Wenger on the win, Gabriel, Debuchy

Arsene Wenger was a happy man on Sunday after his side returned to winning ways with a hard-fought 3-1 victory against Bournemouth.

But the result came at a cost as Mathieu Debuchy limped off and Olivier Giroud picked up a knock.

This is what the boss had to say:

on whether he was surprised by Bournemouth’s quality…
Not really because they weren’t exactly the side I wanted to play after Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain. They are a tricky side who can keep the ball and, if you’re not well organised, you can be in trouble. On top of that, I felt we started well but when they equalised we were nervous and that’s where having three consecutive draws played a little bit on our minds. At half-time it was down to us to calm down and focus on the game we wanted to play. In the second half we created many dangerous situations but Bournemouth remained dangerous too because they can keep the ball well and attack very well. They’re one of the teams who can compare their possession with the top teams in the Premier League.

on Gabriel…
When I picked the squad I imagined that something could happen to Debuchy. I had Francis Coquelin ready to play right back as well because he can play there, but I went for Gabriel because he’s a defender and is very quick. He adapted well. I watched tapes of him playing full back at Villarreal. On two or three occasions he played at left back and I found just one tape of him playing at right back. He was playing in Brazil and I must say that it was not super convincing, but today he did well.

on the penalty…
My view is that we should have had a penalty for a foul on Alexis, and that the penalty which was given [against us] was a very soft one. It was a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge and I was really amazed that he gave a penalty.


on it changing the dynamics of the game…
From that moment on, we became nervous and they suddenly because more dynamic going forward. We lost some balls and put ourselves in trouble. We had to calm down at half-time and just focus on the game.

on the strength of his bench…
It’s as well the first time I made seven changes compared to Wednesday night. When you go in the Premier League, I think it’s a long time since I have done that, to change seven players, keeper included to go from a Champions League game into a Premier League game. That’s why I have top-quality players on the bench.

on Walcott…
Yeah, he got a kick but nothing major. The only worry we have is Giroud, he looked a little bit to touch his hamstring. We have to see how big the damage is.

on Giroud being on the ground at the end…
With the hamstring. In the first moment, he told me that he felt a twitch in the back of his hamstring and we will see. I hope it’s not too bad because he told me after that when he sprinted he didn’t feel anything.

on Debuchy…
He thinks it’s a severe one. Don’t go too far because I have to speak to medical people, but you can only assess it really after 48 hours. You have to let it bleed and after, usually they have an MRI 48 hours later to see how big the damage is.


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