Arteta on Martinelli, Tomiyasu, racism and covid | Press conference | News

There were many points of discussion after our comfortable away win at Elland Road on Saturday.

Gabriel Martinelli continued his rich form with two more goals and the manager once again praised the Brazilian forward’s contribution.

In his post-match press conference, Arteta also answered questions about allegations of in-game racism, told us about Takehiro Tomiyasu’s injury and revealed which two players are out with Covid.

Read on to see what he said:

on the importance of timing and patience with Martinelli…
Well, we see the player every day and we know where the player needs to be in order to appear in the right frame and then hold that level for the entire season. We started using Gabi more and more when we thought that was the case. There is no point in exposing a player, even if there are many opinions that it should be done, because it is not beneficial to the player. And at the end of the day, we’re here to protect the player and develop the players we have in the best possible way. We judge every day by what we see and I am very happy with him and the way he is performing.

on Martinelli’s development in terms of his positioning on both wings…
He’s come a long, long way because his energy, his passion, his dedication, it doesn’t get much better than ever, but there are other aspects of the game that he had to develop and maintain, those that he’s exceptional at, such as today, because when he has opportunities, he puts them away. Again, he’s on the right track.

on allegations of racism against our players…
Unfortunately I can confirm that and it was reported to the stadium manager and now the authorities will deal with that.

if any of our replacements heard the crowd’s racism…
Yes, it was a player sitting on the bench. One of the players heard those comments.

about the alleged incident…
I don’t know exactly who it was [directed at], therefore they will have to be interrogated and in that case they will have to deal with the authorities.

to Tomiyasu going off injured…
No, it was more of a muscle injury. He has a big burden on him because he has played every minute since he came to us and even this week he is having a bit of a hard time. We decided to take him off, he was not 100 per cent confident to continue in the game and hopefully he is not injured.

on why London Colney needed a deep clean earlier this week…
Pure precaution. We had some cases in the staff and we wanted to avoid problems. Everyone we’ve seen around us had a few cases and cases have been rising so we wanted to protect our people and Gary [the club doctor] and the medical staff made the right decision to shut it down for a day, make sure everyone’s tests were negative and make sure when we get back everyone is safe.

about Sambi Lokonga who has Covid and if anyone else is…
We also have another player, Pablo has Covid, so unfortunately they will be out.

on unvaccinated players…
I’ve already said we can recommend and guide players to get vaccinated, but it’s a very personal thing to do, and I don’t think you can go any further than that. You have to educate them and try to give them the right information, try to understand the different cultures that we are involved in football and after that we have done very well so far and hopefully we can continue like this.

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