Date: 28th November 2016 at 2:35pm
Written by:

Manager Arsene Wenger has been giving his thoughts following victory over Bournemouth at the weekend.

Welcoming Eddie Howe’s side to the Emirates Stadium for the game, Arsenal took a three one victory with goals coming from an Alexis brace and a Theo Walcott effort to return all three points on the day.

Speaking to the Official Site in his post game press conference, our two goal scorer on the day obviously featured in the questioning and for Wenger it was very much a case of even when ‘Alexis looks dead he’s alive’.

‘Even when he looks dead, he`s still alive and always finds the resources to do something special. He has that conditioning which allows him to always find an extra gear to be dangerous.’

Wenger was also asked about contract talks with the Chilean international.

‘It is important. How important it is, I don`t know – we will not sort it tonight. We have some time in front of us.’

He was asked then whether the player kept putting zeroes onto a new deal with his performances of late.

‘Well, you like us to spend money, so you should be happy!’

Moving onto the performance of Granit Xhaka, the gaffer went on to say.

‘He became better as the game went on and in the second half I think he did very well. We are in November, he arrived in July. It`s normal adaptation and he gets better used to the pace of the game, to the positioning on the pitch and I think his passing through the lines has played a big part today.’

Walcott’s goal celebration also came up, and Wenger said simply.

‘Two babies, two boys! He has to run for two now you know! He has to work double.’

In a secondary piece, Wenger also discussed the game more widely and the double injuries sustained by Mathieu Debuchy and Olivier Giroud.

Beginning with Bournemouth and their quality, he dismissed suggestions we were surprised by how well they played – as that’s what homework and memories of previous games are for.

‘Not really because they weren`t exactly the side I wanted to play after Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain. They are a tricky side who can keep the ball and, if you`re not well organised, you can be in trouble. On top of that, I felt we started well but when they equalised we were nervous and that`s where having three consecutive draws played a little bit on our minds. At half-time it was down to us to calm down and focus on the game we wanted to play. In the second half we created many dangerous situations but Bournemouth remained dangerous too because they can keep the ball well and attack very well. They`re one of the teams who can compare their possession with the top teams in the Premier League.

On choosing Gabriel to replace Debuchy early on in the 15th minute following his injury, Wenger went on to explain.

‘When I picked the squad I imagined that something could happen to Debuchy. I had Francis Coquelin ready to play right back as well because he can play there, but I went for Gabriel because he`s a defender and is very quick. He adapted well. I watched tapes of him playing full back at Villarreal. On two or three occasions he played at left back and I found just one tape of him playing at right back. He was playing in Brazil and I must say that it was not super convincing, but today he did well.’

Speaking about the penalty award for them, and how the game changed after that point, he went on to say.

‘My view is that we should have had a penalty for a foul on Alexis, and that the penalty which was given against us was a very soft one. It was a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge and I was really amazed that he gave a penalty. From that moment on, we became nervous and they suddenly because more dynamic going forward. We lost some balls and put ourselves in trouble. We had to calm down at half-time and just focus on the game.’

As for the bench and changes compared to the last game, he ended by saying.

‘It`s as well the first time I made seven changes compared to Wednesday night. When you go in the Premier League, I think it`s a long time since I have done that, to change seven players, keeper included to go from a Champions League game into a Premier League game. That`s why I have top-quality players on the bench.’

Moving onto the injuries and knocks, he confirmed Walcott had picked up a bang, but he just needed a bit of rest and he would be fine – however we might not be as lucky with Giroud.

‘Yeah, he got a kick but nothing major. The only worry we have is Giroud, he looked a little bit to touch his hamstring. We have to see how big the damage is. With the hamstring. In the first moment, he told me that he felt a twitch in the back of his hamstring and we will see. I hope it`s not too bad because he told me after that when he sprinted he didn`t feel anything.’

As for Debuchy.

‘He thinks it`s a severe one. Don`t go too far because I have to speak to medical people, but you can only assess it really after 48 hours. You have to let it bleed and after, usually they have an MRI 48 hours later to see how big the damage is.’

Going back to the game, he also spoke about seeing the improvement in the side following the half time break.

‘It was a very intense game, but we started well. We scored and after that they got a penalty that, for me, looked soft but it destabilised us and we became nervous. At half-time we had to calm down, come out and focus on our game – that`s what we did. That`s why in the second half we created many, many chances.’


‘Bournemouth remained dangerous, they are a good side, but if you see the way we played at Manchester United, against Paris Saint-Germain, we had a different game here and overall I`m very pleased to have the three points. We had things against us, we came back to 1-1 then in the second half when you have a bit heavier legs you are tested. We pushed ourselves to win the game and it`s fantastic. I felt it played a little bit on the confidence of the team when you do not win for three games. Suddenly, there`s questions ‘Why do we not win?` and the fluency goes a bit. These three points will help us.’

Arsenal Blogger
Join The Vital Debate