Press conference

Wenger on Crystal Palace, VAR and the future

With VAR in the news this week, Arsene Wenger was asked all about it in his pre-match press conference on Thursday.

The Arsenal manager also discussed a range of other subjects and you can see what he had to say below:

on what he thinks of VAR so far…
Look, what you want is to improve the system that exists at the moment and we will contribute to improve it. There are some hiccups at the start of the functioning certainly and we need to clear up the way it works, yes I agree. Is that enough to renounce? I would say no, I am still a fervent supporter of it and I believe we have to move forward with it and improve the system certainly, but we have to go with it. You cannot imagine that in the future it will not be used, we will have to find the proper way to do it, but it has to go that way.

on whether he is confident going into Saturday’s game…
I am confident yes, but it is down to our performance. Crystal Palace were in a good run before we played against them and since they have had positive results again, so we just have to focus on our performance and make that we win the game.

on whether he ever considers that this could be his final season in the face of adversity…
No, that’s not the way I respond. I agree completely that 2018 until now has not been very positive but I am long enough in the job to know that what is important is how we respond to it and to focus on the performance. My personal situation is a bit secondary to all of that, what is important is how the team responds and what we make of 2018. We have many challenges, it is difficult at the moment, but as well very exciting because we have many challenges in front of us and we can come back in the Champions League. We of course play the semi-final next week and after we have the Europa League as well, which is another target, so we have to very quickly get over this transfer period because for us especially this period has been more disturbing than ever. Why? Because we have big players that are at the end of their contract and that is the first time that it happens, that we have such influential players close to the end of their contracts and it has been more destabilising than ever.

on whether this has been the most stressful period for him…
I don’t know, I have no stress measurement at all. Of course it occupies you on the pitch, off the pitch and at night as well because you’re very busy. After that, I think I can deal with the kind of stress it creates. The experience I have helps me to focus on what is important at the right moment.

on the news of his exchange with Mike Dean…
No, I have nothing special to add on that. I think the referees have their own sanctions and they have to live with that. I don’t especially want people to be punished, I think you just want them to make the right decisions and to help them make the right decisions and that’s all I want. After that, what happens is down to them and they have their own rules, I expect that.

on whether it’s fine to have an exchange with the referee after a game…
I don’t know what is fine, I have heard so much in the dressing room that was not punished and so much worse than what I said that has not been, people got away with it. I heard a lot at half-time as well where I never spoke in 21 years to referees at half-time in the dressing room, so I was quite amazed by the fact that I was charged.