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Wenger on the win, Wilshere and top four

Arsène Wenger  spoke to the media after his team won 3-1 at Hull City on Monday evening.

Here's a full transcript of what the Arsenal manager said.

on whether it was one of Arsenal’s best performances…We set ourselves the target to continue our run but also to continue to make progress as a team, because we feel we have made progress during the season. Tonight was a demonstration that we can improve and that we can keep the quality very high. We played the kind of football we love to play and we played it for long periods of the game with the quality we desire.

on whether they could have won more comfortably…The surprising thing of the night is that we scored the goal that we didn’t necessarily deserve to score and we missed the chances we should have scored.

on Jack Wilshere…He’s full of energy and he has found his burst back. That’s positive, of course.

on how Arsenal approached the game…Before the game I thought that it would be a very difficult game. We certainly had a few turning points - the fact that we scored first, the fact that our defenders were calm on the ball and that we could always dictate our technical level. Never were we under real pressure. We got out of tight situations with good technical skills and that took the pressure off our team, and we always looked like we could create something with the speedy movement of our players.

on how impressed he was with Wilshere…I’m not surprised how he played. I brought him on at 3-1 where it was not obvious. If I had any doubt I would not have brought him on. I said in the press conference on Friday that it’s the first week where he has found his acceleration in training. You could see that tonight. We still have to be patient. He has been out for five-and-a-half months.

 

Jack Wilshere in action

Jack Wilshere in action

 

on how important it is to score 100 goals…It first shows that we are an offensive team who likes to win going forward. The most important thing is that we feel we’ve made progress since the start of the season, and that people look at us in a different way to how they did in September.

on what is different about Arsenal…We are consistent and consistency is the first sign of quality. We passed a few test in a positive way. What is very important is to keep the attitude in the side to improve, to make progress.

on whether Arsenal can challenge for the title next season…Ask me that question in August. Give me a little breather until August. What is at stake now is to finish the season well. If we maintain our run then we will finish second and we still have the FA Cup final - we will see where we are after that.

on whether Arsenal are frustrated not to be top of the table…We gave absolutely everything to come back into it and there were a few turning points. The first one was us not starting the season well and the second was maybe the QPR game where Chelsea never had any doubt in their mind. Sometimes when you go for the title and you win these types of games, it convinces you that it is your year. Chelsea didn’t drop points at QPR or against Manchester United - they were very consistent and only lost two games.

on whether second means more than third…Yes, for me, yes. We want to finish as high as you can. Our competitive attitude is to finish looking at ourselves thinking that we have given the maximum until the last day - that’s what it is about. It will be tight. Tonight we only [nearly] secured top four but let’s see if we can maintain the run and the quality.

on avoiding the Champions League play-offs…It is better for the sleep in the summer.

 

on what Arsenal need to do to challenge next season…We need to continue to win our games like we’re doing now. I’m not a prophet. That is unpredictable and nobody knows how strong the team will be at the start of the season. What’s important is that you go out of the season by thinking we have made progress, we have moved forward and that the confidence is high. We need to start strong again next year. Who will be there fighting for the championship next season? It’s difficult to know.

on whether Arsenal need to grind out wins more…The target is always quality. We work very hard to get the quality of our game very high and I do not see myself telling the team that we don’t want quality. It can happen that you play well and don’t win the games but after 38 games the quality always dictates the result. Not always but most of the time.

on Danny Welbeck…It’s a question of days, it’s an inflamed knee.

 

 

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