Arsene Wenger faced the media after the Cardiff City matchon New Year's Day. Here is a transcript of his press conference:
on a late victory…We had a slow start, that can happen sometimes when you play so many games and it was important for us that they didn’t score the first goal today and to find some pace in the second half. That is what we did and it looked like in the last 25 minutes like the goal was coming but sometimes it doesn’t, and not only does it not come but you are then caught on the counter-attack. We needed resilience and intelligence not to make a mistake at the back and continue to go forward. In the end, Nicklas got us great relief.
on Bendtner…He is a player who has gone through some difficult periods so I just want to give him great credit. I told him already today that he is back to the level I want him to be at, and if he continues to develop like that he will come back into the team. Unfortunately he got injured today and it looks like it is not a question of days, but weeks, with a sprained anke. I am very sad for us, but for him as well.
on what that does to transfer plans…I don’t know, it doesn’t mean we go straight from Nicklas’ ankle straight to the transfer market. It means that we have Giroud and Bendtner out.
on Podolski’s performance…he has not played for four months and he lacked a little bit the sharpness that is needed up front. He needed a game and he got it today. it was not easy for him because Cardiff were very well organised and worked hard.
on Bendtner’s bad luck in getting injured…Usually he is not a fragile player, he was a bit unlucky. He said he landed on the foot of a cardiff player and turned his ankle.
on him turning things around…I never gove up on people because you always have to give them credit. i know the expression of the fans is only the diagnosis of the day, the photo of the day. they are always ready to change their mind if you put the effort and the performance in.
on Bendtner being able to talk to other clubs…It is January 1 so we cannot stop him [talking to clubs abroad] but he says he wants to stay here. If he is focused on staying with us and his job, he is a great striker.
on needing everyone to contribute...We have a good togetherness in the side, the players come on with the right attitude and that makes the difference. You know that if you do not have that in the championship [race], then you have no chance to do it. We have that in the squad, we have to take care of that spirit and show it in every game. on Bendtner's potential...When you are a manager, you always feel responsible to get the maximum out of a player because you want to influence their life in a positive way. When you don't manage to do it, it is frustrating. on the half-time team talk...We wanted to play higher up because we gave them too much comfort in possession in the first half, we wanted to speed up our tempo. We did it quite well, but Cardiff is certainly physically the fittest team in the league. on Solskjaer being at the game...I have seen him before the game - and they played like they knew he was in the stand! on Cardiff's hopes of survival...Cardiff have the basic ingredients to survive in the Premier League. You would say if you look at their record they need to add a few more goals offensively to stay in the league. If he can find that in the final third, then they will stay in the league because they have the basic quality to do it. on Solskjaer possibly taking over...It is a chance. Basically what you want when you are young is a chance and after you have to make the maximum of that chance. He has already experience as a manager in Norway, so he has learned his job. He was an intelligent player, so he is an intelligent boy as well, and that will help him to be successful. on Ozil's fitness...He thinks Ozil could be ready for Saturday. It is no big damage, just the pain now.I believe he will be short for Saturday and should be ready for Aston Villa.
Copyright 2019 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.