Arsene Wenger quotations from the press conference following Stoke 1-1 Arsenal. Please credit if taken for use elsewhere.
On the game:
It was a game where we have shown great character, great battling qualities. It was a game of two different approaches of the game: one very direct in the air and one tries to play on the ground, and both teams are very good at what they do. That’s why I think it was still an interesting game, where we had good chances especially in the first half. In the second half I thought our fluency dropped a bit in midfield, we still had some chances, especially a penalty not given. But overall we deserved at least a point. I can only give credit to my players for their battling qualities and the way they responded to what Stoke offered us, [which is] what they always do – full commitment, well organised, direct. And we do not always cope with it but today I feel we did.
Asked about the penalty:
It will go on the tape of all the penalties we have not been given this season. [Smiles]
Q. Stoke spent more than 11 minues on set pieces today [note: not sure where this comes from]. How do you feel about that?
You are used to it.
Q. Was it frustrating?
No, I was frustrated at times but that happens in every game, because I am completely in the game.
Asked about Stoke fans booing Ramsey:
I don’t think you can be especially proud to boo Aaron Ramsey. I do not see what he has done wrong, in his behaviour; and that’s an old story where the fans of Stoke stand behind their player but it shouldn’t go as far as booing Aaron Ramsey.
Asked about Newcastle dropping points and qualification battle for CL:
Well a good result we got, sure, is that Newcastle dropped points today. But for us it’s important that we now win the next two games. Anything less will not do it.
Q. The team had a lot of chances but do you think they lacked sharpness at the end of build up play?
The first half we had the chances, you’re right, we lacked something – I call that belief, because recently we haven’t scored so many goals, you know. We didn’t score against Chelsea last week and maybe it’s a big link with belief.
Q. Also I thought Chamakh did better than recently when he came on…
He did well, yes because…
Q. …is he still definitely leaving at the end of the season?
Nothing is definite at the moment for the end of the season, you know. At the end of the season I think you will have big surprises because there will not be a lot of movement in football.
Q. The Stoke supporters seem to have an interesting relationship with you…
They have a relationship with me but I don’t have one with them.
[Laughter all around]
I personally have enough experience to cope with that [abuse from the crowd] and it doesn’t bother me too much.
Q. But Arsene some of the chanting was quite racist
I don’t listen to what people chant and I just think that one day football will have to tackle that because it’s easy to sit in the stand and insult people, you know
I don’t know what they chanted and I’m not responsible. Everybody in life is responsible for what they say and what they do.
Q. [Journalist says that crowd were chanting “French twat”, asks if that isn’t as bad as other racist chanting heard this season]
My response is that I ignore what people say, and I focus on what I love in my job. It is football I love, and the way my players behave on the pitch [is what I’m responsible for]. I’m not responsible for the way people behave in the stands. If you want to stop that, it’s easy to stop – but I cannot influence it. It goes on so much in England, I’ve been here for 15 years [laughs] and I can tell you that basically I don’t hear it.
Q. How is it easy to stop if thousands of people are doing it?
You can isolate every single face – you know the thing I think sometimes when I leave the pitch at the end of the game and people insult you or are angry or hateful I just think: I would like a little picture [of you] and I’d send it [to your] home and you show it to your son or your daughter and then we’ll see if you come back next week and do it again, see if they are proud of you. That’s all you can do.