Wenger on the Saints, Giroud and Walcott

Arsene Wenger spoke to the media after the victory over Southampton. Here is what he had to say:

on winning with no problems…Yeah, we can go home if you want!

on the midfield resembling one of Arsenal's great sides…We have a long way to go to do that but we have the ambition and I think the focus, the concentration, the desire are there. We played against a good Southampton side today who tried to stop us from playing. They did it well and in the end we couldn't take our chances but we took advantage of their two mistakes. Overall you could see why they have played a draw at Man United, why they had won at Liverpool because they conceded only five goals until today. They are a team who is very well organised and our technical quality helped us to get away with a win today.

"They are a team who is very well organised and our technical quality helped us to get away with a win"

Arsene Wenger

on Giroud surprising Boruc…He maybe surprised the goalkeeper certainly or did the goalkeeper glide a little bit? I don't know. He did that very well and Olivier [Giroud] is a positive character who is always ready for a battle. He is maybe a little bit different to the rest of the team. He gives us so much with his physical presence, with his link play which he has improved tremendously. He has the mental qualities and a positive attitude.

on Giroud breaking into double figures…Other strikers will tell you ‘I am not obsessed by scoring goals’ but if they don’t, they are sick! It is a relief on their shoulders. I believe as well that he didn’t expect himself to score so many from the start of the season, but it can only boost his confidence.

on enjoying the physical challenge…It was a very physical game today and we had to be patient and intelligent not to make the first mistake, because it could have been a very difficult game if we had conceded the first goal. That is where maybe we have improved in our defensive stability when the game is difficult.

on Giroud relishing it…He has a big frame and he uses his upper body well.

"I am convinced that after a break like that, the character is tested. Can you win when you have to, straightaway after a big defeat"

Arsene Wenger

on penalty takers…Giroud is designated third penalty taker, Ozil is second.

on finding strikers…I have said many times that Europe still produces many fantastic football players, but if you look well we do not produce strikers well. vVery few, all of the big strikers come from South America. In the summer, you had Falcao going to Monaco, Cavani going to PSG in a big transfer, Suarez everybody wanted to buy him, Higuain has gone to Napoli for a lot of money, but in Europe that is an area where it is difficult to find. In Germany, I can remember in every club you had a big striker, they produced some fantastic ones, but they do not produce young strikers. Is that a consequence of the way we coach? Of modern life? I do not know.

on Giroud’s success with France…That helps of course. If France had gone out, maybe he would not have chased the ball on the goalkeeper today, I don’t know, maybe pyshcologically it helps.

on whether he’s told Szczesny to avoid it…Yes - I told him to kick it to me on the bench!

on keeping clean sheets…We have improved our defensive stability. After an international break you have always two challenges, one is to get the team to focus again as a team because we have been spread all over the world, and you have very little time to get the focus point right. The second is physical, because they all come back in different levels of fatigue, some have not trained a lot. The first point we got right, the team were highly focused, we suffered a bit physically but overall the concentration was there.

on a strong response…I am convinced that after a break like that, the character is tested. Can you win when you have to in a season like that, straightaway again after a big defeat [to Manchester United]? That was really at stake for us.

on Walcott…He has been out for seven weeks. You could see he is still a bit short physically, but he has not played at all for seven weeks and only one day training with the group, so that will come back quickly.

on Ryo…He has a hamstring problem. I think it will be 10 days.

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