Wenger on the win, Ozil and belief

 Arsène Wenger spoke to the media after Arsenal's 2-1 win against Manchester City on Monday. This is what he said:

on the message it sends to other teams…I’m not sure what sort of message that sends but for us it was a vital game. It is a game you come out very happy as we have shown all types of ingredients you need in these big games. Good organisation, strong solidarity, high work rate, moments of brilliance and moments where we needed to hang on because that is important as well. We could kill the game and we had the chances to do it. When they came back to 2-1 we were a bit under pressure but I believe it was very intense for both teams. You had times where you had players on the ground at both sides of the pitch because of that total commitment.


on belief this being the year…It is too early to say we can win the league but the win strengthens our belief. You come out and realise you have earned your right to win these games. We have to be ready to fight like that in every single game and you do that quite [often]. It is quite interesting on my side because there is real life in the team, real togetherness and real solidarity, so let’s take care of that.

on Mesut Ozil’s quality…At the end of the day someone who gives the guy the ball who scores the goal. In our team most of the time Ozil is this player. When you look at this and you see he is the guy who makes us win.

on the difference in Ozil this year…He is much more mature and is much more keen to take on responsibility. I personally think he has built on his physical attributes and commitment. You see his desire to win, he plays to win the games and maybe this kind of talent is exceptional. He realises he can help us in every single game.

on if he needs a rest…He had a chest infection for the week and was in bed. He only had one training session yesterday and, for a guy who could not prepare well, he has done very well physically. I’m a bit cautious though because we have lost three or four players recently.

on Alexis…I think he will be back January 10. Christmas period - you can’t count him.

on if he has had a setback…He had a slight one yet but he planned to be on the bench tonight but he is so keen. He has got a little bit of a pain and we didn’t take a gamble.

on when Alexis had his setback…Two days ago.

on the celebrations of the win I went in straight away. But it is a significant game because when you look at Manchester City and the quality they have on the pitch. We know at the end they will be there fighting for the championship and we know this kind of team.

on playing Walcott out wide…I change it a little bit game by game and see where he can be efficient because Theo is a decisive player. At Aston Villa he did that and got a penalty, and, before the final pass, he gave the ball to Ozil. Today he finished. One of his strengths is the quality of his movement and if you can get it to Ozil, he can find him and his quality of movement is exceptional. I think Theo had a very good, strong, fighting performance and his defensive performance was top level today.

on a more comfortable side…We are more mature defending. We have moments. Today we turned between playing very high and very deep. When we were playing very deep we were not too much in trouble. They have players who can tuck in like De Bruyne and Silva who you do not want to get on the ball in the last 30 yards. Overall we did that tactically well.

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