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Pep on Alexis, Santi and Walcott

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola and midfielder Xabi Alonso faced the media shortly after the Bundesliga leaders arrived in London for their Champions League game at Emirates Stadium. Here's an extract from their press conference:

Xabi Alonso on Arsenal's position…I'm sure they were expecting more than zero points after two games, it is a surprise. But there are four games to be played and they are crucial for us and even more crucial for them. Even with zero points we know how good they are, they have very talented players with a very attacking mind. If we don’t control them well and play our game then we might have problems because of that and we need to make sure today we prepare really, really well.

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Xabi Alonso on his memories of Arsene Wenger…He has been here so many years, I think that Arsenal fans will tell you better about that. He has been so important for this club for the last two decades and he has changed the mentality and the way to play football for this club. He has a great past and he is doing great at the moment. He has been a very important football person in the last 20 years so all my respect to him because he is someone who gives that edge to the Premier League that makes it where it is right now.

Pep Guardiola on the game…In this situation they have an advantage because for them they have to win. When that happens with these kind of players, in this sort of club, with this sort of history, they are going to make the best performance possible so I cannot expect a team that does not fight 90 minutes, fight for each other and in this situation they are in an advantage. We cannot compete with that situation and you have to look for another way to compete with this enthusiasm. We have to be so intelligent to control our game. Two years ago we came here and in the first minutes Mesut Ozil missed a penalty. It was so difficult for us. I know we cannot control many minutes here in London against Arsenal so we have to be ready to defend like a team and try. If they want the ball, we want the ball.

Pep Guardiola on if it is the strongest Arsenal team he has faced…I don’t know. In my point of view, every time I have come here it has been a difficult 90 minutes. I saw some very, very, talented players so the truth is Arsenal are in a very good shape, everybody is fit and they have no injuries. My old player Alexis is in top form. How he moves between the lines to create space is amazing. Theo Walcott does not play just as a right winger, he plays up front so that is why makes is a difference as he is so fast and it is difficult to control him. Obviously when a team decides to put Santi Cazorla as a playmaker it is the best signal of how they want to play. Normally in that position they play big strong guys to run and Arsenal decide to put Cazorla, When that happens, they are going to play well and they have done in the last month, especially in the Premier League.

Santi Cazorla in action against Bayern Munich

Santi Cazorla in action

 

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