Arsene Wenger faced the media after Arsenal beat Aston Villa 4-0 to win the FA Cup. You can read a full transcript of his press conference below:
on whether it was Arsenal’s best performance in a final…I don’t really know but it was a convincing one because we were at it from the first until the last minute. I never felt that the focus dropped or that the quality dropped. Overall it became comfortable in the end, but we missed some chances in the first half. On top of that we had two important moments. We scored just before half-time and just after half-time, and of course that was too much for Villa with the quality we had today.
on his starting line-up…I had many, many, many big decisions to make because I had to leave big players out of the squad. I had difficult decisions but I just tried to find a good balance in the team.
on Theo Walcott…Walcott was on a high because he scored a hat-trick last week. He came back in good form. Olivier Giroud has given a lot to the team since January but in the recent games I felt he was a bit jaded, a bit tired.
on Walcott’s pace causing problems…I thought that it would be a problem for them because they place a high line and we have the combined pace of Alexis and Walcott. It was important for us to dominate the midfield to use our strikers. You don’t really know that but I knew that if we managed to dominate the midfield, we would be dangerous.
on whether Walcott will be at Arsenal next season…I don’t see why he should not be here next season. He’s a player who was out for a year, January to January, and it took him a while to come back to his best. He’s now at an age where it’s very interesting. He has experience, he’s at his physical peak and it’s a time to stay with us.
on Arsenal’s critics…We don’t miss that, that’s for sure. We feel we have made progress since the start of the season in the way we play, the way we manage our games, in our togetherness and certainty about our football. We finished third, we won the FA Cup and since January we’ve made a huge number of points. It’s a good platform to do better next season but in England it’s not like in any other country. We have six teams who can win the Premier League. I know that people don’t accept that but it is the reality.
on winning the FA Cup for the sixth time…I’m very proud of that because if it has not been done, it shows that it is not easy. All of us want to achieve things that are difficult. It’s great for the club as well because we’ve won it 12 times, more than any other club. Personally, I’ve played in seven finals and won six, so I am very proud of that.
on whether the FA Cup will help Arsenal attract new players…I’m not in the buying mood tonight. I will buy a drink for my players. We’ll see what’s going on in the transfer market but we have a good basis. We have some time to prepare because we won’t be playing a Champions League qualifier. We have a good confidence level, so let’s show that we can be intelligent during the summer.
on whether Arsenal can push on from this…Of course we can push on. Why not? We have won the league in the past when we’ve had the potential to do it and that’s what we want to do again.
on whether he fears anyone next season…We want to show that we can match anybody next season but we don’t know how good the other teams will be. It is about consistency at the top level and we have shown signs of consistency. In the past when we have won leagues, we have been consistent. We didn’t lose for 49 games. Nobody [else] has done it. When we have a good confidence level and the quality, we can be consistent.
on what he will do to celebrate…The players have organised it all. I don’t know where we’ll go but I will follow. I organised the whole year so tonight I just want to follow!
on Alexis Sanchez…I will push for him to have a good holiday because we’ve played 56 games. Now he goes to the Copa America and it’s not ideal. The Copa America finishes at the beginning of July and I will give him four weeks’ holiday, so that’s of course important.
on Arturo Vidal…Arturo Vidal? You must be from Chile. We have good midfielders and at the moment we are not looking at Arturo Vidal.
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