Arsène Wenger’s appearance on Bein Sports’ Le Club: The Highlights

Get French Football News takes you through the highlights of Arsenal manager and Frenchman Arsène Wenger’s appearance on BeIN Sports’s “Le Club” last night. 

On whether or not Olivier Giroud is assured a starting spot upon his return from injury…

There are no indisputable players at a big club. There are only players that are in form who play. Giroud is a player who is considered as a potential starting XI player, but he is like Welbeck, he is like Sanchez. They need to be in form. 

On Arsenal’s tactical setup for their loss to Swansea…

In this formation, Sanchez played a bit more like an attacker and Cazorla a bit more on the left wing. We play with two midfielders with Flamini in a more defensive 4-2-3-1 formation, with Ramsey who plays more in support of the top two attackers and Chamberlain who plays pretty much where he is put (on the screen, in the right wing position) and Cazorla who shares the left hand side with Sanchez.

That means that when we have the ball he comes into the middle more and Sanchez goes more down the left side, with Sanchez alternating up front with Welbeck but Cazorla becomes our playmaker and Flamini, especially when we attack, plays a supporting role.

On Mesut Özil…

I think that at Real Madrid he played in a very strong team. Since he left Real, they have gone and won the Champions League again and he played remarkably at Real. He had a very good season last year with us. This year he came back from the World Cup, he was injured and he will not play again until January. That said, he has only played one year with us, he has signed a 5 year contract, and I think we will see the best Özil when he returns.

On Abou Diaby…

Diaby does not have a mental problem, he has a problem with injuries. He is a player who I have an enormous amount of respect for. Can you imagine, every time he comes back, that he has another injury and he has to start from scratch, he works for between 6 and 8 hours a day, to get himself back. And each time he comes back, he has another injury. He is a player who was destroyed by the competition. By a bad tackle.

We never highlighted it but a footballer needs his ankle. And the mobility of his ankle and from the moment that you have a restrained mobility of your ankle, you compensate in all your movements. And that is what has caused the bad luck of Abou Diaby. He was tackled at Sunderland, 6 or 7 years ago, from behind, an assassin’s tackle that was never punished and that changed the mobility of his ankle. And after that, people say he is a fragile player.

He is not a fragile player he is a player who was destroyed by a bad action. And today I hope for him that he will return. If he does return, of course I will keep him, extend his contract. I have always believed in him. I have a lot of respect for the mental strength that he has shown in the last 6-7 years. He has got past some incredible things. But, sadly, in our job, the first quality is your health.

On mentality…

I think a sportsman at the top level is somebody who is energised before anything else by wanting to win. There are two types of competitors. Those that love winning and those who abhor losing. There is a bit of both in all of us. But one dominates the other. For example, in me, I abhor losing more. An attacker is somebody in general who loves winning. He is creative. A defender is more someone who abhors losing. Who cannot let the opponent win.

A manager is someone who suffers enormously from losing and that those memories are extremely painful throughout your career. You never forget a match that you have lost. Not the moment where the game was lost, not the decision of the player or the referee that cost you the game. It is a career that gives you great highs and great lows. But the very low moments, they stay with you for the rest of your life.


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