Part two: Every word from Erik's pre-Arsenal press conference

Saturday 21 January 2023 22:30

Erik ten Hag says that the competition in the Premier League is only getting stronger, as Manchester United prepare to take on league leaders Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

United travel south for the second time this week, following the midweek 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, and are looking to halt the Gunners while also extending our current unbeaten run of 10 matches.

Arsenal sit top the Premier League table at present, eight points ahead of third-placed United, with a game in hand. But Ten Hag's side were the last team to inflict a league defeat on Mikel Arleta's men, back in September at Old Trafford, and Erik will be striving to repeat that success in north London, this weekend.

Before he faces off against Arteta for the second time this season, Erik spoke to the media in his pre-match press conference. Read on to find out all the questions that were put to Ten Hag, and his responses, in the second part...

Part two: Erik's pre-Arsenal press conference Video

Part two: Erik's pre-Arsenal press conference

Press conference | In part two, Erik is asked about challenging Arsenal and his team's "Dutch straightforwardness"...

There seems to be increased honesty and accountability from your players in their interviews. Do you think that’s your influence? Is there an increase of Dutch straightforwardness?
“I don’t know! But all I want to bring in is culture from high standards, values, and also I think accountability, transparency. Our values, I want to set, I want to control, and I think that is the way we have to cooperate internally and externally with the media and with the fans.”

It’s been quite a long time since Arsenal and Manchester United went head-to-head with both teams really strong towards the top of the table. Do you think that both of these clubs are building in such a way that they’re both going to be competing at the top for seasons to come?
“I think the Premier League in this moment is developing [to the point] that you have six, seven teams who can all win the league because there is so much investment. When you have the right philosophy, the right strategy, I think that many more clubs can compete for the top positions in the league. That’s a great challenge and if you want to be there you have to be really good, you need consistency, you need that good strategy, and you need hard work to compete there. And if you want to win trophies, everything has to go in the right way.”
Are you confident that Manchester United, under you, will continue to go in that way?
“Yes, I’m quite convinced of that process. I think we are [going] in the right direction, but it also means that we have to improve a lot if you want to compete in the future for the top positions, because the competition will be really tough.” 

Aaron Wan-Bissaka has had a string of good performances recently. He seems a little more confident on the ball in particular. Has he changed his training routine? Have you been working with him closely? 
“Yeah he’s picking up the coaching and he is making good progress from the start of the season until now. He was in a bad situation because he was not fit, he had a lot of injuries, he had a couple of illnesses in the first half [of the season] until November. Things changed after the break, or during the break I would say, he worked well in the training camp, he had some good performances in games, and I think he’s making good progress. Also [against Palace] I think he was one of our best players.”