Wenger on defeat, defence and red card

Arsene Wenger spoke to the media after Arsenal's 3-2 defeat against Stoke City at Britannia Stadium on Saturday. You can read a full transcript of his press conference below:

on the defeat…Stoke started strong and we were not decisive enough in our defensive challenges. From then on we gave them an early present and after that put a lot of energy into the game. In the second half we had good opportunities to come back and we couldn’t. Overall we put a lot of energy into this game like we always have recently and unfortunately we missed our start. We were slow at the back and when we started to respond it was too late in the game.

on why they started so slowly…They started strong, we have to give them credit for that. We were a bit inexperienced at the back - we couldn’t play Koscielny or Monreal and we had Debuchy out as well. We were altogether maybe a bit soft to cope with what they offered us.

on not keeping a fourth consecutive clean sheet…That shows that in every single game you have to be committed and focused from the first minute onwards. We were a bit unlucky because the third goal was a foul on the corner. Still, we were defensively not good enough today.

on the red card…It was a bad decision. If Chambers has to go off today, I can watch with you the game and I’ll find you five more players who should go.

on whether he was made an example of unfairly…I don’t know. I don’t want to comment too much on the referee’s decision. Watch the game again and watch what happened on the pitch. I don’t think that Chambers deserved to be sent off if compared to some other people who put arms and elbows in faces.

on whether he takes any consolation from Chelsea’s defeat…No. We have nothing to do with that. Chelsea’s Chelsea, Arsenal’s Arsenal. What we want is to win our games. You don’t have to look at what the others do.

on Danny Welbeck…Danny has played a lot, he had a little groin problem. He could have played. I rotated a little bit because I wanted to give him a breather. I had to respond at half-time unfortunately and it looked like he was alright. We have three or four strikers from game to game and not everybody can play. As Alexis has played every game, he has to dig deep in every game. At some stage you have to rest the players.

on whether he’ll rest Alexis for Galatasaray…Yes.

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