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Thursday 19 March 2015

Pre- Newcastle; Press Conference..

Hello again as I said in the team news post, I'd have a look at the press conference from this morning, so here's a look at the main headlines, as per;
On players surrounding referees... 
"Greg Dyke has my complete support. We all have to respect the referees and make their job as easy as possible. It’s difficult enough today for referees to master the situation because they are criticised a lot as well. I include myself in that as well, we have some improvements to make there". 
On reminding players of their responsibilities... 
"Yes, but I don’t think we are doing that too much". 
On strengthening the squad... 
"We are not in a transfer period. We just have to continue to focus. Ninety five per cent of the players will still be here next season, and what is important is the attitude of these 95 per cent of the players - and how much we improve and how much we can push on now until the end of the season. We are in the semi-final of the FA Cup, we are in a strong fight in the Premier League. It’s important to focus on these targets and that we do that straight away on Saturday". 
On having a good record at Newcastle… 
"We have good memories at Newcastle but they are always very tight, very difficult games. They are in a position where they are not under threat to go down. They always have a very motivated crowd and they always play well against us, which makes it a tight game" 
On Newcastle appointing an interim manager... 
"John Carver is a permanent manager. The length of our permanence today is very difficult to define. The average life expectancy of a manager in England is 12 months, so it is very difficult to predict how long any of us will be in charge. He has the qualities to do the job".

So the usual praising of the opposition team and manager nonsense, but it's good to hear him come out against players surrounding referee's because it really is becoming a joke. I can understand players wanting to say something to the referee and being annoyed by a decision but when the whole team runs over, like Chelsea and Hull in the last week, for example, it makes a referee's job almost impossible. Horrible behaviour.

Isn't it ridiculous being asked a question about the transfer market? What qualifies these people as journalists?

Wenger also had his say on the away goals rule, echoing what I said in this post here, in terms of possibly only counting away goals at the end of extra time;

“Two teams have gone out on away goals, which I think should be questioned because it’s a rule that is outdated now and has to be changed. I've fought for that for a long time.“I think maybe you can count away goals after extra-time like in the League Cup in England. “It should count maybe after extra time because this current rule was created in the sixties to encourage teams to attack away from home. Since then football has changed. The weight of the away goal is too big today.
The manager didn't believe, however, that with no English teams progressing to the quarter finals that it  pointed to a crisis in the English game;
“I don’t think that you can draw a general conclusion. “In a direct knockout, it’s important that you’re very efficient and a bit lucky as well.
“None of the teams, apart from Barcelona, look to be superior in Europe today. Two other teams, Chelsea and Arsenal, could have gone through. I don’t think there’s a lot wrong, we now just have to focus on our next targets.
“We are a better team today than four months ago. There is a fantastic spirit in the team, there is great quality as well, and we need to rectify what we haven’t done well in the first leg against Monaco and continue to improve.
“We have won 13 of our last 15 games and that's down to consistency, quality and improvement.”
I would tend to agree as it really was down to the fine margins and a ridiculously out dated away goals rule that  saw two English teams go out. At least with Chelsea they blew their own chance for not taking advantage of having an extra man for so long and only seemed to make them more defensive.

Wenger was also asked about the title race;
“At the moment we are too far away from Chelsea.“But we have an opportunity every week to get closer and for that we need positive results from us, and negative results from Chelsea. “The only thing we can master is positive results from us. I believe Chelsea still has a very good cushion and very good security. They still have a game in hand so I believe they are too far apart at the moment. “It is very tight. We are on the neck of Manchester City but straight behind us we have Manchester United and Liverpool. Even Tottenham and Southampton are not completely out of it.
“It is down to our performances until the end of the season. I do not say second is good. I just think how can we win our next game at Newcastle, after giving it all on Tuesday night.”
It's hard to disagree again as we really are too far behind to even speculate on the title race, have a look at my views on the title race here. Let's just hope we can keep winning and make sure we secure our top 3 spot first ad foremost, before looking at what's ahead of us. Yes, I know we should be challenging for the title, but in the position we are now, there's no point crying over spilled milk.

 The manager also highlighted one of the key concerns this weekend, in terms of the team recovering from Tuesday night. I have no doubt that it would have taken a lot, both mentally and physically out of the team and that will be one of the key factors that determine the result Saturday; how we recover.

Right, that's your lot for now, keep an eye out for more. Let me know your early thoughts on the Newcastle game in the comments.

Follow me on twitter @Cosmic__Kid.

Subjectively, Cosmic Kid.

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