Extra: Wenger on Debuchy and cup replays

Read extra quotes from Arsene Wenger's press conference ahead of Saturday’s game against Hull City:

on if he blocked Debuchy’s loan to Man United…I hope that’s not surprising to you. If Man United wants to buy a player… you loan players out to clubs who do not have the resources, but not to direct opponents. There was nothing shocking in that and it’s true, I stand up for that.

on if he was surprised United tried to get Debuchy on loan…I was surprised, yes. I can understand it but I found that logical [to block the loan].

on winning against Leicester City...It was a must win game, like we said before the game, and it [the winning goal] was just, just, just in the final second of the game. There was a lot of joy and relief, especially because we were 1-0 down. Leicester City has only lost there games [this season] and twice against us and I believe we have done our job.


on scrapping FA Cup replays…I am now vaccinated against the FA rules after such a long time, I have become very conservatively English. I am quite a bit nervous about changing the rules because I like them now, I believe as well it looks like we always get more money and want to play less games. that is a little bit of a contradiction. next season we have even more money coming in, so every single club will have 25 top level players. I am convinced all of the clubs can compete with the number of games we have to play, so there is no real need for me to change the rules. This is the most traditional competition in England, so lets respect it and keep it as it is.

on a winter break…I have nothing against it but then again you need to find dates. If it is to shorten the break in the summer, I am against it because we face now more and more summer periods where we cannot prepare our teams because the preparation is too short. lets not forget that the European Championship has gone to 24 teams and even the European Championship is now one month. It finishes teh10 July, and you start the Premier League on August 10 so if it is to shorten that [period] on top of that, I am against it. If we can find a little break in the winter, after Christmas, I am happy.

on a bonus system for teams getting into the Europa League…We have had meetings many times about that in Geneva at European managers’ meetings. The best incentive is that you can qualify for the Champions League. That is what we decided and demanded and got, so on top that we don’t need bonuses for teams who are already very rich. It’s an opportunity for us to do well in Europe and for all the English teams who play in the Europa League. I’m sure they want to win it because you qualify directly for the Champions League as well as winning a trophy. I don’t think you need a special bonus on top of that.

on whether he is focusing on Barcelona yet…Not really, no. I consider the FA Cup being an opportunity to see some players who have not played recently, like Elneny. It has been decided that Ospina will play so it’s just a coincidence. For me it’s an important game. The best way to prepare for Barcelona is to beat Hull tomorrow. If we don’t do that then we put ourselves in a very bad position to prepare for Hull. The momentum is important and we have to show that mentally we are capable of winning by focusing on every single game.

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