Everyone is used to seeing Arsene Wenger young Arsenal teams putting opponents under relentless pressure with their beautiful football, but last night the tables were turned at Everton.
Arsenal started smartly and scored early on through Thomas Vermaelen, but then the Gunners sat back and soaked up the pressure from Everton for most of the match.
Arsene Wenger was quietly impressed after the game. “We were resilient, focused, with a great desire to defend and our defence played very well tonight,” he said.
“You’ve seen a side of us that people don’t know.”
“I think it’s good that we can do that as well, we didn’t panic, we defended well on crosses which is usually not our strong point and that’s good for us.”
It is certainly good news now that Arsenal have got most of their defenders back from injury. But he admitted that the reason for their blip in January was due to those same injuries. “I was always optimistic, because if you look at our results from October onwards we had only one bad spell,” he said.
“We lost three games on the trot, because we had no full-backs and the attitude of the team was always good, so I felt we could bounce back.”
“That shows you that things change quickly in this league and so that’s why for us it’s vital to keep our focus.”
Arsenal have now leapfrogged Tottenham, and with their bitter rivals set to play Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this weekend, the Gunners will get a chance to consolidate third place.