'We didn't panic… we kept control and came back'

Arsene Wenger was smiling broadly on Sunday after he won the seventh Community Shield of his Arsenal career as we beat Chelsea on penalties.


Afterwards, the boss discussed the team’s performance, the fight they showed and his plans for his squad before the close of the transfer window.

This is what he said:

on the game…

I’m very happy because we won the trophy. The quality of the game was very good and the two teams gave absolutely everything. The two teams played with a lot of intensity and quality. Even when we were 1-0 down, we didn’t panic and kept control of our game to come back. Overall, the performance is a continuity of what we did at the end of last season. 

on whether winning the Community Shield will set the tone for the season…

It’s an encouragement and nothing more than that. We want to find a good balance between the confidence we can get out of these games and the urgency that every Premier League game demands. We had some bad starts in the first game of the Premier League over the last four years but we’ve had the intensity in our games that is needed to be ready. Let’s go into the Premier League with the same discipline, the same spirit, and see where we can go. If you look at the Premier League, there’s seven or eight teams who you can say can win the Premier League, so it makes it very interesting.

on the team’s fight…

It is an interesting quality, but you know as well that the problem for the managers is to maintain that kind of spirit through the season, through difficult periods and to maintain that togetherness as well. You will have some individual disappointments through the season and it’s important that we focus on keeping together in every single game. The Premier League is very unpredictable because every game is a fight and as soon as you are a bit off you don’t win.

on the ‘negative atmosphere’ surrounding the team being gone now…

Yes, it’s down to us to keep a positive atmosphere around the team. I think a lot was created by my own situation and maybe I made a mistake, but overall I believe that it’s down to us - the strength always comes from the team.

on having 33 players in the squad now…

To be honest the number is too high and we let some players go because too much competition for places is detrimental, not enough competition for places is detrimental as well. But I agree with you that 33 is too high.

on Chelsea’s chances this season…

They will be there again, they are a top-quality team and I think that we cannot discount Chelsea.

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