Arsene Wenger addressed the media after his side were narrowly beaten by the New York Red Bulls on Saturday evening. Read a transcript of what he had to say below: on facing Thierry Henry…I think it was a great afternoon for him. He played well and his team played well as well. You could see that everybody was focused and ready for a fight. If they can maintain that kind of commitment and solidarity they have shown today and if they keep Thierry Henry in this form, they have a good chance to come back into a strong position in the league.
on what his team learned from last year's title race…That we were not far [away], it was very tight. We wanted to add that little bit of quality which we missed in the end. It depends on one or two games at the end of the day. There's 38 games, we finished with 79 points, the winner of the championship had 86 so it was very tight. Hopefully we can get that little bit more quality in the decisive games. We were more consistent than everybody else against the lower teams, we performed less well against the top-level teams so that's what we have to gain.
on Bradley Wright-Phillips…He was dangerous all game. In the first half Thierry Henry dropped off and he [Wright-Phillips] made some good runs and we had a very experimental defence today - he was very dangerous.
on his younger players featuring this season…It's too early to say that, it's our first game. I believe that physically this game was a bit too high for us because some of the players came back last Monday. It was not ideal but we got away without any injuries. The bad thing is that we couldn't score and we lost the game, the good thing is that we gained something out of it physically and we have no injuries.
on playing with no striker…We had no Giroud, no Walcott, no Sanchez and no Podolski. Akpom did well but he's a young boy and he has to learn a lot but he has potential. As long as you don't score it's not good but you can play with three No 9s and you don't score sometimes. We were dominated physically in the first half, we came back into it in the last 10 minutes their keepers made a few saves and our combinations were better. We lacked a bit of pace without any centre forward.
on Henry's influence…Thierry can be dangerous from everywhere and understands very quickly what he can take advantage from. He was sharp today in the one against one and you could see why he was a great player because when he played in midfield his passing was excellent. He has vision as well and you could see that he can play everywhere.
on the value of coming to New York…For us it was a great experience, everybody enjoyed it and nobody wants to go home. It was a short trip but a very exciting one because New York is a special city. But what is even more special for us is how popular football is now. The values we stand for are shared here and everybody was very friendly and everybody respects what we try to do. One of the values we have to stand up for as well is when your opponent is better than us, we have to say 'well done' and today that was the case.
on David Ospina…I've known him for a long time because he played for Nice and he went there a few years ago and slowly became a very important player for them. Hugo Lloris played for Nice before he moved to Lyon and after he moved they played Ospina. He had a big impact straight away and Lloris was not an easy player to replace. I felt that he did very well at the World Cup.
on resting his World Cup players…Sanogo didn't come because he had a little thigh problem and we didn't want to take a gamble.
Copyright 2021 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.