Arsene Wenger eventually made his way in front of the world’s press on Friday afternoon. His regular pre-match press conference was postponed twice due to the poor weather and disruption it caused but The Boss gave his thoughts on everything from team news to the M25. As always, we have the press conference in full (via Arsenal.com).
Matchday: Match Preview – Team News – Betting Preview
Match: Hull City v Arsenal
Stadium: The KCOM Stadium
Kick Off (GMT): Sat 17 Sep 15:00
A Good Week?
Well yes it’s overall a positive week. I think we have shown the right attitude, the right spirit and we know we have room for improvement in some areas of our game that we will work on but overall it’s positive, the results are positive.
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I don’t know. We take our games seriously, we focus to do well, that’s what you want to do again tomorrow. We have a short recovery but everybody looks to have recovered well and we go into the game with a desire to win the game again.
Alexis Coming Back To His Best?
He is, he had a long rest, 5 weeks holiday. Took him a while to get fully fit physically but now he is back, yes.
Walcott could be back in the squad, I had to check how well he came out of the session today I haven’t seen the medical people yet. Ramsey is of course still out, Gabriel is back in normal training I don’t think he will be included, he might play on Tuesday night. So the injury situation is not bad at the moment.
Ramsey Hoped To Be Back For Hull?
Yeah I hoped but he is not ready.
Ramsey Back For League Cup?
They come too early I think. No [added problem], we are cautious with him, we do not want any set back with his hamstring and at the moment I think Tuesday is really too early for him.
Have Problems Today Disrupted Preparations?
Yeah. Like your press conference, disrupted your press conference as well. Look, we have to deal with that. Nothing dramatic.
Lateness Fines For Players?
Yes they were late without being fined, the M25 will be fined.
Yes he is doing very well, he has experience working in big clubs, big competitions and he has done very well. He is a real football man who has given some stability to Hull and they are difficult to beat.
Mike Phelan Not Offered Job Earlier
Look, maybe he enjoyed his job the way he was doing. I think sometimes people behind the managers are real football people who have not the same pressure but can enjoy to work every day. It’s not especially because the manager has more knowledge than some people inside the club, what’s important is the experience of the big games and the knowledge you get from the big games.
Update On Contract Özil And Sanchez?
No. Nothing to add.
Yeah he as well. At the moment we have not dealt with that situation.
Waiting To See About His Fitness?
Not especially, of course he has to come back. But we go year by year with Per. We sit together at some stage when he will be back in full training.
Bellerin Bolt Race
Well that’s a bit ambitious. Usain Bolt loves football but I think he’s still too quick for Hector
Xhaka Not Playing
It’s not about his quality at the moment, he adapts to the pace of the English game. For me it’s about pairs who work together. Coquelin and Cazorla have worked well together. But he will play games, and every week he looks stronger and better and I think he will make a big impact as a player.
Is His Strength Important?
He has the stature, the power, the strength what we want is for him to use that in an efficient way. It’s short after he arrived. We are September we started in August one month for many players it takes some time for him to get into the team and he will do that without any problem.
Is Box To Box Xhaka’s Best Position?
Yes, I personally prefer him as a box to box player because he has the engine, he has the power, he has the long pass, he likes to come deep and distribute the game but I think he has as well the engine to have an impact with his runs.
Does He Have The Qualities You Were Missing In Midfield?
We had always good midfield players, you cannot say we were missing anything. We wanted to add players with quality and him and Elneny are top class players, there’s big competitions in midfield at the moment but I’m sure both of them will get in the team.
Is It Difficult For Xhaka To Play With Cazorla?
No, not necessarily. What I mean is that Cazorla and Coquelin have 50 or 60 games together there and that has a little impact sometimes in my decisions.
Has The Premier League Taken Xhaka By Surprise Like Some New Arrivals?
Look, on one or two occasions, I think he adapted quite well personally. His physical strength and his power allow him to pretend to play straight away. Sometimes, you know, we lost our first game, you go a bit for stability. He’s highly focussed, Elneny as well, both of them are highly focussed and they are top, top quality.
How Do You Rate The Start To The Season?
We had a difficult start and after that we were very quickly under pressure. The mental solidity of the squad is tested straight away. We came out of it at the moment quite in a satisfactory way. But we have already to make some ground up against teams who have started very well. The mental state of the squad is good, but now we have to show the consistency with our results.
Changes To The Team?
Cech will be back.
Many other changes?
Giroud To Start?
He had a knock on Tuesday night, I have to check if he is fit and available.
What was the problem?
Why Has Giroud Come Back So Late?
He has been a bit behind at the start fitness wise. He was behind Koscielny and Özil, at the start it took him some time to get back but since last week he is slowly getting back to full fitness now.
Criticism Of Giroud During The Euros
I think he got a bit of a sceptical attitude from the French fans at the start of the competition, before the competition basically and during the competition he convinced everybody that he was the right choice.
I think he has done extremely well to turn people around, Olivier is a guy who is very strong mentally and to do what he did is not easy.
Ospina To Be Champions League Keeper?
Look I don’t want to come out with my plan especially. I think the decision was questioned. What I understand I have two world class goalkeepers and for the day I have chosen Ospina and I think he had an outstanding game.
Barcelona Did That
More and more clubs have that. If you have two world class goalkeepers, you can’t keep two world class goalkeeper because one of them can’t get a game. Or you have secondary choice who never plays and the first choice gets injured and you have a problem or you have two world class goalkeepers like we have but then you have to give them games as well in big competitions.