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Arsene Wenger Reveals Team News and Appreciates England’s Gesture for Paris Attacks

Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger spoke to the media ahead of tomorrow’s clash against West Brom. Here is what he had to say

On facing Tony Pulis’ West Brom:

I watched them against Man United and they looked a very well organised team which is absolutely – as always with Tony Pulis – fully committed. On top of that they are in a difficult situation a little bit in the Premier League and you expect what you always expect in the Premier League – a committed, physical, fast game and a game where we cannot afford to make any mistakes. I would even say that you don’t even look at the table anymore because you know what you get. The difference between the teams has narrowed and today it is more about how much can you be close to your best which will decide the result, more than the team you play against.

On Doping:

I just mean that you see the doping problem has suddenly turned up in track and field as well, we have a problem in cycling and then [to] think that we in football are immune because they are football players is absolutely wrong. I want deeper tests, better tests because what we test is superficial. What we want as well is that when people are caught that they are punished and that the clubs are punished as well. We have to tackle this problem and not to close our eyes because it is a little bit not reasonable to think that just because we are football we have no problems with it.

Team News:

Hector Bellerin is fit and is back in full training. Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxalade-Chamberlain are expected to be ready by Monday. Theo Walcott will take some more time.

On Laurent Koscielny:

I will talk with him. It’s a big game for us. I have not talked to him yet, but I will talk to him to see if he’s completely recovered and focused.

On Paris Attacks:

I was not far from the event. I think everybody in Paris on Friday night was under shock. The whole city was shocked and I think France like England is a tolerant and generous country and to discover how much your own citizens hate you and the country of course, it is a shock for the whole country as you wonder what is going on there. You wonder why they have got this kind of treatment. I believe at the moment nobody in France has found a answer or a real explanation or why because what was targeted is a way of life – going to watch the football, going out, listening to music – and it is more of a way of life that has been targeted more than any type of community.

On his safety:

I was more under shock than fearful because you could be scared about what is going on as there were four different places that could have been attacked. In the centre of Paris you did not feel secure anywhere. I was late [for an] appointment and was late going to the stadium so I decided to stay and watch the game inside the hotel where I was. In the end in the hotel we were quite secure but the streets were completely empty.

On what he thought of how Wembley handled it:

I think it was fantastic for France and it showed the class of England. To see the arch of Wembley in the French colours was something that had a strong significance for French people. England handled this situation with a lot of class.