Arsene Wenger held his regular pre-match press conference on Friday morning. The boss was asked about everything from team news to transfers to the Manchester Derby. Here is the transcript.
Apart from Sanchez who I’ll be meeting later – everyone is alright. Iwobi is back in the squad but Ramsey is not ready for tomorrow or Tuesday
Have adapted very quickly and very well but the real test is the games. They have the focus and the quality in training.
Will they be playing tomorrow?
I haven’t decided yet. That’s a decision I have to make, I’ll see how everyone gets back
Are you pleased with the signings?
Yes we did it quite early compared to other clubs. Finished our job on Saturday and we were earlier than expected. We didn’t expect to be as quick as that.
New signings having a big role to play
They bring us quality. Mustafi is a young centre back with international experience and Perez is an interesting striker who can play out wide as well as up front.
I prefer him further forward. I think Wilshere is a world class player with a football brain who understands everything. Always a shame when he plays too deep, I want him closer to the goal.
Flamini to Palace
He will bring them experience. They bought quite well they have Flamini, Benteke, Remy, they have strengthened their squad. With Cabaye in midfield they’ll be a strong team.
Is the Xhaka red card a concern?
We have a concern about the discipline of every player. Results are linked with discipline.
Sanchez saying he doesn’t fear Ronaldo/Messi
That’s what you want him to do. Ronaldo Messi have done it for years, I hope Alexis can get there. He’s ambitious, a guy who wants to win every game. He has the quality.
Eddie Howe links
Yes, honestly I don’t know who’ll take my job one day, or your job one day [to the reporter]. These are impossible questions for me to answer. I give my best and wish the best to whoever replaces me
He has good experience, over 50 years old, worked a long time in France. Great will to do well, very good knowledge of the game. Did extremely well at Nice and is equipped to do well in England.
On reports that Puel once took him out in a training session
Puel was well known in training to be a good tackler – even on the morning of a cup final – even with the manager
The two teams have started well. The win will have more psychological impact than a mathematical impact. It’s a bit early, it will be interesting to watch, to see a little bit what strengths and weakness come out of the two teams. It’s about the performance on the pitch. We know by experience most of the time it’s the big players who make the difference. Yes I will watch the game again. Most of the time the turning points of the game, most of the time people talk only about the result, the potential of the teams, the decisions of the managers, you have to observe it
I would say it’s the most mature squad I have had for a long time. They are men, not 19/20 year old players, they are 24, 25, 26, 27, the squad is quite mature. First time in a long time I have a team full of men ready to complete. We have to show we are good enough to beat everybody else
Best chance of success?
I always believe we always have a chance even when my squad were teenagers. Certainly I have not had a squad in a long time with this much experience.
International break preventing training
Yes it’s a problem at the top level competition. We have not enough time to practice and many competitions. The players are focussed and we’ll see how everyone comes back, we play again on Tuesday
We had a chat together, he himself was concerned that he would not get enough competition and games early enough, he feels ready to play, I couldn’t guarantee that and thought it was logical to give him time to come back to a top level. You need to play and I couldn’t give him that.
He wanted games and I can understand his desire. It was a logical decision. Last season he didn’t play and it’s important for him that he gets the games he needs. I hope personally that he stays his whole career here. He’s a world class player and he doesn’t need to show me that at Bournemouth [to get a new contract].