Arsenal’s never-ending injury woes left Arsene Wenger feeling nervous ahead of the visit of Sunderland yesterday, but his rag-tag collection of understudies came good and finally came away with the three points to leave us second in the Premier League.
It was a good audition for the new first teamers and Wenger is now happy to take the same squad to Athens on Wednesday for our crucial Champions League match against Olympiakos.
“In my mind I was a little bit more nervous than usual because I felt it was a pivotal game,” Wenger said on Arsenal.com. “It was our first game without the injured players and we absolutely had to win.
“We played against a difficult team who were well organised and good on the break, so all the ingredients were there for a disappointing result. Because we hadn’t won for three games people would have said we were in a crisis, so it was important to get the win.
“We were a bit edgy, a bit nervous, in the first half but in the second half we played with more freedom, fluency and incisiveness which is how we won the game. It was a tough one and if you look at the results in the Premier League it was like that.
“It’s been a good day for us, because we have won the game and that makes helps us prepare for Olympiacos. Secondly it puts us in an interesting position again and that’s all positive. The squad that was out there for Sunderland – the good news is that we won and that we don’t have any injuries. It makes it obvious for the media to guess who will go to Olympiacos.”
I didn’t there was much doubt which squad would go to Athens as it is simply the only players that are not on the treatment table, but it is defintely good for the team’s confidence to not only win but to score three goals in the process.
Roll on Wednesday and the last episode of The Great Escape!