Every word Albert Stuivenberg said on VAR, Gabriel’s red card and Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal return – Football.London

What were you more upset about, the penalty decisions or the sending off?

Well, upset about that we don’t end up with three points from this game. That’s the most frustrating part. At the same time, we are very proud about the performance of the players. But of course there are some moments that decide the game. You have the first moment with Odegaard in the first half which I think is a clear penalty or at least the referee has to come over to check, that happened in the second half with their penalty which is not really consistent.

Of course, the sending off is an important moment after that. But to be fair we still had a very good performance against a very strong team and we defended with 10 players at the end of which to come away at the last moment with zero points is very frustrating.

How frustrating is the Gabriel sending off because the first yellow is so avoidable?

Do you know why the first yellow card was given?

For scuffing the penalty spot?

Yeah, it’s not what the players were telling me.

He made a remark to the referee which is what other players confirmed to me. Just a normal comment and he gave a yellow card. But it doesn’t matter, if you have a yellow card you must control your emotions a little bit better. To be sent there in that situation which is not a very dangerous situation, you cannot take the risk.

So that is a moment where young players still have to learn and we have a lot of young players. That is part of the process. But instead of talking a lot about Gabriel’s incident, I would say we are very proud of what we have seen from an Arsenal team. You compare it to the start of the season, where we’ve come from to where we are now, playing against one of the best teams in the world. So on the ball we had to play today and create a lot of chances and then take those chances. That is something we can build on.



Gabriel Magalhaes of Arsenal reacts. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Gabriel Magalhaes of Arsenal reacts. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

How did it work with Mikel today in terms of communication?

During the game there was no direct line with Mikel. We were always in contact with each other, normally – I do believe I’m famous for AirPods – in that situation we are always in contact with someone upstairs from further away. In this case and in the Norwich game also, people who are not involved in the stadium, but we had contact there. Not a direct line but an indirect line with Mikel. In between, of course at half-time and full-time. Mikel has been in touch because he needs to be involved. In that case we don’t do anything different only Mikel is physically not here that’s the difference.

Can you specify what Gabriel said to the referee?

He mentioned to me that about the first penalty moment, about Odegaard and he said ‘what happened there then’. So no dirty language was used or anything like that. It was just a comment. That is what Gabriel told me.

Do you expect Mikel to be back in the dugout on Thursday as things stand?

I have no clue. We don’t know how this virus always develops, so he first has to test negative to come back in.

What was the tactical approach today?

I think in the first half we had many moments where we also pressed them high and sometimes they broke our press. They are a great team so they have many solutions. But even on the goalkeeper, we pressed many times. We also ended up winning the ball in their half many times. We were ready to go also on the high press but you know with this Man City team that sometimes you’re forced back, but then when you are in your own half you defend compact and that we did a few times really good also.

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