Wenger: Arsenal’s interests come first, not national teams


Arsene Wenger has suggested that January departures for Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott are off the table because he wants to keep his squad together, and won’t be dictated to by national team coaches.

Earlier this week France’s assistant manager Guy Stephan appeared to put pressure on Olivier Giroud to ‘find a solution’ to his lack of playing time this season. In effect, he wanted the striker to seek a move so he could play more often – something which would be to the benefit of France.

However, it’s not something that the Arsenal manager appears to be considering, saying he has to think first about what’s best for the Gunners.

“I cannot consider too much the interest of the national team,” he said. “I want to keep the squad. We do not want to become weaker.

“I have to consider the interest of the player but dominant of that will be the interests of the club.

“If you can combine the two it is even better but, first, what is important is for the club.

“Overall I try to give them competition, which is what they have had until now. But these are discussions I have had with the players. It’s part of it.”

Giroud has yet to start a Premier League game this season, while Walcott has barely played 60 minutes – his appearances restricted to the Europa League and Carabao Cup.

Earlier Wenger made public his desire to hang onto the former England international, but with interest from other clubs and his apparent unsuitability to the current formation it could be a good time to cash in.

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14 Comments on "Wenger: Arsenal’s interests come first, not national teams"

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There is no doubt that we will require major surgery in January and next summer.

Alexis, Ozil, Carzola & Debuchy will leave. Per is retiring & Walcott, Ospina, Coq, Akpom, Perez & Campbell all need to be shown the door.

If we are keeping the three at the back then there is no need to keep Theo, with the new backroom staff appointments I hope we start to see some some tough decisions being made, we still have far too many players in certain areas, the squad is bloated and uneven.


We, the fans, say this every year. I imagine we’ll make a signing or two, or even three, but it’ll be much less than what we think is the “minimum requirement”.

John C

Which is exactly why we’re so far away from competing for the league


Cazorla. It’s Cazorla.

John C

I’ve been saying for several years now that teams have to on average have a 3 in/3 out per season policy to avoid the problems you’ve just highlighted as it’ll take 8 years to rotate a 24 man squad on that basis.

Players like Giroud and Walcott should have been told to leave in the summer and been made clear that they’d have no future at the club so we could re-invest in younger more useful players. Instead we sold 24 year Ox and 27/8 year old Gabriel, you couldn’t make up.

Our squad and it’s age profile has been shockingly managed over the years, to the point where the money required to make us competitive is going to be huge. Instead we’ve stockpiled cash at the most stupid time in living memory when 3 signing and continuous trading could have kept us competitive.


Isn’t this why the club have made key acquisitions in the scouting and recruitment departments? I do get why some people like a good old moan, but obviously the club is aware of the issues and has made big moves to resolve them. If we had a more decisive recruitment strategy, we may have successfully signed Lemar or someone else, and we would have probably been afforded the freedom of mind to offload Theo. We had the same issue with Giroud, he was told Lacazette will be #1 striker, we sold Perez – who clearly was out of favour, but we never managed to replace Giroud with anybody decent. On top of that, the contract situations of Ozil and Alexis complicated other players’ futures further. All has a knock on affect. The key personnel changes should help make Arsenal a bit more prepared and decisive when it comes to buying and replacing players.

John C

We’ve had a reactive, defensive transfer policy for years now to the point where it’s going to take hundreds of millions of pounds to get us where we could have been had we spent £50-60m a few years ago.

Not just because prices have risen dramatically but because where we needed 2 or 3 top players we’re soon going to need 7/8/9.

We should have sold Walcott and Giroud in the summer and used the money to buy Lemar if he was the man we want, not wait to see if Sanchez went first, he should have been an addition.


Wow why aren’t you a director at a football club? you seem so smart. Like you know what you are saying? You must be like your local go to guy for football advice.


Well said, Arsene. That Guy chap from France can do one, we pay their wages and if we want to keep our contracted players then we bloody well will.

That said I am of the thinking that we should try to get 15-20 mil for the not so young Theo in Jan. He’s had flashes of form, where you think is this it, can he really push on and become a top class player? Then meh. I like the guy, I really do but time to move on. Olivier is going no where though I thankyou.

A Different George

I think Guy Stephan is the guy who sits next to Deschamps and looks exactly like Steve Bould sitting next to Wenger. The first time I saw him, I thought Arsene had lent Bould to the French team.


Another season but blogs still on his Theo must leave campaign!! It’s actually quite hilarious, Theo will never leave hahahaha


At 31 it’s perhaps time to consider retiring from international duties. France are hardly struggling for options.

Andy Mack

There’s still plenty of games to go this season. There will be injuries and both Giroud and Theo will get more game time (unless they’re the ones injured).
The national teams may end up being thankful that Giroud and Theo come to their squads without being fatigued next summer.


Everyone can fuck off trying to get rid of Giroud. Thanks. (Walcott can go)