Wenger – Van Persie was exceptional

Arsenal’s boss Arsene Wenger spoke after the 2-1 win The Gunners succeeded in getting against Sunderland about the importance that scorer and captain Robin Van Persie has within the team. The Dutch was the scorer of both goals which lead to Arsenal’s win.

“Well, he scored two goals. I think you have to analyse the game a little bit to see how important he is. The first goal was a good display of the team and the second chance he made the difference just because of his skill, which was exceptional.”, said Wenger

“Many people question his leadership qualities but I believe he is completely committed for the cause on a daily basis. What’s even more important is that he does the job on the football pitch.”

“We started well for the first 25 minutes and then when they equalised you could see that we were wobbling a bit with confidence. At half time the team regrouped and then the second half was all us. I have seen a few games over the weekend and I must say that of all the teams away from home Sunderland were 100 per cent committed, played with six midfielders and four defenders and fought for every inch on the pitch. I did not see many teams doing that yesterday so I believe that they deserve a lot of credit. They made life difficult for us.”

“We didn’t make enough of our free-kicks, that’s an area that we can improve. If you consider the number of free-kicks we had today in interesting zones and the corners we had in offensive positions I feel we have to make more of our set-pieces.”

“We have now won five home games on the trot. If we can put another two or three results together it will help confidence because you can feel that the attitude and spirit of the team is great. Even at half time we had a good response. The motivation is there and the quality too so we should eventually get there.”

The win against Sunderland was a breath of fresh air for Arsene Wenger and for Arsenal. The Gunners struggled to find form in this English Premier League season start, and this win might mean the beginning of a new chapter in their evolution.

Wenger – I’m happy with what I see from Per.

Arsenal’s manager Arsene Wenger praised his new transfer Per Mertesacker for the performances he had lately and for the way he is getting used to the English Premier League. The German centre-back was accustomed with slower games and much slower opponents, and that’s why playing in the Premier League is hard for him. He must adapt to the speed and pace of the game and it’s not easy for a tall footballer like him.

“He adapts quite well, he is getting more aggressive,” said the manager. “I like him personally, I think he is a very intelligent player and he will be a big asset for us.”

“I don’t know if he realised how quick it [the football in England] would be but he has said it’s quick – relentless! But trust the Germans, they can fight.”

“New signings get judged very quickly but if the team doesn’t win then nobody is good – it is like that. The players who are mentally strong – and I think Per is – will get over that. I’m happy with what I see from him.

“Many times you know people judge your buys quickly but personally I am happy with the buys we have made. I’m not happy with the results we have made – that is completely different. I have heard that Song is a bad buy, that Henry is a bad buy, but over time they have been alright.”

“I inherited a fantastic defence but what people forget is that it was not the unbeatable [‘Invincibles’] defence, it was not the best defence,” he pointed out.

“People say we never had to build a defence but that defence with Lauren, Sol Campbell, Kolo Toure and Ashley Cole was the unbeatable one. The four defenders we had were talkers as well.

“We have had quieter defenders recently but I think Mertesacker can be a talker. He will come out of himself, don’t worry.”

Despite the poor late performances of the club, there are surely some good sides to take notice of, and Per Mertesacker is one of them. When Vermaelen will finally be fit again and ready to play Arsenal’s defence will be a much stronger one. Unfortunately now Sagna is injured so Arsene Wenger will once again have to improvise something in the defence giving that Jenkinson is not yet ready to play week in week out.