on whether Arsenal were unfortunate not to win the game…

We battled really hard and we knew it would be a hard, hard game. To be able to defend well is a high-quality skill and that is something all of our players did this evening. I shouldn't think many teams will come to Dortmund and beat them and we were very, very close to doing that.


on Robin van Persie’s goal…

It is nothing unusual to see Robin do something like that. It was a great run from Robin and it was also a terrific ball through [from Theo]. It is unusual to see Robin hit it with his right foot but it proves that he is not just a left-footed footballer.


on the captain’s leadership…

Robin is obviously the Club captain and we encourage him to be verbal both on the park and also off it, especially in the dressing room. He was just asking me one or two things that he thought we could have done better and I was just saying one or two things that we could actually do to make the team better.


on withstanding a lot of first-half Dortmund pressure…

As I said before, to actually defend well is a high-quality skill and our players did it very, very well. Don't forget Dortmund are a really good side, there is no question about that. Would we liked to have won the game? Of course we would, we were so close to it and so very, very near. But the same thing happened to us as when we played Tottenham and the boy [Danny] Rose hit an unbelievable shot from about 35 yards. It was the same this evening. I should imagine that he could try that 25, 30, 40 times and he would hit it over the bar or at the goalkeeper. It was a great goal.


on whether Dortmund’s style made it like playing against Arsenal…

Yeah, very, very much so. Now we know what it is like whenever we are on form! But, as I say, our lads stuck to it well. It was a very hard game, as you could see. When Gervinho went through, the game could have been over if he had stuck it in the back of the net. So, really and truthfully, a point apiece was a good result.


on a strange situation without manager Arsène Wenger…

First of all, it was extremely strange not having the manager next to me because usually he is shouting in my ear: 'why did he do that?' and 'why didn't he do that?'. Did I like it? Not really, no. It has never been one of my ambitions to be the manager of a football club. It is very strange. It is too stressful for me.


on two positive results after a difficult start to the season…

Very much so. It seems, especially the game on Saturday, it seemed to me personally that it was the start of our season. Because of the uncertainty as to whether players would leave us or whether they wouldn't. The players that we have acquired are very, very good players, contrary to what other people have said. I have no doubt that they will show it in the games to come.


on Per Mertesacker

Per, from my point of view, is a terrific player. The amount of games he has played for the German national side means he cannot be a bad player. It is impossible. He is showing that gradually with us. I thought he was terrific tonight alongside Laurent Koscielny and I can only see him getting better and better when he gets used to the Premier League.

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 13 Sep 2011