Arsene Wenger discussed Arsenal’s Champions League group of Paris Saint-Germain, Basel and Ludogorets at his press conference on Friday.
You can read a full transcript of what the manager had to say below:
on the draw…As we were in pot two, we got what we basically expected. Maybe Paris Saint-Germain is the favourite, but we want to qualify of course and if possible finish first in the group. We start in Paris, so that will be a very interesting test. At the moment, we don’t know a lot about Ludogorets and Basel, if you look at their record against English teams you become cautious. They’ve done extremely well against Chelsea, against Manchester United, and I believe we have to be on our toes and prepare very well.
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on PSG’s strength…They are the team who has absolutely unlimited financial potential and they have bought really well. But of course we want to challenge that. We’ll see - it’s a good test for us to play against PSG. Our first game is on the 13th of September, let’s hope we can get a good first result there. They have hit the headlines on the transfer market in the last five or six years.
on Ligue 1’s competitiveness…It was a little bit a handicap last year for them, I feel [that they won the title so easily]. They were in the position of Bayern the year before. They won the championship in January and to maintain the focus after is a bit difficult.
on why Basel have done so well in recent seasons…I believe it’s a mixture of them being the dominant team in Switzerland, so they do what they want in their own country, and they also have good coaches in Switzerland too. They have a good youth development system, and Basel especially have done some good scouting. They discovered Mohamed Salah, Mohamed Elneny, players from Egypt who maybe the English clubs don’t watch too much. They’ve been scouted in countries where there’s less competitive edge maybe compared to big leagues.
on the top-four English clubs being guaranteed Champions League football…It’s good but I like them being there on sporting merit. The rules have changed a little bit and I haven’t looked at them yet, so it’s very difficult for me to assess it, but the fact that we’ll have four English teams in the competition is great.
on drawing Nottingham Forest in the EFL Cup…We want to do well in this cup because we have a big squad. That’s a competition we’ve always played with our younger players and we’ll certainly integrate some younger players who have a promising future in this competition.
More quizzes to come later in the season!
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