Wenger On Dortmund | Szczesny | Götze | Wilshere | Van Persie

By on November 23, 2011

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger gave his thoughts on tonights crucial Champions’ League tie at home against Dortmund yesterday on Arsenal Player, with the manager addressing our opponents, a surprise inclusion in the matchday squad, the form of Wojciech Szczesny and a possible move for Mario Götze. Here is a transcript of Wenger’s responses:

On the changes since the away leg:

I believe that both teams have improved since – we have grown, they have grown and we have a little bit similar ‘parcours’ (course) since the start of the season: they had a difficult start, we had a difficult start and both have picked up since. They were a good team already in Dortmund but we feel strong enough to be at home and finish the job.

On any changes to the squad:

From Saturday everybody is available. We lost Rosicky in training, he was in the squad and he has been replaced by Diaby. I am very happy [to have Diaby back in the squad], it’s a little bit quicker than expected because he looked good in training so it’s good to have him back. He has not played one minute since the start of the season; he had surgery in June, so it’s good news to have him back.

On what Rosicky’s injury is: A

 small thigh strain.

On Szczesny’s form:

[humourously] He is here so I do not want to talk to much about him – no, he has done extremely well and what’s very positive is that he can do a lot more. He works hard in training to improve and he’s focused, and humble so like the rest of the team I think he has a good attitude and a good spirit.

On the importance of qualification:

Every player and every member of the staff is conscious that it’s a big night for Arsenal and it’s a very important one – it’s another big test for our solidity and we will be going into the game with that attitude of concentration, desire to win the game and hopefully we can do it. 

On whether or not van Persie will start: 

Yes, Robin van Persie started on the bench last time because we had some medical concerns – tomorrow we have no medical concerns so he will start.

On possible interest in Götze come January:

Well, at the moment in the transfer window we are interested just in keeping our squad, we are a big squad, we are not after anyone.

On news of Jack Wilshere’s injury:

At the moment we know he will not be available before the end of January.

On prioritising competitions: 

We don’t prioritise. At the moment the priority is the League and the Champions League – they are the two priorities. We go for every competition and after we choose when we have to. You only make a choice when you have nothing left.

On Spurs’ title aspirations: 

Mathematically you have seven teams who can win the title.You can rule nobody out.

On his future as Arsenal manager:

2014 [when his contract expires] is a long time in football, it is three more years and as long as I can walk properly and be healthy I want to do the job I love. But I cannot dictate it, I am not master of that. 

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