Wenger Post Match Reaction: The Sending Off And Ozil’s Performance

by David on February 19, 2014

Arsène_Wenger_statueArsène Wenger discussed all the big talking points after Wednesday’s game against Bayern Munich. This is a transcript of his post-match press conference:

on Szczesny’s red card…
I think these rules are different in every country, basically, in Italy they send off for this kind of foul. I think our keeper went genuinely for the ball, he touched Robben, who made certainly more of it, and I told him. Unfortunately it changed the game completely and didn’t just change the game but killed the game. The game was, until then, top quality, and in the second half it was boring for neutral people. It was one-way traffic. The referee made the decision that killed the game.

on Robben…
He has enough experience to know to make more of it. Overall I thought Bayern made a lot of every single contact, we are not used to that in England. There were fouls given today that usually are not given in the Premier League, but it’s different rules and we have to accept it.

on whether Szczesny denied a clear goalscoring opportunity…
Look, I can’t debate all night, I am not a good enough referee to say that. I need to see it again. Wojciech misjudged the situation, there was no clear desire to make a foul, he misjudged the ball. After that we lost Gibbs and we lose a goalkeeper and we had to make two changes and went down to 10 men with no opportunity to make a change at all after that, because you never know if a third player could get injured. You sit there and you cannot change anything, you cannot bring anybody on, you run after the ball and they can bring on fresh players. It killed the game completely.

on how the game changed…
I just feel frustrated. It was a great football game until half-time and it was no game at all after half-time. And on a European night that’s really frustrating because the game delivered what it promised at the start, but it was not the same game in the second half. We just had to try and keep it at 0-0 and try and get a chance on a set-piece or a counter-attack.

on Mesut Ozil’s penalty…
He missed a penalty… with his style of play… what can I say? They missed one as well. The regret I have is that we missed our penalty. We needed that tonight because you could see that Bayern was on the ropes at the start of the game. We had three good chances in the first 15 minutes, we started the game well. I feel too make them more insecure we needed to score that penalty. But he missed it.

on whether it affected Ozil…
Yes, he was affected by it. I think he wanted to do so well tonight that it affected him. You could see even five or 10 minutes later on the pitch he still was shaking his head. It had a huge impact on his performance. Our usual penalty takers were not on the pitch tonight, that’s why we had to decide. It was Ozil, Cazorla and Sagna. Cazorla missed as well, Ozil has missed, you think sometimes ‘OK, he missed from the penalty spot before, but he will not miss again’, but it can happen to anybody, you cannot reproach that.

on Ozil’s confidence…
Look, you are always concerned about the confidence of your players because that’s your petrol in a team. Your confidence is what gives them the desire to go and play. In our job you have to deal with that.

on leaving out Giroud…
It was just a decision based on performance. When I play Giroud in every game, people reproach me from playing him in every game. When I rest him, people reproach me for rested him. Tonight I rested him so you should be happy. It was not punishment, it was just a decision tonight. Giroud is a strong character, and what happened doesn’t influence his behaviour on the pitch. I just decided to give him a breather for one or two games, and to give him a chance to come back refreshed. As well I wanted to give an opportunity to Sanogo, and I think he did very well.

on the second leg…
It isn’t over because we will fight until the end. We knew at half-time we had to try and keep it at 0-0 and we will see what happens. It was a similar repetition to what happened last night at Man City. We were down to 10 men and conceded a goal in the last minute because maybe we wanted to score on the free-kick and got a bit caught on the counter-attack.

on bad luck against good teams…
You can come to the conclusion you want but I must say in the last five years we have played Barcelona twice, we have played Bayern twice… and they are not average.

You can call it bad luck all you want Arsene, but the bottom line is that we seem satisfied finishing second in our group, which causes us to play the likes of Barca and Bayern in the knockout stages. Had we won those groups, we would have gotten an easier draw and progressed further in the Champions League.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Aussie Jack February 20, 2014 at 1:41 am

Like many others I`ve made my opinion known on Ozil and Sanogo on other blogs and got my arse kicked for it, so enough said on the matter.
The ten men did very well ,considering, but lets just look at Bayern Munich`s game for a second. The most noticable part was not only their strike rate but the way it was executed and Arsenal (and Wenger) should make note. Striking from distance on target and on the volley. We do not have the players to do that. At the other end of the field we have become increasingly reliant on the skills of our two goalkeepers. Without them we wouldn`t have much to crow about at all.

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