Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Wenger on: Fabregas' future; Nasri's contract; Benzema interest and South American scouting

Arsene Wenger spoke to French radio station RTL last night with fomer player France international defender and World Cup winner Bixente Lizarazu questioning the Arsenal manager.

For AshburtonGrove.co.uk, our French friends at Gro(o)ver.fr has translated the interview for us. Check out their blog - which is mainly in French or you can follow their English and French tweets on Twitter.

Wenger on Arsenal's 2010-2011 season:
"I was upset. We though we could win all the trophies, but we failed due to a lack of character. It is the most frustrating season I've had to go through.
"The team played some of the best football I saw at Arsenal, but failed to reach the top when needed. It is frustrating and questionning. We need maturity."
On potential signings, Wenger said:
"We will try to buy players who could gave us what we need. It's a difficult task. Firstly, we have to enforce defensive line. We lost points against teams who play the natural English way of football, with long balls and physical struggle.
"So we need players who know how to manage this kind of game, which means English players, or players who know the Premier League."
About the possible departures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasir, Wenger said:
"Fabregas will not go this summer. Last summer,Barcelona made offers, but on this one there is no offers at all. He's the best midfielder in the world, we built the team with him around him. He's our captain, we want to keep him at any cost.
"Regarding Nasri, one thing is absolutely sure, that we will not sell him to Manchester United. We have a financial disagreement with the player, and I will work on it during the summer, to ensure he will extend his contract."

Regarding Arsenal's rumoured interest in Karim Benzema, Wenger said:
"As far as I know, Madrid doesn't want to sell the player, which is understandable. And the fact that Zidane is now close to the club will reinforce possibility of that Benzema won't move."
On his philosophy for next season, Wenger said:
"Only world class players can reinforce our team, because we already have a world-class quality football. The target is to keep our qualities, strengthen them and get rid of our weaknesses.
"We still have to improve offensively, because we are an offensive team. There are people who ask me to change our way to play, but I think we have to keep going with this style of play."
On his plan to travel to South America on holiday, Wenger said:
"I will spent my holidays there, scouting players and meeting people in South America."

For analysis, my thoughts and the rest of today's Arsenal news, read today's blog post.

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