Press conference

Take chances, stop conceding, play with spirit

What are your New Year’s resolutions?

For Arsene Wenger, there’s plenty he wants to change once 2017 turns into 2018. And a fair bit that he wants to keep intact.

“What we want is to stop conceding goals, stop missing chances, but as well I want the team to continue to play with the same spirit, the same determination and the same love of the game,” he said. “That is for me important and is maybe the best way not to concede goals anymore.

“We should be higher [in the table] of course and we are not happy where we are, and we have to correct it. We do not play and put the effort in to be where we are, we want to be higher up.”

For all that, 2017 has had plenty of memorable moments. An FA Cup win, another Wembley triumph in the Community Shield, the emergence of a new crop of talented young players and an enviable record at Emirates Stadium.


Emirates FA Cup final 2017 mini-movie

“We have been very consistent at home and the quality of our performances has been absolutely fantastic,” said Wenger.

“We lost one game that even a neutral observer would concede that we had an outstanding performance in a unique game that we lost. Overall I believe the consistency is not in question.

“We have to find a balance, we are an offensive team and we take a gamble and a risk and we stand up for that but we have maybe to find a better balance between offensive and defensive efficiency.

“We always have a high number of players in front of the ball. If you look at the league you can analyse it in that way. You take team after team, how many players are in front of the ball when you attack?

“We are one of the teams in the league who has the most players in front of the ball when we attack, that means that for us to get back quickly and defend quickly and transition is absolutely vital.”

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