Arsene Wenger

  • Impossible to explain Van Persie loss

    Manchester United's new signing Robin van Persie speaks at a news conference at Old Trafford in August 2012 (AFP)

    Robin van Persie is the kind of player you rarely meet in your life: an exception, the very definition of the word. He has everything a coach dreams to have in a single player: he's smart, classy, clever when he moves, has killer-instinct, and is focused during 90 minutes.

    He has a deep love for football. He watches matches at home, analysing everything. It's so rare for a single player to have such a quest for perfection, allied with such talent and class. It's fortunate. He spent eight seasons with me, and he never stopped developing himself. We could never imagine he would become the

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  • Spain have lost their sparkle

    Spain are my favourites for the Euro 2012 final. Throughout their years of success, they have tried to keep the same philosophy, which is based around wanting to have the ball.

    Although they have struggled to score goals, they are the masters of possession, they are the best in the world technically and I have big respect for what they have done. To show such consistency at that level is absolutely unbelievable - three finals in a row.

    Negative possession

    These guys are more than outstanding footballers; they are really intelligent and they are winners. I want to give them credit for that.

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  • Technical Italy rewarded for attack-mindedness

    The key to success is always the intelligence of the players and what they make of a situation.

    They faced a very difficult situation before the European Championship began with the corruption scandal in their country and with bad results in their preparation.

    Their job was to identify the problem and sort it out and they did that very well.

    I'm pleased for Italy for various reasons. They showed that no matter what kind of problem you face before a big competition, you can always find solutions if you're mentally strong and united.

    As well, I'm especially pleased for them because this Euro

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  • England can continue Euro miracle

    England against Italy is a 50-50 game. Italy are always a surprise and you never know how they will respond. They are a team comfortable with big tournaments who are efficient and who play with a very attractive style as well.

    England had no expectations and are now in the quarter-final which is already a miracle for the whole country. They can create a massive surprise and go further and further.

    They have lots of players who can be creative. Wayne Rooney is a striker/midfielder, he is not just a striker, and there is a good connection between their deep midfield and high midfield, between

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  • Spain still mentally suspect

    I would say if you look at the prestige of the teams, Spain against France could be the best of the Euro 2012 quarter-finals because those two teams have the highest quality players together on the pitch. It could be an absolutely amazing game.

    We will see a different French team against Spain. This game against Spain is not a 60-40 for Spain, but it is a 50-50 game. France have all the weapons to beat Spain because they have individual quality: they have players who can dribble, who can provoke, who can be very strong in one-on-one situations like Nasri, Ribery, Menez and Ben Arfa. I am not

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  • Germany too good for Greece

    Germany will win this game because they have too much offensive potential - a goal can come from everywhere.

    I think that Lukas Podolski works very well for the team - he does a fantastic team job. He played a little bit cautiously against Denmark but he scored a great goal for his 100th cap. I am very happy with what I have seen from him.

    Greece are a surprise: they already deserve a gold medal to be where they are because they have done exceptionally well. I fear that Germany will be too strong for them.

    Germany can still improve defensively because now the level goes up and you are

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  • Chelsea and Barca must forget 2009

    Going into this tie, I would say that Barcelona have a 60 per cent chance of going through against Chelsea, maybe even 65 per cent.

    But Chelsea have shown they are capable of winning matches in which they are not the favourite but putting psychological and physical pressure on their opponents at home.

    Players like Didier Drogba, John Terry and Frank Lampard have plenty of experience in this competition. It won't be so easy for Barcelona. They will be aware of the threat Chelsea pose.

    For the players involved when they last met at Stamford Bridge in 2009, that match will stay in their minds

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  • Gomez key to Bayern hopes against Real

    I would put Real Madrid as slight favourites for their tie against Bayern Munich as they are more defensively complete.

    However, the Bavarians have players who can change games; they are a strong team on the counter-attack.

    Real have an advantage thanks to their technical cohesion and their physical strength. For me, it is 60-40 in Real's favour in this tie, but Bayern have the experience and quality to progress.

    Real manager Jose Mourinho found a way to stop Bayern in the 2010 final with Internazionale, but the emergence of Mario Gomez since then makes Bayern a different proposition.


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  • Athletic Bilbao Europe’s team of the season

    For me Athletic Bilbao have kind of been the team of the season due to their performances in the Europa League.

    They are in pole position to make the semi-finals after winning the first leg 4-2 at Schalke, another great result.

    Their style, their spectuacular football, their risk taking — these factors makes them incredible to watch, but in La Liga it does leave them open at the back.

    It's perfect for the Cup though as it allows them to perform miracles against the 'bigger' teams.

    Miracles that could see them go all the way...

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