An easy win on paper was expected against Aston Villa today, but all Arsenal fans know that form means little when it comes to the Premier League (just ask Tottenham!), and after Wednesday’s euphoria after beating Olympiakos, Wenger admitted that he was a little nervous ahead of today’s game.
“I was a bit anxious today as we had given a lot on Wednesday and came back very, very late on Thursday morning.” Wenger said. “I know that Villa was fighting to survive and it was maybe a set of important points to win against a team low on confidence. [At] 2-0 at half-time, I knew the second half would be more difficult and then they did well and there were some opportunities for Aston Villa, but we didn’t manage to score the third goal. Overall, it was a controlled performance and a great week for us. Don’t worry, I have already had a few bad weeks so it balances itself out a little bit.”
Wenger was particularly pleased that Aaron Ramsey scored again as he is nowin his favoured position in the centre, but he believes that his experience of playing regularly on the wing has improved the Welshman’s game. “He had an outstanding performance today.” Le Prof continued. “I think of course he is naturally more of a central midfielder and I pushed him out wide for a while because I believe we have seen many times that when players are pushed against the line they need to shorten their technique. When they come back into the middle again, they are better players.”
Olivier Giroud scored another penalty, which was his 50th in the Premier League, and also keeps improving his scoring record going, and Wenger is hoping that the stats will finally convince his critics that he actually a top striker, despite what his critics say. “I believe he is at the top of his game and he is questioned sometimes. Finally, the numbers get people to realise he is a good player. [With] Petr Cech they didn’t need [the numbers] but for Giroud [he needs it]. He has improved, his link play is better and when we have the option for a long ball he is a very interesting option.
“Because he does not have electric pace. He is more of a player who plays with his back to goal and brings other people in, so maybe he is spectacular individually with his runs without the ball. He is very efficient and a very important player for the team. He is also mentally very strong.”
Wenger is now having to juggle playing Theo Walcott and Giroud in the centre-forward position, but even though Le Boss makes it clear that he prefers Walcott when we are counter-attacking againt dangerous teams, it will be very difficult to drop Giroud when he keeps scoring no matter what opposition we face. But for now lets just celebrate our team reaching the summit of the Premier League against all the odds…..