Alan Smith interviews Arsene Wenger
On why our performances have improved:
What has changed is that the confidence is higher and we get more credit. It is a relief because in the end anything that is consistent negatively becomes a problem.
On why we struggled at the start of the season:
We were 1-0 or 2-0 down after 20 minutes in many games. You need to be exceptional to win a game 2-0 down away from home.
On the revelation of Francis Coquelin:
Initially Coquelin is here for his seventh season. I took him because he was a ball winner. Then he became world champion with the France U20s, and became more box-to-box. I had to persuade him to be a DM again. His quality is to win the ball, he's gotten a lot of credit for it in the last few games. He is now 24 and that's an age when a player becomes a player.
On the luxury of selection when everyone is fit:
You forget Sanogo, Campbell has gone to Villarreal, Podolski to Inter...that shows the problem I had to fit them all in. If they're all fit of course I have plenty of offensive players.
On if he has a best XI in mind, or if it depends on opposition:
More or less, yes [I have the best XI in my head]
On the defensive problems:
What we missed at the start of the season was consistency defensively. [Problem with defence is] confidence certainly...communication certainly.
On attack vs defence:
Our trend it's always a bit too much in the structure of the team to go forward more than to defend.
If criticism of players is fair:
If it's just an emotional criticism you can understand that.