suddenly in 5, 10 minutes, they were ahead, and we were really controlled, really mature not to throw everything away at that moment, find our rhythm, our moment, score a really good goal, and the reaction of the team was straight away to try to score the third one.”

Ian from the BBC. Mikel, many of your players haven’t been involved at this stage of the competition before, yet Bayern have lost their last three quarterfinals of the Champions League. So you could say that they’re scarred by failure. How do you approach it and how do you alleviate the pressure from your players for such a big game?

Well, as you said, most of our players, haven’t experienced it, and I like this. And it’s going to be the first one, and they are super motivated. They are prepared, they feel confident, and it’s something that tomorrow we’re going to have to show against an opponent, as you said, that has this experience that we want to make it happen.

Maria. A few times this season about how you and this team changed recent history going to the Etti had gone to Anfield where you’ve had poor records had a poor record here as well. But do you and the players look at those performances and ending those sorts of runs as an example of what you can do here tomorrow?

We have to change it, and the opportunity comes. There are a lot of things that we can do to write that story very differently tomorrow. We know that, and it’s going to be about putting in a very, very strong performance collectively and individually to end the right to be in the semifinal.

James from ESPN: Hi Mel, um do you think you can go for it here or are we likely to see a more disciplined performance like City away where you try to stay in the game?

Well, depending on that approach, for sure I want my team to be ourselves regardless of the stadium. Sometimes you want to do certain things, but the opponent doesn’t allow you to. However, we want it very clear how we’re going to play the game, where we’re going to play it, and what is going to give us the best chance to win it.”

The Cles: Hi Mikel, in Germany, everybody’s talking about Xabi Alonso and Bayer Leverkusen dominating the league. Did you analyze Xabi’s tactics to prepare for the game tomorrow? Did you speak to Shabi for advice?”

Mikel: “First of all, congratulations to Xabi and Granit because he was our player as well. So happy for them, and very impressed with what they’ve done. I just congratulate him obviously because we are good friends and I’m really happy for them. But that’s a different story, we don’t face their competition regularly, and it’s a Champions League tie, so the game is very, very different.”

Sam: Hi, just asking about this weird situation with Alex Zinchenko and the fans. Are you aware of that, and what do you make of it? What would you say to any fans who doubt Alex?”

We love Alex, he has given us so much and is a player with different qualities, with an unbelievable courage to play football under any circumstances. As we always demand, stay with our players, and give them support, because for sure they’re going to perform better.

Simon from Standard: Mikel, when people say this is the point where Arsenal faded last year, do you block out that noise from the team, or do you use it as motivation?

I cannot control that, I cannot take their phones or TVs away. At least we didn’t lose anything last year because we didn’t win anything. First of all, you have to win it, and then maybe you can lose it. What we had was an unbelievable journey against the best team in the world in Europe in the last seven years. This is where we want to be, and we’re not satisfied; we want to be better.

Jordan from Thean: How important is it to get the team right from the start in the first leg?

Every game, we will try to make the best possible decision regarding the moments that the players are in, the opponent, and the scenario, considering every fact not only to start the game but also how the game can develop.

K from Football London: Following on from Sam’s question about Alex, he’s got two years left on his contract. Have you made any decisions on Alex’s future now?

The decision is to focus on the Champions League quarterfinals, to be through tomorrow.

J from Thean: Are Bukayo Saka and Martin Ard options for the game tomorrow?

Hopefully, yes. Today we had only less than 48 hours to recover from the game and did very little training. So, we will assess them tomorrow and see how they are.

After the first leg, addressing hard and difficult working conditions and man-marking, Mel explains that many teams exhibit similar behaviors and that it’s normal for certain situations to open up to others.

Finally, Nick from The Guardian asks about the transformative potential of a win tomorrow, to which Mel responds that it would be an unbelievable and significant achievement for the club, potentially elevating them to the next level emotionally and competitively.

Thanks, everyone. See you tomorrow. Thank you.


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