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Every word Arteta said on Smith Rowe performance, Saka injury and title race

It was a risk to make changes. How do you think Smith Rowe and Nelson played? I don't know. I look at my players and squad in a different way. It's a joy to have them fit. If we want to utilise the squad and maximise what we have, they have to play. I thought it was the right moment to do that and they responded really well. I'm so happy for that because I think we have won again with a few players in good confidence and with rhythm right now. They're going to be really important for us. Did you want to give those changes rhythm for the run in by starting them tonight? For sure. When they have their moment they have to take it. They certainly did today. They give me every reason every day, regardless of the result. It's not the right decision or the wrong one because of the result. If we'd lost the game then it would have been because of the changes. It's not as simple as that. At the end of you have to do what is right and what they deserve. I was full of confidence that they would respond. Winning or not winning it's a different story in football. Klopp said he wasn't aware Arsenal and City were playing tonight. What's your approach? I knew. I knew Man City were playing tonight! He's won a lot so maybe that's for him. I know they are playing tomorrow against Sheffield at home and we will be watching it because I love to watch top teams play and that's what I do. How important is it to be top even if it’s just for 24 hours? Yeah for sure. That means that we are there. We are really close. We are showing a lot of consistency to be where we are. Now that's it. Sleep, eat, prepare well. Now it's Brighton. How much stronger is your squad than last season? It's certainly different to what we had last season and the big injuries that we had in the key moment in the season. Touch wood we can keep them there and maintain them. As well that we use them and they are in the right physical and mental state to help the team. READ MORE: Kai Havertz suspension risks Premier League title dream after Mikel Arteta solved major issue READ MORE: Arsenal player ratings vs Luton as Emile Smith Rowe shines, Partey good, Nelson below par When you made the changes you chose to keep Odegaard. Is there where his quality comes to the fore? Yeah he's a really important player. We needed that balance. As well the chemistry that certain players have because that’s how they train and how we build those connections and relationships. Martin is vital to connect everything in the way we play. How much is he driving the connection and determination in the team as captain? Yeah a lot. He's made huge steps there. His presence, the way he behaves himself in front of the group and the standards that he sets are outstanding. He's got a lot of players to support him and a lot to follow him. What can this do for Emile Smith Rowe's confidence? A lot. I love him as a player, he is a joy to watch. How he moves, changes direction and how physical he was today without the ball. He went into duels and won a lot of them and was thinking with that killer instinct to play forward and make things happen. When Emile is in that moment, it's very difficult to stop him. Today he helped us a lot to win the game. That was Kai's ninth yellow. He’s at risk of getting suspended now… Yeah we have to careful. Hopefully he won't get booked again because we know what happens with the 10th. Are you surprised he's got nine? Yeah. If you told me another player, maybe not, but with him yeah. I will have to go back and look at those yellow cards, but if they are yellow cards then we’ll have to improve because we don’t want our players having that many because we are the best in the league for that. It’s something to improve. Are you happy with Tomi's new contract? If Tomiyasu is happy I'm happy. He fully deserves that. I think he's growing with the team and we need that consistency from him because when he's fit and available he's really good and gives us a lot. How's Saka? He was close but he felt something in a very similar area [to] against City and it was a very short turnaround. Hopefully he will be able to train tomorrow and be available for the weekend.

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