Mikel Arteta praises Kai Havertz as a great example and encourages the other players to follow in his footsteps.
Havertz, entering as a substitute, secured three crucial points with a late header off Bukayo Saka‘s assist, leading Arsenal to a 1-0 victory over Brentford yesterday.
The ex-Chelsea star’s initial poor form upon arriving at the Emirates Stadium frustrated fans, dividing their opinions on the transfer.
However, his brilliant performance yesterday won their hearts, helping Arsenal claim the top spot in the table.
After the final whistle, Mikel Arteta enthusiastically pulled Havertz towards the celebrating fans, who joyfully chanted the midfielder’s name.
“If things come easy, you don’t value them.”
“If things came easy then he wouldn’t have got the reception he got today with everybody hugging him and telling him how much we love him.
“It’s for a reason, it’s because of the way he behaves in difficult situations.
He’s an example for all of us to do what you have to do when you have difficulties.
“It’s a great example for the team. We cannot be happier that a big player like him won the game for the team.
“Against these [low defensive] blocks, and against teams that defend the box like this, you need this kind of profile.
He’s exceptional at that. Today he won the game in that action for us.
“He fully deserves [the reception from the Arsenal fans].
When you are there sometimes and you have to face it and he’s done that, he didn’t hide.
“So now go and face the beautiful moment as well because you deserve it. I knew he wasn’t going to do that, so I had to push him.”
Arsenal were not at their best against Brentford, but found a way to get over the line.
There were some shaky moments in the first-half, particularly from goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.
Ramsdale was making his first League start since September 3 and, understandably, looked short on confidence and game time.
Twice he almost got caught out playing out from the back in the first-half, but he improved after the break.
“This is football, “I’m so happy with the team, the way the team performed with the clean sheet. We move on. So happy.
“Courage, he has big courage and big personality and that’s why we love him.”
Ramsdale managed to keep a clean sheet after a shaky start and he, like Havertz, was mobbed by his teammates at the end.
“It’s a joy as a manager to watch this kind of reaction.”
“The players looking after themselves and showing love to each other, it doesn’t get any better than that.
“Today is my 200th game and when I see players who behave like that, a staff that is smiling,
I’m so happy and I cannot be prouder and more grateful for everybody that’s been with us every single day to make my job more enjoyable.”
Arsenal is set to play their next two matches at home, welcoming Lens for the Champions League second leg and hosting Wolves in the Premier League this weekend.