9th May 2016: Wenger on City, Welbeck and Wilshere

Welcome to a brand new week on TremendArse. Just a very brief post for you this evening because I’m as short on time as Jose Mourinho is on common decency and Tottenham are on league titles.

So straight to the reaction from yesterday’s draw with Manchester City at Etihad stadium and here’s what Arsene Wenger had to say on the game, and the prospect of finishing in third place in the table:

It was a very intense game where we had a difficult start because Manchester City came out very strong. We suffered a little, but every time we went down we showed character and came back twice in the game. Overall, I think Manchester City had good intensity in the game and there were a few times when we were in trouble, but we delivered a very strong performance. It (finishing third) is in our hands now but we have seen again today that we just want to finish the job with the result. That shows you that we have to focus and keep the focus. It is important to maintain that. We have had strong concentration in recent games and our character has been questioned a few times this season. We gave the right response today on the pitch, but you have to say if you look we have the best results against the top-four teams. That doesn’t come without character.

We may well have the best record against the top four teams this season (and without checking I can’t be sure, because Arsene’s been a little loose with the statistical truth recently – think his line about us being ‘away champions’), but this has been a bit of a Peter Crouch season – freakish.

I mean, beating Leicester home and away and managing two draws with Tottenham in any other season would be seen as a bare minimum achievement, if not slightly disappointing. Against the the usual top four suspects on the other hand, i.e the two Manchester clubs, Chelsea and Liverpool, we’s managed just two wins in eight games this term (at home against City and United), drawn three (City away and twice with Liverpool) and lost three times (twice to Chelsea and United away) – hardly form to crow about.

Moving on, the boss also discussed Danny Welbeck’s injury and Jack Wilshere’s performance, having sent the midfielder on from the subs’ bench as the former’s replacement yesterday. He said:

Danny Welbeck has a knee problem. I hope it is not too bad. We need to wait for a scan, I hope that it is not bad one and a meniscus. Danny is a strong boy, he is not a guy who moves out quickly. We tried to keep him on the pitch and straight away he tried to move on and he said it was impossible. At half time, I looked at him and he was very down so he must have pain. Lets hope we have good news tomorrow from the scan. When I say good, that means he will not be out of the Euros. The bad news would be if he is out of the Euros, but I don’t know. I’m an optimist. I don’t know if it is a lateral meniscus. Lets wait until we get the real diagnosis. I felt that he showed he is well prepared physically. Overall, I believe that his performance was encouraging and that he will benefit from this kind of intensity in the game. He didn’t have too much time to think about it, but that is sometimes the best. His performance was positive.

Danny’s injury, like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s last week, is obviously a cruel blow for the player with the European championships around the corner, but hopefully it’s not as bad as feared and the striker can still make the plane to France. Fingers crossed.

As for Jack, I thought he was visibly off-the-pace yesterday, which admittedly is far from surprising considering how long he’s been out injured. But regardless, he didn’t hide, got himself involved and the game-time will no doubt have done him the world of good as he attempts to reach peak condition ahead of the Euros and then what will hopefully, finally, be an injury-free campaign for Arsenal.

That’ll do for tonight.

See you tomorrow.

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