on his win over Stoke...
We had a solid team performance where you could see that the team improves defensively, especially against a team that is challenging like Stoke. We looked much more solid defensively and we had a good start to the game until they equalised. Then I felt we became a bit nervous and we needed half time to calm down and then come back.

The second half basically was all us, especially after the first 15 minutes, and then the problem was to score goals. Van Persie can do that better than many people and he did it when he came on. Overall it was a good, spirited performance and the crowd feels that this team wants to do well because they stood behind the team again and that is very positive. They feel that the team is ready to put effort in.

Of course Robin with the two goals deserves a massive credit but I feel Gervinho as well had a very lively game, a very influential game.

on the reason for first-half nerves...
Frustration. Also the players were a bit angry because they knew for us the second ball was vital. We could not win every ball against Crouch so the second ball was important. The players felt at half time that we had been caught on the second ball. But I have to give credit to Stoke, they surprised us with the free kick, and after that we were a bit in no-man's land on all the second balls. They took advantage of it and after that the frustration took over and our passing became less fluent until half time.

on the free kick that led to Crouch's goal...
I think that it was not a free kick at all, I just felt it was a wonderful header. I couldn't understand what the referee saw. It is a concern [that we did not pick up Shawcross] but the players knew straight away at half time that they had been caught. But we had a great response in the second half and in the final part of the game it was all us.

on why he rested Van Persie...
He had muscular tightness and I took 19 players [in training] yesterday because I was not sure whether to involve him on the teamsheet. He made a check this morning and he was medically alright to be on the bench. Before you leave him out you always think 15 times 'should I really do it or not?' but if you look at the number of games he plays and the history he has, you are a bit cautious.

on accusations of being a 'one-man team'...
I don't have that feeling at all. When you want to be a team with quality you always have a player who stands out and who gets on the end of things. We had Thierry Henry before. Robin has exceptional quality and so you get these questions.

on Johan Djourou at right back...
Permanently I don't know [if he has made a case to play there] but he had a very good game today. What was good today was that we were tall at the back. We had Djourou, Mertesacker, Koscielny and Santos in the back four. When you face Stoke that is an interesting quality.

on Van Persie's fitness for the Chelsea game…
He was not injured, he was just tight muscularly. He will be fit.

on the performance of Marouane Chamakh…

I think he worked very hard. He is running after a goal at the moment. I felt there were two or three occasions in the first half where he was nearly there on crosses and just didn't get in front of Shawcross. I am pleased with his effort. I think he knows in his mind that at the moment Van Persie is untouchable. Because we play with two wingers it is very difficult to play with two strikers because you are too open in the middle of the park. So unless I change the system it will be him or Van Persie. It is difficult. But he will get confidence by playing games and scoring goals like all strikers.

on Manchester City's win at Old Trafford…
It was a surprise. You look today that France nearly beat New Zealand [in the Rugby World Cup final] - I didn't see that coming either! The big scores for me have no special meaning because it means something special has happened in the game.

We conceded four goals in the last 20 minutes [at Old Trafford] and today Manchester United conceded three goals in the last 15 or 20 minutes. Once you are in a position where you have to attack with ten men against a good side you are vulnerable. What is more difficult to face afterwards is the emotional aspect of a result like that which remains in your heads and your body.

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 23 Oct 2011