A look at some of the main Arsenal quotes from this week.
- Mesut Ozil on his future
- Granit Xhaka on his discipline
- Alex Iwobi on idiot fans
- Laurent Koscielny, Xabi Alonos, + more
Despite there not being any club football this weekend, the Arsenal players and Arsene Wenger have been pretty chatty.
Granit Xhaka gave about 100 interviews to the Swiss media while away, in which he spoke about Wenger’s future and the two red cards he’s received this season.
“My second expulsion really disrupted me,” Xhaka admitted. “I was going through a good phase, with 13 or 14 games played consecutively, I was in the rhythm. I was afraid of losing my place. I doubted.”
Xhaka knows what this could have done if he didn’t have Wenger’s trust.
“If Arsenal does not score three times in a row, hell is going. The expectations are gigantic: wins in the championship, the Champions League and the Cup! If they stay out, the criticism is devastating – and from everywhere,” he said.
“I was afraid of losing my place [after the red cards].
“Doubts arose, and the fear of seriously damaging the further career.
“The trainer [Wenger] could have said that I was a burden, and jeopardized the success.
“He could have kicked me out.
“The tackle was completely unnecessary, I would have been well protected by the other players.
“Nothing better could have happened to me than this proof of trust from Arsène Wenger.”
Olivier Giroud spoke to L’Equipe about ignoring criticism and how happy he is to be in London.
In the league we are always among the top four.
“We do not feel any pressure in the Champions League even though it has the out of reach.
“The coach always tells us to ignore the criticism.
“Obviously our goal is to win titles, but this is not a determining factor in my career.
“I am still happy in London.”
Alex Iwobi revealed that he finds some Arsenal fans’ attitudes to Wenger disrespectful.
“For a youngster, he’s a great manager to have. Some of the things I see are unfair on the man.
“Twenty years at the club, and he’s done so much. Obviously the season’s not going quite as he wants, but some of the things I see are a bit disrespectful.
“He’s not a huge talker, but when he does talk to you he’s like a good friend. He’s almost like my dad talking to me.”
Mesut Ozil admitted that he doesn’t know whether he’ll stay at Arsenal or not but he’s happy in London, which is something he’s said before on numerous occasions.
“The fact is, I still have a contract in London. And speculating now would be wrong.
“After the season we will see it, there will be talks.
“I feel very well at Arsenal and in London,” he added.
“I do not know how to decide. We just have to wait.”
While Wenger admitted that talks over contract extensions for Ozil and Alexis Sanchez will resume after the season’s over.
“Once you don’t find an agreement,” he said, “it’s better you sit down in the summer.”
Laurent Koscielny also brought up how good he feels at the club, saying, “I feel good at Arsenal. My family is good in London. I’ve no reason to leave. Let’s finish as high as possible. Then I’ll see.”
Elsewhere, Xabi Alonso revealed that he could have signed for Arsenal for £3m before he signed for Liverpool.
“I was really close to Juventus and I was close to Arsenal,” Alosno said. “But, it was just £3m. Liverpool were asking £18m and both offered £15m – so that’s why it didn’t happen.”
And Arda Turan’s agent claimed that no move has been made for the rumoured Arsenal target.
“There is currently no offer, there is nothing to talk about right now,” Ahmet Bulut told ESPN [via Sport].
He then added, “I have not been contacted by the Arsenal. [He is] Happy in Barcelona and has three years of contract.”