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Mikel Arteta press conference ahead of West Ham vs Arsenal Carabao Cup clash

The latest from Mikel Arteta ahead of Arsenal's trip to the London Stadium.

On convincing fans to focus on the Carabao Cup…

I don’t know if we can convince them, because if you ask about our priority for sure it wouldn’t be the Carabao Cup. What matters is how we approach it internally, and how we approach every single game we play for Arsenal Football Club.

On convincing the players to take the competition seriously…

I don’t think the players think like that. I think they are really upset when they lose. After you are out you can look at the bigger picture and say ‘okay now we’re going to use it in a different way’ but tomorrow we want to win the game.

Is it an insult to play these games when the big names are rested?

No. I don’t think I have three World Cup winners in my squad that can think like this about the Carabao Cup. I think that would be very arrogant.

On Takehiro Tomiyasu’s impact…

Tomy hasn’t played more because he’s been injured - his availability has been an issue since he’s been with us, and when he’s fit we can use him in different positions. He’s so reliable and he’s in very good form right now.

On Tomiyasu’s best position…

He doesn’t care, he can play right-back, left-back, centre-back - it’s a huge quality. I cannot tell you (his best position) to be honest. We need to see a run of games and to see partnerships to reply to that question in the right way.

Are players more versatile now?

I think there were certain positions fifteen years ago, I remember wingers playing as full-backs, that was very common. Maybe a central defender playing as a holding midfielder, or the other way round, but maybe now it’s more than before. The game is evolving, the way we utilise players and the qualities of players is different - the game and tactics have evolved, roles on players have evolved and you can see that evolution.

On his own experience of changing positions…

I had that experience - I was a four or a six, a holding midfielder, and then under David Moyes I played left or right winger, so that was a big shock to my system. Overall I think it’s really good because you have to understand the game, adapt, evolve, and I think that was something really positive in my career.

On enjoying grinding out wins from playing under David Moyes…

He was very much into that obviously, we struggled to score a lot of goals in that era but we were really solid and he was really good at that.

What can young coaches take from his Arsenal side?

I don’t know, they have to come and watch us and they can take what they like, and what they don’t like they can throw in the bin, I don’t know.

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