Antonio Conte's Chelsea host Arsene Wenger's Arsenal at 12.30pm today
Tersely, he scotched some reports that he had given his players time off following that debacle. If only he had midfielders as defence-minded as he himself clearly was yesterday when subsequently questioned about Chelsea's N'Golo Kante.
Did he ever look to sign him? "Yes". When? "When he was in France, when he was in Leicester…" What happened? "There again, I cannot explain everything but it is quite obvious when you look where he has gone."
Was it the money? "I do not want to talk about that, transfers are transfers – you cannot explain absolutely everything."
Wenger revealed that he tried to sign N'Golo Kante before he joined Chelsea
Wenger was determined not to let anything open him up. Shame, as it would have been interesting to know why he told the same gathering last January that Arsenal never followed up on their interest having identified Kante's talent as a 10-year-old in France.
Also, to nail down when precisely Kante was supposed to have snubbed the Gunners' overtures last summer given Wenger had already paid £2million more for Granit Xhaka in the same position 52 days before Chelsea were able to announce their own £32m capture of the Leicester man in July.
Wenger was clearly uncomfortable with the interrogation and was on his feet and heading for the door before his contract was even brought up.
"My future has always been certain," he said. "I focus 100 per cent until the last day of my contract. That is the only way you can guarantee the future."
Chelsea v Arsenal combined XI: Which stars make the cut in our team?
Fri, February 3, 2017
Express Sport compiles a star-studded XI of players from Arsenal and Chelsea ahead of their Premier League clash on Saturday (12.30pm)
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Which Arsenal and Chelsea stars make it into our combined XI?
That, though, only takes the club to the summer. Will the players not be affected by the uncertainty? "We worry about tomorrow," Wenger reiterated. "Tomorrow is not in the summer. It is tomorrow. They must not think beyond the game. They must focus on tomorrow's game.
"My thought processes about signing are not all quantifiable. It is linked with your gut feeling as well."
A large part of Wenger's mind will be made up by whether he feels wanted still or not and it was a discussion of criticism from the fans that sparked his attack on modern society.
"We live in a society that is like that and it is difficult for me to change that," he said. "I focus on what I can influence. I live with the response of society. Of course it is worse that before, because everybody can express their frustrations in the fraction of a second and there is no time to take any distance from what happened.
"Are we going the right way? Maybe. But if you look at society all over the world, we are not really sure."
Antonio Conte is hoping to get revenge against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge
Unsurprisingly, Conte's outlook is not nearly so dark at the moment. Having laughed off Pep Guardiola's attempts at mind games from earlier in the week, the only thing in danger of keeping Conte awake at night is the memory of the game in September when Arsenal were three goals to the good by half-time.
"That defeat seems far away, but it's important to remember because it was a bad defeat," he said. "In my mind it's always present, this defeat. I hope also in the minds of my players.
"Usually, my teams are not used to conceding three goals in the first half. We work a lot to avoid this. When this happened, it was a shock for me and I tried to transfer that shock on to my players. To avoid it happening again in the future, to repeat it."
So instead, Chelsea used it as a turning point, winning their next 13 games with the back-three system they switched to in the second half of that Arsenal game. It is amazing how quickly things can change.
But, as was the case yesterday, the chances are there will only be one manager smiling today come 2.20pm.