Arsene Wenger addressed the media after his side were knocked out of the Capital One Cup by Southampton on Tuesday. Read a transcript of what he had to say below:
on starting well and losing…It’s disappointing because we had a good start and we made two unnecessary errors on the two goals - they were big ones. We lacked a bit of experience at the back. I agree with you but overall they did well. We gave a lot and it’s frustrating as we were not able to score in the second half. When you look at the amount of possession we had you have to give credit to Southampton. They played well and were very organised. They abused the fouls in the middle of the park but they are a good side and they played well tonight. Overall it’s frustrating because we gave a lot.
on whether he felt short defensively…We are a bit short, yes because of the injuries we have. You sit there and you think Gibbs couldn’t play because of a slight problem, Mertesacker is a bit on the edge and then we have no choice.
on how the youngsters played…I think if we lost the game tonight it’s not because of Hayden and it’s not because of Chambers. It’s not because of Coquelin. We have to be realistic.
on whether the players took their chance…I don’t want to go into any individual assessment because it’s always very easy after defeat - but I felt we gave a lot. I cannot fault the spirit and I cannot fault the attitude. I think the first reason for our defeat is the quality of our opponent and the performance of our opponent. The fact that we couldn’t score - we scored from a free-kick but apart from that we couldn’t score. If you look at the amount of possession we had in the second half, and you play for so long with the amount of possession we had, you have to score.
on prioritising the Capital One Cup…Not for me. Honestly. Everybody in the stadium wants to win but that’s a luxury that not many people can afford. I wanted to win, I wanted to win this game. You have to say the Premier League is difficult and Southampton are a good side.
on Alexis’ goal…The free-kick was fantastic.
on Abou Diaby finding the pace of the game difficult…Of course. It was difficult for him but he got 60 minutes and he was not injured. At some stage he has to play. He had 90 minutes [for the under-21s] at Villa last week. He played 60 minutes tonight. He was not bad, he was acceptable as a performance but he tired after an hour.
on Diaby being a defensive minded player…I try to transform it, yes because I feel because he was injured for a long time and he has the physical potential to win the challenges, to face the game will be easier for him than to play with his back to goal with the injuries he had. I tried to develop him in a deeper role, I think he can do it. He can be very interesting because he has all the attributes to do it. After, he must love it as well because he's more of an offensive-minded player.
on Mertesacker…Before the last game at Villa he had a little gluteus problem. He declared himself fit but at the moment we are so short that it's difficult [to play him] with the games he plays. We have to play on Saturday against Tottenham and then an important game on Wednesday against Galatasaray and then we go to Chelsea. To absorb all these games without being rested when you have a little problem is very difficult.
on Gibbs and Mertesacker's availability for Tottenham…They will be alright.
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