Press conference

Wenger on Alexis, Ozil, Benteke… and sumo

The futures of Alexis and Mesut Ozil. The post-match celebrations of Manchester City. And Christian Benteke defying Crystal Palace’s designated penalty taker - only to miss his spot-kick.

Arsene Wenger was asked for his take on all of those talking points when he faced the media on Tuesday morning. Here are some of the standout quotes from his press conference.

on Ozil’s reported new contract offer…
Negotiations are always going on with everybody. Is it two years to go? One year to go? Three months to go? The door is always open and for the rest I cannot tell you much more.


Ozil makes it four against Huddersfield

on wanting to keep Ozil and Alexis…
I said that many times and that’s all we can say.

on if a final offer has been made to Alexis or Ozil…
I don’t want to talk about that because the best way to deal with these sort of things is to keep it discreet as possible.


Alexis bags a hat-trick v West Ham

on Mikel Arteta’s injury sustained after the Manchester derby…
I heard about that, but I haven’t seen anything and it’s part of the incidents, sometimes that can happen in big derbies. In fact, you [reporters] are always very good in the press because you build these things up like it’s life or death and after something happens you are surprised. It’s part of the intensity and importance of the games, sometimes it can go a bit overboard. It happened to us, it happened to them and it’s unfortunate, but ideally you would commit 100 per cent on the pitch and be in no danger after, but it is not always the case.

on whether it’s what the fans want to see…
Yes, of course. But you want the passion to be on the football pitch.

on what the limit is when celebrating…
It is difficult to take when you lose a big game, to see the 100 per cent celebration on the other side. It’s always an experience a little bit like an offence and that’s why when I was in Japan I [respected] sumo, because in sumo you never can tell who the guy who wins is. He doesn’t show his happiness because of a respect for his opponents and that shows how deep the culture is there for the respect for each other. Is it something you can copy? I don’t think so because it’s not part of our culture.

on how he would deal with a situation like Benteke’s penalty…
Well, we name the penalty takers in order and sometimes the No 1 can be out and the No 2 takes, but sometimes it can happen that the players [intervene]. You have to live with a certain freedom as well to the players. If the player who is No 1 doesn’t want to take it or doesn’t feel he is full in confidence, you have to accept that the No 2 will take it. A penalty is a penalty and whoever it is can miss it, you have to accept it and all the biggest players in the world have missed penalties.

on the Henry/Pires incident…
Yes, when you mentioned that it was the first thing that came to my mind! That was not planned.

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