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Extra: Boss on title race and tickets

Read extra quotes from Arsène Wenger's press conference ahead of the Watford game. For more headlines, visit our Digest page.

on the title race…The top eight can compete. At the moment the top eight can mathematically compete. I would say five or six teams.They have some ground to make up. It is different to anybody out there at the moment, even Chelsea. Of course when you have many teams in front of you it is difficult to catch up but they have the quality.

 

on if this is the best chance to win league…on if Chelsea are outsiders…I don’t know. I don’t care too much about that. My worries are about my team and what we can do. We are two points behind the leaders and what all the other teams do is up to them. What I just want to say is mathematically you cannot rule anyone out at the moment.

At the moment we are in the fight and that’s what you want. I believe we have the potential to do it and that’s what we want to show now in the coming games. I’ve been here for 19 years and we had some turning points in the history. When I arrived we had the financial potential to fight for the titles. After, when we moved into the new stadium, there was a period where we did not have the opportunity to fight for the title but we had to work very hard to stay at the top. In the last two, maybe two-and-a-half years, we are back in the fight because we have the financial potential again to get the best players. When you look well at the last two years, we’ve brought in Ozil, Alexis, Petr Cech. That shows that we are back and are capable to fight to get the best players.

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on how much his team at Watford will be mindful of Bayern…Not at all. For me the most important game is Watford because the Premier League is the most important competition, with the Champions League. I would say the Premier League is the most important competition for us.

on benefitting from no international-based injuries…You can never speculate on that. You can fight for the championship if you turn up with the performances in every single game, and I believe that we’ve just come out of a very strong performance. What is at stake is for us to again show the same quality in our performance. That means show that you can focus in every single game and turn up with the same commitment in every single game. That’s what is at stake for us. Away from home, our results in the last two years have been very strong and championship [winning] stuff. But we know that the Premier League is more difficult every year as well.

 

Aaron Ramsey celebrates scoring for Wales against Andorra

Aaron Ramsey celebrates scoring for Wales against Andorra

 

on the effects of pressure…I think our team has always performed as well as they could. We have missed some games, but every team does that. If you look at the consistency of our period where we had to fight every hard to be in the top four, we did that always. So I believe that we were always consistent. We did not always have the potential to fight for the championship maybe, but we were always consistent because we qualified 18 years for the Champions League and only one club has done better so we were always consistent.

on ticket prices…It is my job to do that (offer value for money). Overall I feel that we have made a conscious effort in our board meetings to block the increase of our tickets and in seven of the past 10 years we have not increased our prices. Overall there is a desire ion our board to stabilise and make the tickets more affordable for people. Is football more expensive? Yes, but Saturday or Sunday if you want to go to rugby you will see the tickets are expensive there as well. It is maybe part of professionalism and a modern society.

 

Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger

 

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