Questions surrounding the pair have dominated many of Arsène Wenger’s recent press conferences - and he fielded more on the pair after the win on Teesside.
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on what the mood was like before the game in the dressing room - and whether the team were nervous…
Of course, of course. The players care. When you don’t win your confidence goes quickly and comes back slowly, so of course you could feel even in the way we played that there was nervousness there.
on whether tonight further proved the value of Mesut and Alexis…
Of course. But their future, they have still one year of contract after [this season] so I don’t think there is an urgency about that. Anyway, I said that many times. You perform on the football pitch because you love to play football.
on how big a win that was…
It was a committed game that we needed to win. I thought in the first half it was tight because they defended very well and we were tested just after half-time because it came back to 1-1 and then we were tested mentally and we found the response we needed and that’s what we wanted. It was one of the last chances to stay in the league and that’s why we never gave up. We were a bit maybe riding our luck a little bit in one or two occasions on crosses, but overall we were a bit more solid defensively today.