Alexis' salary, the chances of a top-four finish and the security situation in the wake of the midweek attack in Dortmund.

 
They were all up for discussion when Arsène Wenger sat down for his pre-match press conference on Friday morning. 
 
Here’s what the boss said:
 
on if Alexis has been offered £300k a week…
First of all, I cannot confirm that we have offered that. Secondly, we will do as always. We have to consider our financial potential to sustain the wages for the whole squad. What is for sure is that what is paid per week today was 20 years ago per year. Will that continue to go up? I don’t know. I’m always tempted to say no but I was wrong on that front.
 
on the mood at Arsenal…
It’s not been very enjoyable as you certainly know, but bad moments are part of our job as well. You focus to prepare and make sure you respond in a strong way in your next game. 
 
on the lessons learnt from Palace…
To play with restriction and a little bit of a handbrake on doesn’t help the performance. We are under pressure to deliver and the best way to do it is to play with freedom and accept the risk. In football, when you want to play, you have to accept the risk that things can go wrong. They have more chances to go wrong if you play with a little bit of restriction in your game.
 
on Walcott's comments saying Palace 'wanted it more'…
It is not acceptable [that we wanted it less], but the players were conscious of that when we were in the decisive duels. That’s what I said straight after the game. We were beaten, and you have to face reality and respond.
 
on just how big the challenge of making the top four is now…
Massive. We might get there, we might not get there, but the only thing to get there is to believe we can do it and that’s what we have to focus on. It’s not the fear to fail, it’s the desire to make it and that’s the only chance we have to make it.
 
on how he regards security following events in Dortmund…
Well, we have security - we have two securities. One internal security, organised by the club. And then the public security, organised by the state or the government. I think internally we have improved our level of security and protection, but I think it’s a very sad way that our society develops. Even today, you come out of a football game and you cannot speak to a fan without having a bodyguard around you. I find that you personally cannot go to your room anymore without having security in the hotels and I find that a very sad side of the development of our society. But on the other hand it just reflects what our society is about today, which is that there is insecurity there and it’s just in sport like in any other part of society.
 

More polls to come later in the season!

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14 Apr 2017