Arsene Wenger states his happiness with his recent rotation of the squad, with last night’s result seeing us through to the knockout stages of the Europa League with two matches to spare.
We settled for a 0-0 draw at home to Red Star Belgrade yesterday, giving us a total of 10 points from our opening four outings, and we can no longer finish any lower than second in the group.
Wenger admits that he is happy that he is managing to keep on track despite making so many changes in different competitions thus far.
He said; ‘We made four games, 10 points. So overall it’s good if I can combine both (domestic and European football).
‘You could see tonight it was a very intense game, and with the number of games we play, we want to play in every single competition. I will continue (rotating) at the moment.
‘They started stronger than us; they played very well at the start. They played with a high pace, were dangerous on the breaks and defended very well.
‘In the second half we dominated possession much more but lacked a bit of quality in the final ball, vision to find the right space and overall it was a fair 0-0.
‘It’s frustrating when you don’t score, but overall you understand that with many young players in the team, that’s part of the learning process for them, playing these types of games.’
The Frenchman was then asked about Wilshere’s display, to which he responded: ‘He needs these kind of games to come back to his best level.
‘And he needs to be injury-free for a long period until the end of the season, and get games like that.
‘He’s not involved (with England) but if he keeps his fitness, maybe next time (he will be).’
Our results have flattered our side recently, leaving us little room to complain at present, but in reality, we were lucky not to have been eliminated by Norwich City in the League Cup, and Red Star Belgrade could easily have picked up more than one point from our two EL encounters.
Regardless of those displays, our second string has managed to come away with the desired results, and it has allowed us to try and concentrate on our domestic league campaign.
Have the results flattered our second string? How far could our current EL line-up go in the competition?