Wenger on Xhaka, Garde and Watford

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

on Granit Xhaka…At the moment we are starting to analyse players and get little lists of names, but I don’t think it’s the time for us to come out with names.

on whether Xhaka is on that list…I will send you the list if you want!

on players being in good form for their countries… It is always good when the players come back [from international duty] with a positive experience as it is good for that confidence. We finished just before the break with a good game and I think both vibes together will help us with the game tomorrow.


on a feeling of what might have been…No, at the moment we focus on giving our best until the end of the season, then we will judge the season. We have been involved in many competitions as well, so it was not always easy. We have had many injuries as well at an important moment of the season. But let’s not judge too much. Our job is to perform until the last day of the season, so let’s do our job. That's the most important thing, not to talk too much. Talking is not our job, performing is our job and it’s important that we focus on that.

on being united…The supporters always have to get united and be behind the team. My individual case is to perform, and to give my best to the team to be successful until the end of the season. That’s what it is about. After that, this club has values and one of the values is that we respect our contract. And people who work for the club respect their contract so that shouldn’t be a surprise. I have been here for 19 years and I always did that.

on the last four or five weeks…[It has been] very difficult but I believe you focus on giving your best and performing and I think our last two games – at Barcelona and at Everton – were very positive and that shows that the team responds very well, even when we have a difficult period. That’s what it is about. Some teams sink, and some others respond. We have responded in a very storming and efficient way. We have to respect the culture of our club, and play our game and respect our style of play.

on Remi Garde…It’s disappointing. When he was appointed it was more of a long-term appointment at the time. Villa were in a very weak position to remain in the Premier League and I think he considered that they could go down. Unfortunately he wasn’t given the time to rebuild the team and have a go at coming up again next season. Villa have been unstable with their managers over the recent years. They’ve used many, many managers and it’s a good demonstration that [changing managers] is not a good solution to being successful.

on learning from Watford… Watford is an efficient team, who had three shots on goal and scored two goals [in the FA Cup tie at Emirates Stadium]. They defend well, are organised and are strong physically. I believe we need to be more efficient with the chances we create, because we created plenty of chances. We want to transform the amount of goals we expect to score. Our [shot conversion] percentage needs to be higher.

on Quique Sanchez Flores…He has done extremely well. Watford was a candidate to fight to avoid relegation and with seven games to go they are quite safe so I think he has done extremely well – beyond expectations.

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