As usual Arsenal made the fans suffer in the first half against a team they should have beaten easily, but of course this was an FA Cup tie which we know regularly produces giant-killing performances from Lower League sides, and Arsene Wenger thinks that although he wasn’t happy with his own team’s performance, Preston deserve to be congratulated for making the Gunners work extremely hard to get into the draw for the Fourth Round.
“I think since the start of the season we had many, many, many comebacks and many goals in the final minutes.” Le Prof said. “I would first like to congratulate Preston for the quality of their game, especially in the first half where we were outpaced and they played with desire, enthusiasm and quality and they gave us many problems. Full commitment for 90 minutes – it was a great cup tie and we needed to dig deep to win the game today. Second half it was all us, but they continued to defend well and we needed to be patient and create something special – we did that in the end. But it was a very good cup tie today.”
Arsenal were deservedly losing at half-time and of course Wenger was angry with his players during the break. “Yes. We are top level Premier League and we were dominated in the first half. Preston had chances you know and I believe we were just not at the pace of the game or the pace that the game demanded. Of course, I didn’t want to go home and be out of the FA Cup tonight.
But he could not help admire Preston’s qualities, and he listed what impressed him most about Simon Grayson’s side. “I would say their organisation, the speed of their transitions when they won the ball. Every time, we were in trouble. Overall, their intelligence, I think they played in a very intelligent way. They are a good side you know and honestly, I was really impressed by them today.”
The question is; Were Preston impressive? Or were Arsenal just rubbish?