Press conference

'Last year was spectacular... it's a big game'

Having fought back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 at Bournemouth last season, Arsene Wenger knows just how tough Sunday's game will be.

The Arsenal manager discussed the match in his pre-match press conference, and this is what he said:

on how big Sunday’s game is…
There’s a massive importance for these kinds of games, of course. We have been distracted a little bit by the cups, but now we have to come back to the Premier League. It’s a very, very big game.

on Bournemouth making it tough…
Last year was a spectacular game, when it finished 3-3. They are a team who have a bit more difficulty this season but down there they can make it difficult for anybody.

on his memories of the 3-3 at Bournemouth last season…
Well the nightmare, after the relief and then the frustration, because we could have won the game in the end. Basically what can happen in the story of a game is that you can go through all kind of states of mind. We showed character again in this kind of game. We had a slow start and they were absolutely storming out. They were full of confidence at the time and they were difficult for everybody. I think they beat Liverpool last year as well. Overall they had a good home record.

on how much not being on the touchline at Bournemouth will affect him…
I would prefer to be in the dugout of course, but I have to respect my ban and fortunately it’s the last game. I must say, the second game was not too bad, because I was in a fantastic position in the media area. You’re quite spoiled.

on where he will be sitting on Sunday…
I hope I will be with you, because I know I will be in a good seat!

on nothing being easy for Arsenal before the end of the season…
No. I’ve told you many times that the league is divided into two now. As long as we have a group of seven or eight teams fighting for the top four, the rest are basically fighting to stay in the league. As long as the positions are not settled, every game will be a cup game.

on how much harder his job is this season compared to previous years…
It’s not harder. The problem in a management job is that every week you face a different problem that you have to sort out. You have to find a solution to get the team to play as closely as possible to their maximum, and you have to prepare them to do that. After that, you cannot complain that it’s harder or not. There are periods where it’s more difficult but that’s part of the job - and it’s an exciting part of the job as well.

on whether a top-four finish is still best way back into the Champions League…
I don’t know, there are two possible routes and we want to explore both of them with 100 per cent commitment. Does it work one way or the other? We want to be in there.


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