The boss spoke to the media ahead of Arsenal's game against Stoke City. Below are extra quotes from his press conference:
on Giroud still being underestimated…Not in my opinion. If that exists, it will not last, because people never deny evidence. If he continues to develop as a player and continues to score goals, he will be rated like he deserves to be. I don’t know one player in my whole life who has been underrated for his whole career.
on if he wants to sign any more players…Ideally, personally I would prefer to have the players back from injuries, like Welbeck for example, who has been out since April last year. I’m confident that I won’t find a better player than Welbeck on the market today. If you give me the choice, I would prefer to have all my injured players back and go into the end of the season with everybody available.
Would you like more subs on the bench?We would need to buy two coaches to travel! No, I think I have enough opportunities [on the bench]. Let’s not forget, because of my age, I played football when we had no substitutes at all, and now we have seven available. That looks to me enough. Sometimes, I would say, when you go into a cup final, you would like to have your whole squad being rewarded and being on the bench. Special occasions maybe but overall, week in week out I think seven is enough.
Will Real Madrid’s transfer ban lead to a spike during this window?No, I thought a bit like that when I heard the news, but straight away they will appeal, the appeal will cancel the ban and they will be allowed to buy in the next two transfer windows like they did before. That’s what will happen.
Will the Leicester bubble burst?To be completely honest with you I thought they might not last, [but] I have changed my opinion today because their remarkable consistency makes them one of the contenders. When the bubble bursts, most of the time it’s before Christmas or during the Christmas period. They didn’t. So I believe you have to count Leicester.
Reaction to recent scandals in sport…The message is that we have all to fight against doping because you and I celebrated super champions who in fact maybe only cheats. When you are in sport you suffer when you don’t win, so at least you want to know that the guy is better than you without cheating. I said many times that in sport we have celebrated heroes who were in fact only cheats. We have to make sure, all together, that that doesn’t happen. In football for a long time we ignored, absolutely, doping. I alerted the authorities a few times. I’ve been interviewed because of that, because I spoke in my press conferences against doping and I will maintain that. For a long time we were just a bit too neglecting. Now I think UEFA and FIFA will tackle the problem really seriously in the coming years.
on if Alexis’ return is an extra weapon…That’s our intention. At the moment we are at the beginning of January, we are in a strong position in the league and we have qualified in the Champions League [where] you can say we have an easy draw! We are still in the FA Cup so overall we are still in a position where we can make our season a fantastic season. The fact that we have players coming back from injuries will help, yes.
Copyright 2023 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.