Mikel Arteta

Arsenal coach, Mikel Arteta spoke on Sunday after his club defeated Everton 3-2 at the Emirates. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s contribution – and future in the club dominated the interview. Excerpts

I’m so happy with Auba because he is scoring very important goals for us, but as well as a captain he’s giving a great example to everyone else. That a player of his calibre is able to work the way that he is working defensively… because of the demands of the matchday are big, and he is willing and he is happily doing it and I think we should pay regards to him.

on other clubs’ interest in Auba...
The [clubs who want him] are completely right because he is a superb player. He completely deserves to be liked by all the other teams. Hopefully we can convince him that this is the right place for him and that he has a future here.

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on whether wins like this will convince Auba to sign a new contract…
Hopefully. Not just the wins but as well what we are trying to do. Does he really enjoy walking out onto the pitch every time he goes? It’s very much part of what we are trying to build here and I think he is with that mindset at the moment.

Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang: working harder for Arsenal

on whether he initially questioned Aubameyang’s attitude about defending…
I had two questions [about Auba’s attitude to defending]. One was whether he wanted to do it, or could he not do it physically? So once I found out that physically he could do it, it was about convincing him to do it and that he can do it every three days. He’s showing that.

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on Aubameyang’s mindset…
I think it’s been tough for a player like him, because there’s been a lot of disappointment in the last few months or years because he has big expectations and he wants to play for the biggest clubs in the biggest tournaments. He wants to be up there with the best players in the world, and we have to try and support him and give him everything as a club, so that he really feels fulfilled here. That’s the challenge that we have.

on how he convinced him to work harder every three days…

It’s a combination of many things, but he needs to feel fulfilled. When he does that, we show our appreciation also of what he’s doing. He could just say ‘I scored the goals, I don’t need to do it’ but unfortunately we’re not that good that we can allow a few players not to [work hard].