Arsene Wenger spoke to the media after Arsenal's draw with West Ham in the Premier League. Below is a transcript of what was said:
on why Carroll was so good…First of all because he is good in the air. We lost a bit of urgency when we were 2-0 up after 43 minutes. We had a good game today but a bad result. We played with a weakness that is redundant in the season. If you look at the goals we have conceded since the start of the season, [most of them] are headers in our box. That happened today.
on if he should have been sent off…Yes, of course. [I felt] he is lucky to finish the game.
on Carroll's aerial threat…Yes. But that does not mean we have to concede headers if he stays on the pitch. We have to look at ourselves and we cannot influence the decision of the referee.
on if he expected Carroll to start…No, I didn’t expect him to start at all. He has not played in the last five or six games.
on why Arsenal struggled…It is difficult to go into any assessment of performances. I have to look at it again. I don’t think Koscielny was at fault at the goal. The first goal, when you are 2-0 up with 43 minutes played, with the experience we have and the way we mastered the ball, then at 45 minutes it is 2-2, you [put] yourself [in] a decline. This is because you give hope to the other team, that is where that little moment in the game made us pay heavily.
on Ospina…The thinking [behind choosing Ospina] was that he has had some outstanding performances. With Petr Cech or David Ospina, we have exactly the same problem in the air. We didn’t concede in the last two games. Since the beginning of the season, we have had exactly the same problem, no matter who plays.
on where it leaves Arsenal…Third in the league with 59 points. That is not where we want to be but we have made it much more difficult for ourselves now to have a chance to win the Premier League. We have to keep going no matter what and hope. You never know what can happen. As well, we have to look behind us as people are chasing us. We have to be serious and focus on finishing as high as possible. Where that is, I don’t know. This is one of the places where you could drop points but you see the game and feel guilty you have dropped points.
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