Arsenal 1 – 0 Norwich
68.6 – 31.4
14 – 12
3 – 3
6 – 6
7 – 3
on a much-needed win…
It was much wanted and much needed. It was difficult. We played against a team who were very well organised. We didn’t find a good pace in our game but we were serious and organised, and in the end we got the win. In the first half we needed to be patient, and we needed Petr once or twice. In the second half, it was a deserved win against a team that fights not to go down. It was a typical game that you get. We played Sunderland and Norwich and got two similar games.
on Wenger getting cheers from the fans…
It was a bit of a strange atmosphere. We have to live with that. Some fans were protesting, yes, but a big majority didn’t and the big majority was behind the team. They showed that they appreciate what I’ve done until now, so it’s alright. It was a difficult atmosphere yes, but we have just to live with that, give more, focus on our performance and try to make 100 per cent of our fans happy. That’s our target.
on who the atmosphere was difficult for…
The game was difficult in itself and the atmosphere was alright. I think the fans were behind the team and I believe as well we had not the stylish performance that could raise people off their seats. We had a serious and studious performance, a bit subdued at stages. We wanted absolutely to win the game and we did it.
on if he was aware of the ‘one Arsène Wenger’ chants…
During the game? Yes.
on if he was emotional at that point…
No, I was focused on the game. My job is to win football games, so once the game starts, I focus on that. You can do both – you can appreciate and focus on the game.
on acknowledging the chant…
Yes, I did.
on Alexis not being happy at coming off…
No. My job is to make decisions and there again, to get [everyone] 100 per cent happy is very difficult.
on Alexis walking straight down the tunnel…
I honestly didn’t see it. At that stage I was more worried to keep the 1-0 and I didn’t see it.
on if support today vindicating belief that vast majority of fans are behind Wenger…
I don’t know. I’m a professional who has given 19 years to this club and tries to give the best for the club. I have to accept the judgment of people. The only thing I don’t doubt is my sincere commitment to the club. After, I’m sorry if I can’t keep [everyone] 100 per cent happy, but maybe it’s as well because we have been remarkably consistent. This season is a bit special because we were in a position for a long time where our fans believed we could win the league. We didn’t, so that’s why I think it’s more disappointed love than real aggression. We have to accept that because we are a bit in the same situation.
on Arsenal scoring less goals this season than last season…
What the problem we have faced this season is exactly the same problem we had today. We lost in the first game of the season against a team who sat very deep and didn’t come out. After that, all the teams came here and sat very deep. We did not find a way, in the air or on the ground, to score goals. Today again, I think once we were 1-0 up, there were more goals in the game for us, but we couldn’t finish the game off. You can always be caught back. Crystal Palace was 1-1. But I agree with you that we have not solved that problem against teams that sit deep. Why did we have fantastic results against the teams at the top of the table? Because they come out more, they play more and the game was more side to side. We had the problem that we couldn’t solve this season against teams who sit in front of their box.
on that happening despite having lots of creative players…
We analysed that many times. At the moment we have to finish as well as we can.
Player Ratings taken from the Daily Mail:-
Mertersacker 6.5 (Paulista 6.5)
Iwobi 6.5 (Welbeck 8)
Sanchez 6.5 (Coquelin 6)
Wenger’s 750th PL game in charge of Arsenal will be remembered more for banners than it will for the football. Two banners spring to mind, one said ‘Proud of Arsene, Ashamed of Fans’ and the other read ‘no further alcohol will be sold at today’s fixture’. There were some others too but they were less memorable!
On the field Arsenal dominated the ball as expected but once again were up against a team who were happy to pack the edge of their own box and work hard to limit the space. In fairness to Norwich they did actually show some attacking intent and played very well. Im not sure what the answer is to break down teams that sit deep and defend as a unit, and with Leicester winning the league and Atletico taking on the worlds best in the CL, I’m not sure other teams know either. Thankfully, on this occasion, Wenger made a game winning substitution and we came away with 3 very important points.
Stats compiled by fgg