Arsene Wenger spoke to the media following Arsenal's 3-1 win over Stoke City on Sunday. This is a transcript of his press conference:
on the performance…We were in a position where we could take advantage of our home game and we did it. We had two [different] halves, the first one was fluent, we did well going forward. In the second half we looked jaded physically and lost our game a bit. In the end we lost our technical quality but we have shown again another aspect as well, that we can dig deep and fight when we are a bit under pressure. In the end, when the third goal went in, we just kept the result. It's been a positive, very good week for us because we won in Marseille, we won in Sunderland, we won today. Overall it was a very positive week.
on Mesut Ozil's set-pieces...When you play against Stoke you don't expect to score three goals from set-pieces and that is basically the biggest surprise to me today. It shows as well how important the delivery is. He [Ozil] is a player, when you look at his numbers, the assists are not a coincidence, it's just the reality of his game. I believe that once he is completely integrated we'll see even more of him but he has shown today that he is a great player.
on being title contenders with Ozil…Look, it's not only him. He gave a lift to everybody at the Club and, for the rest, it will be the quality of our teamwork and our teamplay that will decide that. The only thing of our position at the moment is that we are in a position where we can focus on improvement in a stable environment, so that's a good basis. For the the rest, [in] the table everyone is mathematically together.
on Ozil adjusting to English football…It shows you that football is football. When you have the ball, you make a good pass or a bad pass. The good players make a good pass and the bad players make a bad pass - [whether it is] in Spain or in England, it's exactly the same.
on Ozil's room for improvement…Yes because you could see today he has a good pace as well. At the moment he focuses a lot on his passing but he can create individually as well.
on Theo Walcott's late omission…He had an abdominal muscle problem, I don't really know what it is. Is it a question of days? I hope so, because he had a test before the game and I decided to play him. I hope it's nothing.
on Mathieu Flamini's performance…[He did] pretty well, and the two [of them] together [Flamini and Ozil] cost £21 million!
on Jack Wilshere…Jack played now five games. Normally I should have rested him today but he did fight very hard and he was a bit exhausted in the end and that's why I decided to take him off. Certainly I will not play Jack on Wednesday, we have to rotate the squad because we play again on Saturday and after that we have a massive home game in the Champions League. On Wednesday I will of course rotate the team.
on Nicklas Bendtner…I haven't decided [if he will play in the Capital One Cup] but he has a chance.
on how the mood has lifted…I said many times, even when everyone was unhappy, that my job is to make everybody happy. So when they are, I feel well. But that's just linked with the results so let's keep playing well.
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