Arsene Wenger spoke to the media after the Emirates Cup defeat to AS Monaco on Sunday. This is what he had to say:
on the form Arsenal showed…We have made a demonstration that in 24 hours a lot can change in football. As much as our performance was sharp, creative, dynamic and mobile [on Saturday], today it was static, lethargic and not convincing at all. I feel that many players had not recovered completely physically and that we were not completely ready. But congratulations to Monaco. They were better than us. Sharper, stronger and we lost the game because we deserved to lose the game.
on his players’ form…I’m not especially concerned. It’s part of the pre-season and it just is a good warning for us that we are not completely ready physically. The positives are that we had to dig deep for some players to play and that we got no injuries.
on what role Alexis will fulfil…I don’t know yet because Giroud is not ready at all so I thought I’d take him out because he didn’t look ready. It was an opportunity for me as well to see Sanchez in the second half as a centre forward. He looked better in the second half than in the first. But that was also because Oxlade-Chamberlain gave us something we needed - some penetration and some power. Overall, the second half we dominated much more of the game than in the first half, when we were dominated.
on the penalty shout…What was surprising was that the guy who was the closest to the action made the decision and it was contradicted by the guy (the assistant) who was the furthest. And the furthest got his opinion respected. But it doesn’t matter too much. It’s pre-season and we didn’t want to make a fuss about the decision made by the referee which may not have been completely right.
on playing Wilshere as a holding midfielder…No, because we played only with one holding midfielder here and Wilshere and Ramsey pushing on. He has made his claim - we have seen that again.
on signing another holding midfielder…We have Flamini and last year we played with Arteta and Ramsey in many games in that position. So it’s just a question. I think Jack is getting better and his ankle is good now but it needs games. At the top top level you need presence and consistent presence. In and out is finished today, that you rest for three weeks and you come in and fit a game - that doesn’t work anymore.
on Giroud's fitness…I don’t know. Today at least he was not ready at all.
on whether the Arsenal players have to adapt to Alexis…Yes, but he makes good runs in behind and today I felt that we had problems feeding our strikers because we were not very good in the build up and our combination play was very poor. Our play forward was very poor so it was very difficult for the strikers today. But Sanchez will adapt too. If you have good players in midfield they will find the strikers.
on whether Giroud should be more ready…No. He had only three weeks rest, it was not an eternity and he had to come back quickly. But sometimes when you come back late you want to work hard and in a game you are not as sharp. It’s nothing about him. He’s not put weight on, he’s not out of shape, he’s worked very hard this week and not recovered from the work he has done.
on whether Cazorla has put weight on…No, he’s okay.
on Wilshere and Flamini's challenges…Yes but usually last season we had no big problems with red cards.
on the Community Shield next week…We will be [in better shape]. And Man City may be as well.
on Calum Chambers’ composure…He’s one of the players over the two games who played very well. He’s 19 years old and he came here without talking, he plays two good games and is not phased by the quality of the games and the opponents at his first time at the Emirates at 19. He’s one of the satisfactions of the weekend.
on whether his future is at centre back…He can play as well central midfield because he’s got good technique, good mobility and is a great distance runner. At the moment it’s where I can have a look at him. But I think he can also play central midfield.
on making his breakthrough at right back…Yes [I was surprised[ because he was educated as a centre defensive midfielder. Then he played in the under-19 with England, he played central defender, he played for Southampton right back. I saw him first time against us as a right back and I liked him. At the end of the season he didn’t play too much at Southampton. But I made my mind up to buy him after I saw him against us.
on Lampard’s loan move to Man City…It’s a surprise. Because after the statements we heard it is a surprise. But it looks like all these City clubs will feed the main club, Man City. I heard that they want to buy five clubs all over the world.
on the integrity of the competition…Look. I don’t know well enough the rules. But they bought the franchise for $100m in the States to play next season. At the moment the players they sign cannot play until next year so they register in the clubs where they put them and they can get them on loan. Is it a way to get around the Fair Play? I don’t know.
on whether Arsenal would follow the City model…We are happy to dedicate the money we make just to run our club. It’s not enough surplus to buy other clubs.
on Mathieu Debuchy…He’s done well. He’s also not completely fit and ready but he got 90 minutes and should be better next week.
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