Press conference

'We played with spirit… we looked very solid’

When we look back on the highlights of the 2017/18 season, our Carabao Cup quarter-final win over West Ham won’t feature on the highlights reel.

But in terms of getting the job done, Arsene Wenger had no complaints.

He thought the team were solid at the back and spirited enough further forward to warrant our 1-0 win. Here’s how he summed up the game in his post-match press conference:

on the game…
I felt we played with quality, spirit and pace in the first half. Overall over the 90 minutes we looked very solid defensively. We were not tested at the back too much, tested but not in danger. In the second half we lost a little bit the pace we played with in the first half and were less creative, and then couldn’t finish the game off. It was down to not making a mistake. Overall I think it’s a positive night for us apart from the fact that we lost Olivier Giroud and Francis Coquelin, who looks less problematic. Giroud looks to be out for Friday night.

on if the game could have been more intense…
I think it was intense but they defended very well and didn’t want to give us any space. In the first half we were patient and kept the ball well on the ground. We created some dangerous situations. In the second half it was much more difficult for us because we lost some of the pace in our game.

on Welbeck playing well…
Yeah, he scored and that will be good for him. He lasted 90 minutes, so overall it’s positive.

on his approach regarding team selection in League Cup…
When you look at our fixtures in January and February, you cannot imagine we will always play with the same players in every game. Will I change from Premier League game to Premier League or only in the Carabao Cup? I don’t know yet - I have to look at the fixtures to see what I do.

on having 10 games in 36 days…
It is very demanding, especially because we already have a tough schedule behind us. We have to sit down and analyse very well what we can do. What is very worrying in my job is when you start to lose players, like Giroud tonight. After, you cannot afford to lose another one. I have to look how I can manage the schedule.

on if this will put more schedule on players like Lacazette…
It puts more pressure on the rest of the squad when you have injuries. I still have Walcott, Welbeck, Alexis who can play up front. That’s a possibility.

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