Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Wenger: We have good ingredients and a desire to grow

After a week which has seen Arsenal garner two hard fought wins both in the Premier League and in Europe, Arsene Wenger has spoken positively about his side’s defensive improvements and claimed that confidence is finally returning after a tough start to the season.

Taking heart from Wednesday’s win in Marseille and the performance of Laurent Koscielny, the Frenchman (sporting a rather dashing grey cardigan and black polo shirt) also spoke about trying to top their Champions League group, the threat posed by Stoke City and how the Manchester derby on Sunday would not determine the destination of the championship.

On the win in Marseille…

It puts us under a little less pressure in the Champions League, lifts the confidence of the team and reassures them about the way we want to play. Of course what was surprising for people who watched the game is that very few chances were created. I believe that was down to the fact Marseille were desperate to get a draw. Having just watched the game again they were never caught with a lack discipline or desire to defend, except once at the end of the game. We were patient, disciplined and had a good team attitude. We know we can be more creative and that will come with more confidence in the team.

On winning the group…

The recent experience encourages us to finish top of the group. First we must be realistic and not lose pragmatism. Let’s first qualify and then if we can finish top of the group. Let’s keep the priorities right. Overall in Europe this season we won at Udinese, in what was a difficult game, we drew in Dortmund, we won in Marseille – in three difficult games we’ve done well.

On dominating rather than just winning games…

Yes and that comes with results. We know in Marseille we had a lot of possession, desire to play, the last bit will come with the results. Let’s not be too ambitious. It’s difficult to win away in the Champions League. You see that with every single team, even the ones who play at home find it hard to win games and that’s why I am pleased with our result on Wednesday. It puts us in a strong position in our group. Everybody said Dortmund is a strong team, but we’ve seen Olympiakos is a good team and they showed that again.

On Stoke’s form being different away from home…

It depends. In seasons before yes, this season I don’t know. I must basically say it doesn’t matter for us. What is important is that we win our game. A one-nil victory against Stoke will be great. Let’s just focus, use the confidence from the game against Marseille and go into the game with a view to keeping our run going now.

On Stoke’s coming to terms with weekly European football…

It’s hard, but let’s hope they suffer a little bit. It’s very important for us to focus on our strengths and not hope that Stoke are weaker because they have played in Europe. Let’s expect a good opponent and for us to focus on growing as a team. I feel the team has a good basis, is intelligent, has a desire to do well and you can see that the unity is there. We cannot cheat on that so we have good ingredients. Let’s continue to be humble and have a desire to grow as a team.

On improvements in the defence…

I feel we look more determined and less shaky. I do not feel the vibes of fear going through us at set pieces, there is a good determination. We are improving, although there is still some jobs to do there. There is a definite improvement since the start of the season.

On Wojciech Szczesny’s form…

It’s difficult to say how much, but what is for sure is that he has improved. Especially in his confidence, his decision making, his determination to come for crosses, his calmness and the way he is commanding. Many aspects of his game he has improved and I expect him to improve further. There is a lot more to come, he is a young goalkeeper. I believe he has convinced people that he has the level to play for Arsenal Football Club. [Lukasz] Fabianski and [Vito]  Mannone also have the level to do that, so there is good competition going on there.

On Koscielny’s form…

I believe he was certainly Man of the Match in that game. You saw in that game what we want from Laurent – he was commanding and playing with authority. That is something that has come out of the game last night. When he had the ball he was calm, he read the game well and got in front of the strikers to save many dangerous situations. I would say he was surprised coming from France at the physical intensity of the game here but he has got that now and I think he is very commanding. He had a very good game against Sunderland and again in Marseille. I always thought he would become a great central defender. He is getting there.

On working hard on the defence in training…

Yes we are working on that a lot, when we have time. Unfortunately, we have not a lot of time with all the players together because we have so many games. The period of time we can dedicate to that is very short because during the international break we don’t have the players. As soon as we can we do work on it.

On a win against Stoke being further proof of improvement…

I think so. Let’s recover, rest, prepare and focus. It’s a big encouragement for the team to continue to work as we do, to work together our target is of course a third win.

On the Manchester derby this weekend…

It’s very early. You know how quickly how quickly people make conclusions, let’s not forget that we have played eight games and there is another 30 to go. Never has a championship been decided after nine games. It will be an interesting game to watch and overall you know that whatever happens in this game the championship will still be open. For everybody else in the Premier League the most interesting result will be a draw.

On the Manchester duo being the teams to catch…

Of course, they had good starts, they have strong squads and we do not expect them to drop many points. Still I believe though you can see it is difficult for City and United in the Champions League – everybody will drop points.

See the full interview on Arsenal Player


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Jim Deen

Wenger is bigger than all of us fucks put together.

Proof: he watched that game a second time. Holy crap, I could barely get through it once, and that’s when it was live – can’t imagine watching it a second time.

Dashing cardigan and polo shirt, eh Blogs?


Porn,Lube and Cock.Good ingredients and a desire to grow.

Ace McGoldrick

“Let’s hope they suffer a little bit”

Amen to that Arsene.

Here's Waldo

Remember how Chelsea started last season really strong but then had a terrible spell. Let’s hope we’re done with everything terrible this season.
“Everybody will drop points”


God, this is INFINITELY better than reading the drivel on the official website. Arsene sounds like a delusional broken record, if you believe the stuff that’s written (and the way its written) on arsenal.com

This is brilliant because this is exactly what Wenger says – no spin added to it. He actually comes across as frank and honest here.

Please keep it coming!


For a team prone to conceding past minute goals I’m glad to see us battle out a few results! Bring on Sunday! Coyg!!

JodyThe goon

Nice post. Happy for wenger to be a bit happier than recent months with a few more positive things to talk about. Slightly off topic I know but, I though Walcott was terrible in the last game. Karl jenkinson was more dangerous down the right wing whilst also doing well with his defensive duties.


‘the Frenchman (sporting a rather dashing grey cardigan and black polo shirt)’…classic!
Out of the little time, I hope the team spare enough time to master crosses, how to get at the end of crosses, free-kicks, corners and smooth passing.
To three points against Stokes.


Wenger with his polo shirt top button done up and in a cardigan. Very dapper.


And having looked at the photo a shade too quickly, it looked for all the world to me that he was also sporting a, frankly startling, little dangly goatee beard thing on his chin.

I’m pleased that’s not the case.

Pele of Romford

Best manager in our history.

Respect is due. Nothing less.



Eric Irish gunner

Thank fuck belielf amongts us gunners, with our injured players back and new signings settling in our season can only get better

[…] game is to our advantage, as Stoke has just played in europe too, and may be suffering from fatigue. However, Arsene has admitted that though Van Persie is a superb player, he is most likely to be […]

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