Wenger on victory, Giroud and Monaco

Arsene Wenger faced the media after Arsenal’s 3-0 win against West Ham United. You can read a full transcript of his press conference below:

on the win…It’s a good performance. We controlled the game in the first half, created many chances but couldn’t score. In the second half I felt we were a bit short of energy coming out of the dressing room for a while and West Ham were on top for that period. After, in the final part of the game, we always looked dangerous and capable of scoring goals. We had to patient, organised and steady. Overall we scored great collective goals like we love to play.

on Olivier Giroud’s goal…It was a fantastic goal because it’s a consequence of a fantastic combination just before and after. On top of that the finishing was great. It’s the kind of goal we love to score. On top of that Giroud had a great finish.

on whether Arsenal are still in the title race…Not at the moment but we just have to keep going. We’ve won eight of the last nine and we are stronger today than we were at the start of the season. We dropped off in this league because we won one of six at the start of the season. Today we are a different team. We suffered a lot from the post-World Cup fixtures. Players came back and they weren’t ready to play.

on if they can beat Chelsea…We now go to Monaco. We’ve come out of a good week because we’ve played at Manchester United, we’ve played the London derby today and we need the belief to prepare well. Let’s do that and after we’ll see.

on whether he will start Santi Cazorla and Danny Welbeck at Monaco…I haven’t decided yet. You have to take that a little bit with perspective because the game [against West Ham] was more open, they were fresh when they came on and they have the quality of course. I rested Cazorla today because he’s basically played every single game since the start of the season.

on how Giroud has responded…I don’t like to put much pressure on him. Giroud had an outstanding game today. At Manchester United he didn’t play and we won. What is important is that the team plays well. I know that all these offensive players have the quality to deliver something special but for us it’s important that the team plays well. After, at the end of our movements, what is for sure is that they understand each other much better than six or seven months ago. That makes everybody more dangerous. Welbeck came this season, Walcott has been out for a year, Ozil has now adapted. When you look at the game, he is prepared well so that makes a difference.

on Giroud having a history of responding well…Always. It’s one of his strengths. This is a boy who has played at 22 or 23 in division three. He’s come out and has become an international footballer. You need some mental strength to do that because there’s no red carpet there. You have to work hard to get out there and get to the top - you need some special strength.

on Giroud having a difficult game against Monaco…Yes. It can happen.

on who will start up front in Monaco…You do well by not asking me.

on whether Arsenal can qualify for the Champions League quarter-finals…If you have no belief, you have no chance. We have to believe that we can do it and give everything. This time Monaco are favourites so we have to go there, give absolutely everything and come out of the game with that feeling.

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