Wenger on victory, Chelsea and Cech

Arsene Wenger faced the media after Arsenal beat Chelsea 1-0 to win the Community Shield. You can read a full transcript of the press conference below:

on the win…It was an intense game. We scored the first goal and after that you could see two teams playing with full concentration, full commitment. Maybe in some parts during the game we just tried to protect our lead but you could see that my team was really determined not to give a goal away. Sometimes we lost offensive potential by focusing on our defensive side, but every time we attacked we had chances. We had many chances today and the best chances were on our side. We won against a good team, we won another trophy… so that’s positive.

on whether Arsenal abandoned their philosophy…We abandoned nothing. We defended well. Our game is based on togetherness, on solidarity, and defending and attacking well. I believe that we defended because there was maybe a bit of a psychological hurdle ahead of my players. They were more concerned with protecting our lead against Chelsea rather than playing attacking football. We have to accept that and I don’t think that’s giving up your philosophy, it’s a punctual fact that we wanted to win a game like that. I’m quite proud of that.

on whether it is satisfying to beat Jose Mourinho…There’s an extra satisfaction because we won a game between two very good teams, and we also didn’t concede a goal against the offensive potential that Chelsea has. At the end we wanted to win and we won.

on beating Mourinho for the first time…I must honestly say that it didn’t play on my mind at all. As long as I get it served every time in press conferences it can have an impact on the team. Certainly the way my team behaved during some periods in the game, it helped. It was important for them to get that hurdle out of the way.


on whether he is still hurt by Mourinho’s comments…We live in a job where you have to respect people and respect everybody. It’s a difficult job and we just think it’s vital - and I’ve said this many times in managers’ meetings - that managers respect each other.

on Jack Wilshere…He couldn’t take part in the game today because of an ankle problem he sustained yesterday. It happened at the training ground. We don’t think it’s bad at all but I haven’t been told whether it will be two days or five days. I don’t know how long he will not be available for. It’s a matter of days.

on Arsenal’s confidence going into the season…Confidence-wise it’s good, it’s positive, and it allows you to focus on your next game with belief. It shows your players that they’re doing something right and apart from that, now the Premier League starts. We have to turn up with the needed and demanded performance in every single game. We have a tricky start against West Ham United, Crystal Palace - the two derbies - and then Liverpool straight after. We need to keep a high level of urgency to start well because last year we had that problem.

on Petr Cech…He did well. Maybe he had an influence on the Chelsea players as well because they felt that to score against him they had to score the perfect goal. When you have that sometimes you want to try too hard. It happened especially with Eden Hazard when he had that chance in the box.

on attacking options…It depends on the games. I tried to see the options I have through the season. I felt today that I wanted to use Theo’s pace to go in behind. In the first half he worked very hard, didn’t get too much service, but he worked very hard. In the second half when Giroud came on I think he gave us a physical presence that was needed at that time as well.

on Karim Benzema rumours…No, nothing is happening. Honestly no. I don’t know who brings that up. Is it Spanish media or English media? I don’t know.

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