Wenger on the Ox, Theo and Lincoln

There has been a lot of talk about Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s future at the club in recent days, and Arsene Wenger addressed it at his press conference on Thursday.

The Arsenal manager also discussed squad harmony and Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup quarter-final against Lincoln, and this is what he had to say:

on Theo Walcott’s comments about seeing arguments in training…No. A lot has been said about that which is exaggerated. We have a good, united, determined group. When you go through disappointing results, you always have some disagreements but overall the best way to respond is always in the game. We have to show how united and determined we are. Overall, on that front I don’t worry. In our job, you have to be competitive and competitiveness doesn’t always mean love. It is about performing. In the past, it’s not the team who loves each other the most who is the best on the football field.

on talk about the Ox leaving in the summer…I haven’t seen that. I’m surprised by that because I believe that he has been developed well, he is developing well at the moment and he has been given his chance. When you are somewhere, you have to want to be there first. After that, the only thing I can say is that personally I rate him highly. I showed that in the way I keep faith in him when he spent long times out injured. He’s developing very well at the moment.

on if the Ox will be here next season…I personally wish that he stays at the club, because I think he’s a very promising player who has developed very well and who looks to me to have the values that we rate at this club.

on if the FA Cup offers reason for optimism…The FA Cup is the next game, and of course, when you’ve had a disappointment like we had in the last game, it’s important [to respond].

on everyone expecting his side to win on Saturday…We are favourites, but when you are at a big club, you are favourites 90 per cent of the time and you have to deal with that. It’s the next game and in the next game, people expect us to win, so there’s a pressure there of course.


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