Wenger on the draw, Iwobi and a replay

Arsene Wenger spoke to the media after his side were held to a goalless draw by Hull City on Saturday afternoon.

Here's a transcript of what he said:

on why Arsenal didn’t win…Because Hull defended well, because their ‘keeper played well, because our final ball was maybe not good enough and because when we could give the ball in the final third, we decided [to go for] an individual solution.

on Eldin Jakupovic…The goalkeeper did well of course, but we had maybe 70 per cent possession and more than 20 shots on goal, and we didn’t score. We have to look at ourselves as well, even if you can give credit to their ‘keeper.

on if the replay is a nightmare to schedule…The nightmare would have been to go out. The frustration is that we didn’t score and it’s not what we wanted, to have a replay, but between that and going out, we choose the replay. I am happy for the replay [as opposed to going out]. We need to be more efficient in the final third, because today we had more than 70 per cent possession and we will not have that on Tuesday night. That means we’ll have to be more efficient with much less of the ball.

on if the Barcelona game affected his selection…I played a team that, in my opinion, had the quality to win the game today. The Barcelona game was not in my mind today. I rested Ramsey and Ozil completely, because they’ve played many games since the start of the season. When I can do it, I do it. Mesut Ozil was a bit sick over the week, so I decided to leave him out completely. Ramsey has played many games, so that’s why I kept him out.

on if it’s a shame that both teams made many changes…A shame? No, because that would mean that the players in the squad are not good enough, which I don’t think [is true]. If you look at the players that played in our team, Ospina, Chambers, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, they are all internationals, [as are] Elneny, Flamini, then yes, Iwobi. People want you to give a chance to young players. When you play them, they say ‘it’s a shame’. Up front we had Walcott, Welbeck and Campbell, all internationals. People always want you to buy more and more players. When you play them, they say ‘why did you play them?’ I think the team was of quality and that’s not an excuse.


Iwobi v Hull City Getty


on if replay presents problems regarding player selection…If we don’t have injuries, I think we can cope with it. If we get two or three injuries, then it will be much more difficult for us.

on if Ozil will be ok for Tuesday…Yes.

on if he has any other injury concerns…No, from today I believe the positive of the day is that Welbeck came through quite well. He started for the first time in 10 months and he was one of the positives of the day.

on what he meant by saying Ozil was sick…A cold. It’s nothing major.

on coming across as relaxed about the result…I am not as relaxed as I look! Honestly, [if I were] nervous or angry, it wouldn’t change the result. I would be if it would change the result. It’s not what we planned but in football it doesn’t always go like that. It’s how you respond and how you find the solution to what we face now. It means we have to go to Hull and we have to qualify.

on saying before the game he liked replays…No, I said I like the English formula because it’s a little bit special. I like the idea that in England you don’t do things like anywhere else. That’s why you negotiate in Brussels at the moment as well!

on when the replay could be…I don’t know. We’re not sure.

on excitement ahead of Barcelona…I was excited about the game today but of course, it’s an exciting game. We were the favourites today but we won’t be on Tuesday night. On Tuesday night, we’ll need great solidarity because we’ll need to defend well, and make the maximum of our possession, which we didn’t do today.

on if Arsenal can win the first leg…Of course we’ll try to win this game. I want to go home now because they play at 5.30 and I want to watch it.

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