Friday, December 9, 2016

Coach Wenger comments on finishing third and the season

May 25, 2015 by  
Filed under Premier League

BPL: Arsenal 4-1 WBA

Coach Wenger wraps up the season:

on the win…
We have played some quality games but recently we haven’t been able to score. Today, every chance we created we scored in a convincing way. The first half was of top quality. After half-time we tried to keep going but we eased off a bit and the second half was less convincing, but we still had chances. They had one or two as well. Overall we did the job well today and we finished the season on a high. Now we can focus on the FA Cup final and come back next season.

on whether it has changed his team selection for the final…
No. I cannot tell you what I will do next weekend but you could see that some players are in a good shape. I tried to pick the team who had a good chance to win.

on whether there are any new injuries…
No, we have no new injuries.

on Theo Walcott…
He was already sharp when he came on in our midweek game against Sunderland. He was the one who created the chances and I always said that he could play through the middle because he has good movement, good finishing and he did that well today.

on the tactics…
Everybody adapts to the qualities of the players. The style is a bit different [with Walcott in the team].

on Walcott’s finishing…
He’s a good goalscorer but he has been out for a year. A year in football is a long, long time and it takes more time to come back to your best so that you are sharp and confident. Jack is a bit similar. He has been out for six months and now he is coming back. He had a very convincing performance in the first half.

on Walcott coming of age…
He’s the right age [to play through the middle]. He’s 26 years old, it’s a good age for a footballer. I wish that he stays free of injuries now. He had a few downs on the injury front and that’s never good. You have to be consistently present to express your full potential.

on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain…
He’s not completely there to start at the full pace of the game. He can play. It’s just when he’s ready. One more week of preparation will help him.

on Wilshere wanting to stay at Arsenal
He wants to stay at the club? I hope so! He has been educated here and he’s Arsenal through and through. He and Kieran Gibbs are. He arrived at nine years of age and Gibbs at 12. You want them to be the future of the team and the core of the team.

on not starting slowly next season…
I believe the ideal situation would be to start strong, stay strong and finish strong. That’s what Chelsea did and that’s why they won the championship, because they had a very strong start and even when they had a weaker period, they could grind some results out.

on playing under pressure…
I don’t feel that we are affected too much by the pressure. We went to Manchester United in the FA Cup, we had to qualify in the Champions League. If you look at the start of the season, we had too many injuries in the first part of the season. Since January we haven’t lost any points compared to all our opponents. We have made progress and we had our players back as well. You fight with top-level teams and it’s difficult. Liverpool were a point away from winning the league last year and they are not in the top four this year. To be in the top four is not easy. It always looks obvious but you have to fight.

on Walcott’s contract…
Without his hat-trick or with his hat-trick, we want him to stay. We are in negotiations and we have started to speak with his agent. We did that before he scored his hat-trick. Last time he got injured he was playing centre forward in a very convincing game against Tottenham Hotspur in January. He got injured and was out for a year. On that day he was injured playing up front.

on summer plans…
We hope that everyone comes back from international duty in good shape. We have to start strong and we can prepare for that well now because we have no qualifier for the Champions League. We’ll see if we can do something to strengthen the team after.

on not playing the qualifiers…
It’s a massive difference. You go away and you can play in Turkey between two Premier League games at the start of the season, which is never easy.

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