Wenger On Sunderland Patience
Manager Arsene Wenger has admitted Arsenal had to be patient in Tuesday evening's victory over Sunderland as it was a slow start from the side.
Hosting the already relegated side at the Emirates Stadium for the game, Arsenal eventually took a two nil victory with a brace of goals from Alexis Sanchez late on in the second half, but it was a slow start and Wenger more than acknowledged that when speaking to the Official Site in his post game press conference.
Admitting it took Arsenal time to 'find our rhythm' he praised the patient nature of the side in plugging away, but when it did click we took all three points and set a record of 36 shots in the match which is the highest we've achieved in the Premier League since records started being kept back in the 2003/04 season.
'It was a game we had absolutely to win. We did it, we have 72 points now and we have to focus to get 75. That was not likely to happen three or four weeks ago but we need to patient a bit because we played Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday, Tuesday, with two difficult away games. It took us a while to get into our rhythm. In the second half, in the last 25 or 30 minutes, it happened.'
Wenger went on to praise the side for producing when it mattered in the game and that's something we've done more consistently in recent weeks.
'We won more games than last year, because we already have one point more than last year. We have gone through a difficult period away from home. At home, if you look at our record, it`s quite good. We have lost three away games recently that we should not have lost, at West Brom just before the international break, and after at Crystal Palace. Overall I`d say it`s away from home that we have lost our chances to win the championship. At home, our record is decent.'
He went on to add.
'I would say yes because in the two games we were leading 1-0 and we got caught in the second half. I think especially at Everton, we were really unlucky because some decisions were really bad on the night. After, we had to go straight to Man City and it didn`t help. We can talk and talk, but at the end let`s make 75 points. If you look at the number of points we can make, it`s one of the best in the last 10 years.'
With the crowd being a talking point, Wenger went on to say.
'It`s Tuesday night against Sunderland. Everybody expects us to win. I didn`t count the number of people who were in the seats. We are sold out (Sunday).'
Pressed on whether it's more difficult to play in front of empty seats.
'No, we do our job and we have shown that again tonight. When you play football, you don`t count the people in the stands. You play because you want to win the game and because you enjoy to play.'
Moving back to Champions League ambitions, Wenger also didn't believe we needed a miracle to get into the top four now.
'No, you never know. But anyway, I answered for 20 years the question - 'the top four is nothing special'. So I don`t know why suddenly it could become such a big problem. I`m quite surprised. I want to absolutely make sure that we are in there but after that let`s get to 75 points and see what happens. You want all the teams to fight like Sunderland did tonight. After, you have to accept the result. What is for sure, if we win our game, we can only be far from one point. Let`s give ourselves every chance.'
'I don`t even think about percentage, I just think about let`s make sure we win the game, because we play against Everton. Even if you only had one per cent, you would have to play at totally 100 per cent. I think we have a chance. It would be the first time you make 75 points and aren`t in the top four.'