Arsene Wenger and Olivier Giroud spoke to the media after Arsenal won the Barclays Asia Trophy. Here is a transcript of what they said:
Wenger on the performance…I’m pleased with the performance because the focus in pre-season is to find the quality of our game back and I think for long periods we played in a very convincing way and the way we want to play - together, with good team play. Everybody shared the same vision on the pitch of the game we want to play. That’s positive.
Wenger on being surprised at Arsenal’s sharpness…A little bit, because yesterday we had quite a good, strong session and I found the players a little bit tired. They were quite sharp here.
Wenger on the Singapore tour…I believe first of all that the game tonight was a great advert for the Premier League in Asia. For us it was a perfect trip because we had fantastic conditions, fantastic fans in the hotel every day and overall we came here with 27 players, we had two convincing games with no injury after a week, so that’s fantastic.
Wenger on Theo Walcott…He is sharp and prepared well. He is like every player - they look fit, close to full fitness. It’s quite amazing how the players are back to a good body shape and a good [level] of fitness because they prepare well. Now football has changed - they come back after holidays and they don’t start from zero. They have done their homework and he is one of them.
Wenger on how the win bodes for the season…In pre-season you start to build your confidence up and the wins help. [You improve] your fitness, and having these kind of games in the heat helps as well. The quality of the performance provoked a good intensity. For us, it’s a good preparation.
Giroud on speculation surrounding new striker…I’m not honouring this question. I’m trying to focus on my pre-season preparations. We are doing well together with a really good [cohesion] and the most important for me is that the team is always improving. If there is a new striker, it will be nice for all the team, because competition is good for everyone.
Wenger on if he has plans to discuss Walcott’s contract…Yes, because he is close to the end of is contract next season.
Giroud on memories of Singapore…We went to see the Gardens By the Bay in the middle of the week and it was fantastic. Almost everything is brand new [here], it’s fantastic. We went to the Marina Bay Sands as well and the view is amazing. People are amazing. I knew that we have a lot of fans all over the world but every time I’m surprised by their kindness. They always support us and it’s really nice for us. We are thankful for all this support.
Wenger on having 27 fully-fit players…It’s unusual but touch wood I hope it will last. We fly back now and we have the Emirates Cup next week. If we can keep everybody fit, that’s great.
Wenger on the last team winning BAT subsequently winning the league…If it was as simple as that, everybody would like to play the Asia Trophy every year. I’m long enough in the job to know that it depends on the quality of our performances. But it’s good to increase the level of confidence by performances like that.
Wenger on how much he misses Sir Alex Ferguson…You know we had some fierce battles but what is worrying for me is that I’m the oldest one now. That’s why I would have loved him to stay in the game.
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