Arsenal fans just love beating Tottenham, and we missed a big chance to put more distance between us in the League by only getting a draw at the Emirates yesterday, but would you say that considering our 5-1 mauling to Bayern Munich on Wednesday, we have bounced back by retrieving a point yesterday?
Wenger seemed to think that the draw felt like a win as we were behind for most of the game. He said afterwards: “I think we have shown character today because we were a bit on the ropes and we responded. Every time we have a disappointment I feel we respond well in the game after.
“When you look at the results again today you see Villa-City 0-0. Liverpool lost. We played 1-1. It just shows you that the championship will be extremely difficult for everybody. The mental qualities can have a big influence in the future and I think we need these qualities.”
We had a lot of injured players, and the ones that did play play looked very very tired, especially in the first half when Santi Cazorla may as well have been on the bench. Wenger admitted that the first half was awful: “I think mentally we weren’t at the races. We did try, you could not say we did not have the right commitment, I was not disappointed. I just saw that Cazorla, who is usually the guide in our game, didn’t get the ball. And Tottenham is a good side when you play with one player less and you have to make the game …and so in the offensive build-up Ozil was a bit isolated in the first half with not many options. Usually they combine well together.”
I think Wenger made a big mistake by not subbing off Cazorla a lot earlier, he even admitted that he was just hoping Santi would recover. “It was a very intense game with complete commitment from both sides. We suffered in the first half because Cazorla was at 30 per cent of his potential, he was dizzy. I was sitting there thinking do I take him off or not? You never know, maybe it will get better. At half-time I took him off, and in the second half we had a bit better balance.
“He is not sick, he was just dizzy and could not move, you could see that on the pitch. I did not really know what he had, so at half-time I took him off, I hope it is nothing bad, but it does not look like it, because he says he is alright now.”
I hope Cazorla is okay, but Wenger took a real risk on us going even further behind the longer he left Santi on the pitch, as we were in effect playing with ten men. You would have thought that someone with over 20 years in management would have been a bit more decisive when it mattered.