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‘This was ideal preparation for us'

Arsene Wenger in his MLS All-Star press conference

Arsene Wenger spoke to the media after his side ended their tour of California with a 3-1 victory over Chivas Guadalajara on Sunday night.

Here's what he said:

on the game…It was an ideal game against a very determined Chivas. Overall I think it was interesting for us because we needed to be patient as they started better than us. After 20 minutes we came into the game and we got a comfortable win in the end. It was very interesting to see some young players - we had a very young defence. Overall it was a positive experience for us.

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on starting pre-season with three wins…Every game is different and you have to perform every time you play. From your past wins you get confidence and credit but you have to be humble enough every time to think that you have to show again that you are a good team. That is what is at stake. It’s better to win than to lose but it’s only preparation at the moment. A positive preparation can create confidence but we know we have a tricky start.

on how important Santi is…He is our technical security in midfield and we missed him for five or six months last season. At the moment he is not completely there on the fitness front. That’s why I took him off at half-time. He’s a bit behind the others physically but I think he will be alright, maybe not on August 15th, but at the end of August he should be alright.

on Rob Holding…I am impressed by his performances and by his capacity to adapt very quickly to a higher level. He shows intelligence, composure, character and it’s impressive. You do not see that often.

on if he expects to sign Shkodran Mustafi…We have not closed any deal with anybody at the moment. That’s the answer. You speak about Mustafi. Is it Mustafi or anybody else - we haven’t concluded anything at the moment.

on if a deal is close…No.

on if he’s interested in Lacazette…I can understand that you are interested in transfers but I’m not ready to come out on any name.

on Bielik, Chambers and Holding…At the moment we have Per Mertesacker out and we have Laurent Koscielny still on holiday, plus Gabriel. One of them will play at the start of the season or at least be in the squad. At the moment I have a look at everybody and after I will make my final decision. But as you just said, it’s true that Holding adapted very quickly. All the three have top quality and all the three miss a little bit of experience. I’ll have to make a decision in two weeks.

on Guardiola coming to England…It’s great because it’s a little bit like a world championship of managers because all the best managers come to England to make our lives even more difficult! That’s what you want, for the Premier League to be interesting. The more we have quality managers, the more it will be interesting and create interest from the outside world.

on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain…It’s a very important season for him. He has been out for a long, long time. He has been injured and did not go to the European Championship, like he should have done if he had been fit. That’s why I’m cautious with him. I gave him 45 minutes [against MLS All-Stars], now 70 minutes. I hope I can get him through and fit for the start of the season. [He gives us] power, penetration. He has it all, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. It’s difficult what he doesn’t have - that’s why I would like him to get to the level he can go to. Maybe he doesn’t completely believe himself how good he can be and that’s the final step for him.

on if results in US will transfer to Premier League…By continuing to focus on the quality of what we want to do. We still have some problems to sort out - to defend better, our offensive game was quite interesting in matches. For us it’s very important to focus and improve the quality of our game. After that, the reality starts on August 14 for us and until then the preparation puts us in a good psychological condition to start well. We play Liverpool, go to Leicester, so the start provides very strong tests.

 

Rob Holding celebrates

Rob Holding celebrates