Arsene Wenger has often been slammed for his perceived favouring of style over substance, especially in the 10 years or so since Arsenal last won the Premier League. Before that he was rightly praised for the entertaining, fluent and attack minded style of football he had brought to England.
It is certainly true that in recent years we could have done with a bit more practicality and ability to grind out results to balance the pretty passing game. But I do think that Arsenal have added more of this part of the game over the last year or two.
And this new outlook from the manager was highlighted with his post match interview after we managed to beat Sunderland this weekend without playing well. As reported by Arsenal.com the Frenchman was happy to admit that the Gunners were not at their best and he himself had been nervous going in to the game, but he also suggested that he really did not care too much as it was the result that was all important.
Wenger said, “In my mind I was a little bit more nervous than usual because I felt it was a pivotal game. 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.”
Are you just happy with the win or are you worried about how Arsenal played?