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Arteta on White, international breaks and Guardiola

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has been speaking to the media before Sunday's Premier League match against Manchester City.

Here are the main headlines:

  • On the March international break: "In general, the whole calendar needs to be looked at. It's a topic that we all know but it doesn't seem like it is being looked at. We try to have the best possible communication with the national teams. They have their own pressure and they have to deliver in their roles. You can give your opinion and recommend things but I will never get into their position and ultimately it's up to them."

  • He refuted a question suggesting Ben White had been criticised for deciding not to be selected for England's recent matches: "He has received a lot of love and you have to see what his team-mates and I think people are happy with him. Hopefully he is able to represent his country one day but that is up to him."

  • On why White is not playing for England: "That is a question and he is the one that has to reply. As a manager, I want the best for him personally and professionally. He has to feel it."

  • He gave an update on whether Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel will be fit to play: "Yeah there is a chance. They haven’t trained. Tomorrow we have another session, but there is a chance they can be available."

  • Arteta also gave an insight into his relationship with City boss Pep Guardiola: "My admiration and what I feel for him hasn't changed. My opinion is he's the best coach in the world by a mile. I have loved working for him and that will remain forever. The relationship changes. You don't feel different about the person but professionally you act differently. Probably I would prefer to do it against someone else who I don't have those feelings for but we both want to win and we compete to do that."

  • On facing champions Manchester City at Etihad Stadium where Arsenal have lost seven consecutive Premier League games: "I have full belief and trust in my players. On the pitch, we have to show what we can do. Off the pitch, it is all just talk. It's a massive game for both teams because it will give us a massive boost if we win it but there is a lot of games to go after that to win it (the Premier League title)."

  • He does however feel City have "earned the right" to be respected: "They have raised the bar to levels not seen before in football. You have to keep up with that pace and that is what we are trying to do. We need to close that gap and try to be better than them. They have earned the right for everyone to look at them as an example. It has raised our level and demands to try and be like them and beat them."

Follow the rest of Friday's Premier League news conferences

Listen to full commentary of Manchester City v Arsenal on Sunday from 16:30 BST on BBC Radio 5 Live

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[BBC]