Arsene Wenger has given his regular pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s game against Bournemouth and spoken about everything from team news to the atmosphere at the Emirates. As always, we have the transcript in full (via Arsenal.com).
Matchday: Team News – Predicted Lineup – Betting Preview
Match: Arsenal v AFC Bournemouth
Stadium: The Emirates Stadium
Kick-Off (GMT): Sun 27 Nov 14:15
I don’t think from the other night we have injuries, everybody should be available. Cazorla and Bellerin are still out so we have nobody coming back.
Lucas’s first time in training today. He might be in contention on Wednesday, one training session isn’t enough to be enough on Sunday.
Three consecutive draws
Yes of course. The positive side is that you don’t lose but it’s not positive for us, we want to win our games. We have built momentum but sometimes you go through spells where it’s less easy for you and we want to get back to the three pointers.
I’m happy that he develops well, it was a good decision for him to go to Bournemouth because he gets regular football and from the observations we get, he’s getting stronger every week. He needs regular football, maybe not every three days but every week at the start and that’s helped him a lot to develop and come back to the level where he deserves to be.
Will Bournemouth miss him?
I don’t know. When a player like Jack is in top form you miss him always. I feel we want to win games again and that’s more the solution on our side to focus on our offensive performance and be tight at the back rather than expect any weakness from Bournemouth.
Worried he knows secrets about Arsenal?
That’s normal but it won’t make the result on Sunday.
Slowly. There are little differences but as long as there isn’t a 9/10 point difference between teams after a third of the season you can’t say they’re out of the race.
Are Manchester United still in it?
Yes, of course.
Yes, I would say that it depends on what we would do for what we do in the last weeks. We haven’t lost, we’ve had difficult games with Tottenham, Man United and PSG. It’s three in a row but let’s see how we finish November.
It’s just game by game, I choose the solution for the next game. I felt in this game that his physical presence could give them problems at the back so I decide game after game. We need everybody on board now and it’s just the next game that matters.
Second in the Champions League group might not be so bad this year
Yes, well we don’t know. I wanted to finish first because you feel less guilty if you had a bad draw than if you finish second. It’s not over but it’s 90% that PSG will finish top on this famous away goal rule that I am against. I think in this case we had two draws with PSG it’s the away goal from them which will make the difference. Let’s win our final game in Basel and see where we finish.
Steven Gerrard retirement
He was a huge player who stops his career. A bit surprising because I thought he had two/three years left in his legs because he had such huge physical talent that I thought he’d play until 40.
We can just salute a fantastic player who has shown he had the qualities that every midfielder dreams to have. He could score goals, cross the field, shoot from distance, could cross the ball and dribble with pace. He had commitment, motivation, he’s a massive player and on top of that he was loyal to Liverpool so that’s as well a quality that you don’t find a lot.
What has been missing from recent home performances?
I agree with you. That’s why I believe we have to find our game back. We didn’t lose but if you don’t create then that won’t last. It’s important that we find our simplicity and speed and pacy combinations back. We’ve missed our fluency and security in our decision making that made us dangerous in the final third and that’s what at stake for us.
No, I maintain the same opinion on that, it’s down to us to make the momentum in the crowd, it’s not down to the crowd to make that. We want to come back to our fluency, to the speed of our movement. I agree with you that it wasn’t really in our team in the last few games.
Youth play abuse stories
I was surprised and amazed that that happens in our game. We try inside our club absolutely everything to keep that out of football and for the rest we have to trust the enquiry to do their job and punish people who didn’t behave well.
I do not think from one example you can question 100,000s of coaches. It happened in schools, colleges, and churches. People complained 20-30 years later. It’s good that it came out and people are not unpunished and we are conscious that things are unacceptable.
Emi Martinez contract
I believe he’s number three at the moment and has the potential to become number one. He learns a lot with Cech and Ospina and for me, he’s certainly a future goalkeeper at Arsenal. The problem with his job is that you have to patient. When you see that Cech is 34 and still plays you have to be patient.
Only one position
It’s harder because you can play only one position and people want you to be perfect as soon as you come in. You have no time, every mistake a goalkeeper makes is noticed because most of the time it’s a goal.
Have you spoken to Wilshere?
Not since he has left. I leave him to deal with his manager. Overall, I ask how he played and read the reports and when I can watch highlights I do. For the rest, I’m happy that he’s had no injuries since he left us.
He said he wants Bournemouth to win
That’s normal. When you sign for a club you’re committed to do well for a season. You cannot say you want your own club to lose the game.
Surprised that only one manager has left a Premier League club this season?
Overall, yes. Steve Bruce left Hull in the summer too. Overall the stability is important. Maybe clubs made some bad experiences and clubs changed once, twice, three times without improving their results and are perhaps a bit more cautious.
Plan for Wilshere contract?
Not before the Bournemouth game, no. We have to plan that around the new year. Yeah, of course.
He’s important to the technical stability of the team, to the decision making and building from a deep midfield to a high midfield and that’s an important stage because he gets the ball out from defenders. I think we have enough quality players in our side to get around that. Santi is a massive player but I think we are good enough to find solutions when he’s not there.
At the moment we are getting out of November. You see the first signs of some players who need a breather, especially in areas where you fight and run a lot. I try to combine both to give some players fresh legs and as well to get around the fact that Santi’s not there.
No, I’m very happy with his commitment. I think he’s developing well. He hasn’t started much since the start of the season but he’s adapting to a different league, to a different way of playing and overall I’m happy because every day he’s focussed to work hard and I’m confident that he’ll get his number of games.