Arsene Wenger has given his regular pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s match against Spurs. The Boss spoke about everything from team news to kick-off times to poppies. As always we have the press conference in full (via Arsenal.com)
Matchday: Team News – Predicted Lineup – Betting Preview
Match: Arsenal v Tottenham
Stadium: Emirates Stadium
Kick-Off (GMT): Sun 6 Nov 12:00
We still have some uncertainties. Kieran Gibbs has been touched on his shoulder and we don’t know how he’ll respond to that. The players who did not travel like Walcott, Monreal, Cazorla there is still some uncertainty. Walcott is the closest to come back and we’ll have some tests today.
How do you rate the current Spurs team?
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It’s an interesting clash because for us it’s an important game we are in a strong position in the league and we want to strengthen, overall Tottenham as well. It’s very tight at the top of the league, we are focussed on winning, it’s a home game and we are focussed on winning the game. Our position in the league is very important and we go into a period where we play big games and we want to win them.
Will the midday kickoff time affect you?
We get up a bit early and leave a bit earlier, but basically no
Hector has a test. I didn’t count him at the start because I left him at home for the game because I was cautious with him, he could have played maybe in Bulgaria but I think he should be alright [for Sunday].
He has tests today and tomorrow and then we will decide.
He has not practiced yet, he’ll try to go out today and see how it goes. He’s a doubt.
I have no specific idea what I will do, I’m a bit concerned yes because the discipline is important. We want to be effective in all the situations we face and in a derby it’s important to keep control of your reactions and it’s important for the effectiveness of these games.
Will you speak to him about it?
I think he’s quite normally a calm and composed guy. Sometimes on the field he has impulsive reactions and he knows that and it’s not because you talk about that, he works on that but he needs to keep control of his reaction in the game
Is Giroud plan b?
There is no plan b in any squad, I never think about my players like that. There is the team that is more effective for the next game and that is the team you pick and I consider everybody a regular player. The way a manager thinks is just the next game. If he plays in the next game he is in your mind he plays, if not then he doesn’t start but he has shown he can be a huge asset for the club and I have always supported him.
Does Jack Wilshere have a future at Arsenal?
I think he has but that’s my opinion.
That’s what counts?
No, it’s exciting as well. We have an opportunity to show we are ready for a challenge like and to be better to do better than we have historically we have a good opportunity to show that on Sunday. We have already started November in a positive way and I’m sure this team can face the history and this team can make its own history and do better than we have before.
Spurs playing at Wembley, is that a problem for them?
I don’t know. I didn’t put our problems specifically down to Wembley. When we lost it was to Barcelona, Barcelona was always Barcelona, and one game to Fiorentina as well and a game against Lens but the game had less meaning. I’m not sure that we lost because of Wembley. We lost because we played against good teams.
What are Spurs’ problems
I don’t know. I’m not a specialist to give you my verdict on that, it’s not my job
I find a little bit surprising and I think by wanting too much to be politically correct you go against tradition and I think that is a part of the English culture that I love, they respect tradition and people who have given their lives for the country and I think personally FIFA should not get involved in that.
Do you have a mental hold over Spurs?
I don’t know, you should ask them that. We try to do as well as we can, at the moment I am focussed more on the fact that this is more than a derby, it’s an opportunity for us and it is we have an opportunity to show that we have an interesting role to play in the league by winning these kinds of games.
Is the fact that they haven’t lost playing a part in your preparation?
No, it’s too early in the season. What is important is focussing on ourselves, on the quality of our performance. We know that we have done very well away from home and we do well at home and that the success of our season will depend on how well we do at home.
Ramsey on the right more regularly?
No again I just consider the next game and try to find the right balance of players to give their best to the team. Ramsey has had an 11-week injury and you cannot come back like magic, it takes times, but he can give us his strengths out wide or central. He prefers to play central and I can understand that but when he plays wide he has enough freedom to be central as well.
Does he talk about it?
Yes, of course, I speak to all the players about performance and positions, most of the time I think you want the players to be happy and to play in their best position.
Is the injury news a boost for the match?
I believe we will have an advantage if we are all at our best no matter who plays. I have 25 players who are all top class and I think a game like this is not about 11, it is about 25, everybody focussed and everybody ready to contribute. We have shown this recently in the games, you just spoke about Giroud, he came on against Sunderland and made the difference and it just shows that everybody’s contribution will be vital.
Spurs without a win for a month
I feel again it’s difficult to speculate on any weakness of Tottenham, I prefer for us to turn up with a top level performance.
We have to expect Tottenham to be at their best and respond with a performance that will be effective. I believe the mastery on our side will be no matter who they play or how well they play, that we are strong enough to win the game.
Is that because you’ve been forced to cope with adversity recently?
Yes, we have shown in our recent history that when we have gone down or we have been tested mentally we have found the right response and that will mental aspect will be important on Sunday.
Rumours of Özil being given a rest for the internationals
I got noise of that but I think it would be an intelligent decision and I would welcome the decision. We’ll have to wait until he gives his selection out to see if he leaves him out.