Arsene Wenger faced the media after Arsenal’s goalless draw against Liverpool at Emirates Stadium on Monday. You can read a full transcript of his press conference below:
on a clean sheet being a positive…Yes. You’ve summed it up well.
on Aaron Ramsey’s goal was incorrectly ruled out…Yes. I cannot say the opposite. It was a regular goal. It was a period of the game where we maybe had the most problems defensively but it’s a regular goal. I can’t see why it was cancelled. It’s clear and on that front you cannot say that Liverpool can complain.
on whether he has spoken to the referee…Yes. I didn’t ask for any explanation. What does it change? It’s about decision-making and he got it wrong. I could see live that he could not be offside. He started his run behind his man. I could see it from where I was but I thought maybe the angle on TV was different. It was not and I must say that Liverpool played well in the first half. We were insecure defensively and we gave them many balls. We created trouble for ourselves but even in the first half we had chances.
on Petr Cech…During that period, yes he was outstanding.
on losing both centre backs before the game…Chambers and Gabriel do not have the experience of playing together, they’ve come in from one day into the next, but overall we didn’t concede. Petr Cech saved us two or three times in the first half. In the second half I think we should’ve won the game. We were a bit unlucky, we lacked a bit physically and collectively to finish what we started. Our game is still not fluent enough in the final third, and that’s why we didn’t score. The West Ham game left a trace in our heads, and it was important tonight not to lose because you could see that was a shock for us and it was important for us to get that game out of our system.
on not scoring at home…That will not last. It’s a fact, I agree, but I believe that we know we can score goals and that will come back.
on Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny…Mertesacker is sick. How long will that sickness take? I don’t know. Koscielny has a back problem. Having said that, our two centre backs played well in the second half.
on Calum Chambers’ response…He responded well. It was important for him. You sit there and you wonder how far he can go without losing competitive confidence. In the second half he did well. He’s a good footballer and he will come out of that stronger, with the belief that when he had difficult moments he can come out of it stronger.
on whether he was tempted to take Chambers off at half-time…You’re always tempted. I wondered whether I needed offensive players on the pitch. I knew that the most important thing for us was to get to half-time at 0-0. We knew the second half would be different.
on whether it is arrogant to not sign a defensive midfielder…I don’t know what that has to do with arrogance. You find all kinds of attributes from this. I’m here so I’m quite used to it and I try to do my job well, which is all I try to do. I’ve been doing that for 20 years in England. After that, I leave the judgement to everybody, for them to assess the quality of my work.
on whether Arsenal need more powerful midfielders…Everybody has their opinion and everybody is entitled to have an opinion. I could prove to you that it’s not necessarily right, but let’s not go into that debate tonight. When you don’t win, you’re wrong and people always find reasons why. Are they the good reasons? I think I have enough experience and intelligence to know when it’s right and when it’s wrong.
on bringing Theo Walcott on for Olivier Giroud…It was a purely tactical decision.
on lacking fluency in the final third…The sharpness is missing a little bit in some players. I would like to give credit to Liverpool as well. They defended well, they were quick to close us down and we had problems getting out of position. With the domination we had in the second half, as long as you don’t score the first goal, the team doesn’t come out. We had the chances but we are still missing a little bit of a spontaneous attitude to finish what we start well.
on how frustrating it is to lack sharpness…We have started very averagely, I must concede, because we have four points after two home games. Maybe we won the most difficult game away from home. At home at the moment we haven’t scored.
on transfer rumours…That story [is dead] but it has always been created every week, again and again. We do not master that situation. When the player has a contract it’s the club who owns the contract who decides that and I have said that many times. We want to master the situation of the players who are under contract with us. We had Wilshere and Welbeck out tonight, Alexis is not completely at his best. We know that we can score goals and we will score goals again.
on Danny Welbeck…After the international break, if all goes well, he can come back.
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