A win was all important for Arsenal this weekend as we head back into the Champions League, with the first of two games against French club Monaco at the Emirates on Wednesday. As things turned out with Man United and Southampton it would not have been quite such a disaster if we had failed to win but we are now firmly in third place and that should give us an extra boost this week.
Arsene Wenger has been speaking to Arsenal Player about the hard fought win at Crystal Palace, paying tribute to the efforts of Alan Pardew and his players, while declaring that the Gunners got what we deserved for playing with a combination of football ability and determination.
Either one without the other would have seen us fall short, according to the manager and so he was delighted that Arsenal are now able to do both. The Frenchman also reserved special praise for the performance of his countryman Olivier Giroud up front. He pointed to how much our big striker has improved during his time at the club and given all the credit to the player for the way he has done it.
Wenger said, “He had an important part in a game as direct as that, to keep the ball, to close them down. Overall he had a great contribution. I’m happy for him.
“[Between] when I brought him here, and [when] you look at him today, I think there’s a hell of a difference.
“That’s credit to him – to the player he was and the player he is today, plus credit for his whole season, where he has worked very hard. I think there’s still room for improvement for him.
“Yes, it was hard-earned. You need to earn your points in the Premier League and I think we did it in a convincing way, even if at the end it was a bit dodgy.
“We did fight and play, and today fighting without playing wouldn’t have been enough, and playing without really fighting wouldn’t have been enough either. They put in what was needed.”
You get the feeling that Wenger believes the same qualities will be needed when his former club come to town this week. But we have done it before and can do it again.