on Thierry Henry’s return to Arsenal…

They say great clubs never die and it looks like great players never die. Thierry has shown us today that he is still top quality with his feet and with his head. With his head, I knew [he is still top quality], but with his feet I wasn’t sure. He still has good physical potential and has prepared exceptionally well for this game. I am very happy to have seen him today and he played a good game.

on Arsenal’s performance…

It was a bit frustrating that it was only forwards against defence. They played very deep and didn’t come out. But it’s part of the game. I felt we looked quite stable as long as we were not making any disturbances in our organisation. The final 20 minutes were a bit like yesterday, you could see the continuity in our game went. Overall, I am very happy with the two days because we were confronted with two teams who were very committed, very physical and very strong defensively. We were tested. On both days, we played very well for an hour. We have nothing more to offer at the moment. Hopefully that will change in the next two weeks.

on Jack Wilshere’s injury…

It is not very serious. They say he might be out for the whole of next week because he has an ankle inflammation. But he has not torn anything. He is a quick healer usually and a tough boy so I hope he will be quicker than the medical predictions. The England game is on August 10 and I don’t know [whether he will be available]. They told me he might be out next week. If he is out next week, he will not play against Benfica so he will certainly not play for England.

on the performance of Vermaelen and Koscielny….

I felt the two centre backs were very good, in my opinion, and played very well. I am quite happy with the performance of the centre backs. If you look at the goal we conceded today, I don’t think it comes from the centre backs.

on whether he will sign a central defender this summer…

We try to strengthen the squad. I have no name to offer today.

on competing with Chelsea, Man United and Man City…

They have huge resources, we know that. We know we have to compete with people who have more resources than us, I’ve spoken 50 times about that. But I cannot change that.

on what the result tells us…

I don’t think you can compare friendly games. They played in the final third today. We weren’t playing in the championship where you have to win games. It’s not the same. Today they just had to keep it tight at the back and wait for their chances. They did very well but when you go into your championship and you are expected to make the game, to take the initiative, it becomes a different game. 

on whether Cesc will be back in training…

I have nothing to add on that. I spoke about Cesc yesterday.

on a surprise for Thierry…

The surprise was that we wanted to him to play in the last five minutes for us. He was desperate to do it, but the referees stubbornly turned it down. I went in to see the referee at half time to ask him to allow him to play for us but they told us that the rules are absolutely, adamantly against it because one given player  cannot play for two teams in the same game. That was the surprise! It would have been before [he supplied the pass that led to the equaliser.]

on the prospect Ryo Miyaichi gets called into his Under-22 team…

We have now in football the Under-16, Under-17, Under-18, Under-19, Under-20, Under-21, Under-22… soon we will create the Under-60 and we’ll have to let the players go. I think at some stage the clubs should be within in their rights to use their players because these competitions are organised when the season is already started. I think we have to become serious. Players under 20? You take our midfield from yesterday. Frimpong is 19, Ramsey is 20, and Wilshere is 19. They can now play in the World Cup Under-20, so we could be in a situation where we could lose our players and cannot even field our midfield. That’s where people inside the clubs raise questions about how we can continue to give a chance to young players if during the season they go away with the national teams.

on his plan for Miyaichi…

My plan is to get a work permit for him and to put him on the pitch for Arsenal Football Club.

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 31 Jul 2011