on the performance…

I am really disappointed because we had a difficult first half, a nervous first half. [It was] technically not at the level we want and we came back well with a fantastic fighting spirit in the second half. I thought we had the chances to win the game quite comfortably in the second half but you feel the Manchester United team is a bit more mature in every position than we are.

It was important not to make a mistake, either tactically or attention-wise, and especially on the flank. We were caught at a moment where we felt we were closer to winning the game. Having battled like we did and to come out without anything is very difficult to take.



on the substitution of Andrey Arshavin for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain


I can understand that the fans are upset about the substitution, especially when it doesn’t work, but I made the right decision at the start of the game [in starting Oxlade-Chamberlain]. He had started fatigue, stretched his calf and he was sick in the week.

People pay for their tickets and are free to express their emotions. We have to deal with that, not to dictate behaviour to people.



on Robin Van Persie’s reaction…


I didn’t see [Robin van Persie’s reaction]. I don’t want to come out on every reaction. We lost the game now and I don’t think I have to explain what I will do. I have to stand up for the result and the substitutions I made.

on Welbeck’s winning goal…

We lose together and we win together, and now you want me to blame one player? I won’t do that. About the player, I am not completely sure. It could have happened if [Oxlade-Chamberlain] stayed on. Manchester United are very dangerous on the flanks.

on the race for a top-four spot…

It leaves us in a very difficult position because we couldn’t afford to lose. But there are also a lot of positives from this game. The way we responded in the second half is a positive thing. It’s difficult to have a reaction like that and come out with no points at all.

I feel the referee had a fair game overall and we had a nervous first half, we didn’t play enough. In the second half we played our game but unfortunately we were not rewarded. But we need to keep that spirit and play.

on the fans calls to spend some money…

Spending the money is not the target, to buy good players is the target. We need our players back. People are not conscious that we miss 10 players. When you see what we created in the second half without [those injured] players, it is important to get the players back.

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 22 Jan 2012