Is Dani Ceballos definitely out?

“Good evening, yes Ceballos has a small injury and he is going to be out for tomorrow.

“The rest of the squad, I think they are ready for tomorrow, we are going to train this afternoon and I am speaking with the doctor and I think every is ready”

How tough a game is this?

“Yes, they (Leicester) are very well. They started the season with big confidence and they are getting good results and now they have six points more than us.

“Tomorrow is a very big challenge and a very good opportunity for both teams and I am looking for how we can respond.”

With Ceballos’ injury, do you see Xhaka coming back into your plans?

“Not yet.”

Any reason behind that?

“I spoke with him on Tuesday for how he is feeling now and his mind because he is working well and training well but he said he can’t play at the moment and we are going to wait.”

Will Mesut Ozil be in the starting team this week?

“He is training well and I think he is now being consistent in the training, he is also helping and being positive.

“I am thinking he has a possibility to play tomorrow.”

What was the process behind appointing Aubameyang as captain?

“Yes, he is the captain. Above all, I can remember how were doing that process because last year the captains were Laurent Koscielny, Petr Cech, Aaron Ramsey and Nacho Monreal.

“They left the team and Koscielny left at the last moment. In that process, I decided and used the characteristics to pick that captain so started with Xhaka.

“He has the quality to be captain but after that issue (vs Crystal Palace) I decided to choose Aubameyang. Aubameyang is first, second is Hector Bellerin, third is Alexandre Lacazette and fourth is Mesut Ozil.

“Aubameyang is first because he is experienced and he has the respect of the dressing room. He was the top scorer last year in the league and I know he needs time to take that responsibility 100% but we will support him.

“Every player will support every captain and we are going to support him as first captain because he took a step ahead to take that responsibility.”

Will the captaincy add extra pressure to him?

“Yesterday, Sokratis said ‘Everybody can take responsibility as a captain’ and we want to be a strong family. I know it is very important who is the first face as captain and I decided to give it to Aubameyang and everyone agreed. Now, he needs time but we give him confidence and he has the quality and values to be perfect.”

Is your defence lacking confidence?

“We need to improve but we are also in one process, but a lot of things are happening.

“First, we are talking about the captaincy, then the circumstances with some players like Kolasinac and Ozil which does not help us.

“We are losing a very important player for us in Granit Xhaka but I have confidence with the players and our work.

“I know we are in one process but I am talking with the club and they are supporting us, the players are supporting me and we know we are taking responsibilities with young players but they need one process to achieve.

“One positive is improving Bukayo Saka but hey needs to play to take more confidence and experience to achieve the potential we think he has.

“With other players it’s the same, Pepe is coming but he is getting better little by little. But also he needs more because it’s not easy for him and it’s not easy for a new player like Ceballos to achieve the best performance. We are in that process and also I know we need to play better and achieve better results.

“We lost some points at home, but we didn’t lose at home. We lost some important points. We can feel really, really strong at home with good performances and good results. Also we are going to extend that away and we are going to get that performance and strong confidence. Tomorrow is a very big opportunity. After two matches at home that we drew, tomorrow is a very good opportunity. Yesterday the players worked and trained very well with a good spirit and they give me confidence.”

Have you spoken to the board about your future?

“No. We are speaking about our process to continue working and they did not show me some doubts.”

Arsenal have conceded 35 shots in their last two home games, is your team too open?

“I think at home we are faring well but not with the performance as we will do for the next matches. Those two results, two draws, weren’t the best results also. Last year, those two teams also gave us a lot of problems at home and we took only one point against those two teams.

“But I was speaking with the players this week about how is our next step to improve. And it’s clear, there are two ways. One is to play better with the ball, play with more confidence with our style, and take more responsibility on the pitch.

“My responsibility is the first but also I give them because they are on the pitch to take that responsibility to play better. And then is for our defensive structure to be strong and get better defensively is our first challenge tomorrow. Last year, we were looking for that improvement during the season and we achieved it in a lot of moments – and I know now we can do better and we will do better.”

Would you consider this game against Leicester a must-win?

“Must-win? Yes. We need to win and it’s very important for us tomorrow. But our mentality is every time to play first, using our best structure and organisation to be strong and also our individual players to use their quality to win. But in our mind, for each match it is only to win.”

Brendan Rodgers supported you publicly, is it nice to hear that from another manager?

“Brendan Rodgers is a very good manager and he is doing very good work, as he did here in England with Swansea, with Liverpool and also Celtic. He arrived here last year and his team was improving progressively and this year I think it’s no surprise for me. It’s a very good team with a very good coach and they are a very organised team.

“We are taking, as a good moment, sometimes as a bad result, but the most important is to keep the balance. I think as a coach I learned that, in my mind to be with that balance when we win, when we lose. For me it’s not to play tomorrow under pressure, it’s to play under a very big opportunity to change that.

“We are drawing the last matches, we can see those matches negatively because we didn’t win or positively because we didn’t lose. We are in the balance, but we when you are a team like Arsenal we need to win more than draw or lose.”


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