Arsene Wenger faced the media at London Colney on Tuesday ahead of his side’s Champions League Group A clash against Ludogorets.
 
The Arsenal manager was asked about Olivier Giroud’s return, Granit Xhaka’s red card against Swansea and how the Premier League is shaping up.
 
This is what he had to say:
 
on Giroud’s return…
He is an important player in our squad. The squad is not 11, we are 25 players and everybody will contribute at different parts of the season. What sometimes looks permanent in October is completely revolutionised in December. We all have only one target: to be successful together, no matter who it is.
 
on Xhaka’s red card…
It is one red card. We are not responsible for the red cards he got somewhere else. Yes, he made a foul that could have got him a yellow card, that could have got him a red card and it was not meant to hurt anybody. It was just a late tackle to stop the counter-attack that has been punished. He is intelligent enough to analyse that as well.
 
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on the title race…

It’s difficult to say, to predict. But what you see after eight games played — it’s tight. That shows that it’s down to how well you can play in every single game to keep up there and to fight for the championship. We have to show that we can be consistent, I think the team is focused, the team wants to play the football we want, they believe in what we do and with our good ingredients after we have to show the desire, the hunger in every single game.
 
on player contract negotiations…
It was always difficult. Honestly, what has changed is the size of the numbers but the difficulty was always the same. It’s always difficult to keep the good players because they are wanted by other clubs and it’s normal as well that the players try to get the maximum out of their negotiations because they have 10 years to play at the top level if all goes well. So it has always been difficult, you know, just the numbers have changed.
 

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