Wenger - Good Doncaster Start, Sloppy Finish
Manager Arsene Wenger was delighted with Arsenal's start to the EFL Cup tie against Doncaster Rovers, but he was less pleased with our organisation in the second period.
Hosting Darren Ferguson's side at the Emirates Stadium for the third round tie on Wednesday evening, a goal from Theo Walcott gave us the one nil win and set up a fourth round tie against Norwich City, but speaking to the Official Site as he met with the media post game, Wenger knew second half our foot came off the pedal and we could've been a lot more organised and showed more cohesion to see the game through.
'I would agree with you, I believe that we started well and in the first 25 minutes had a good pace in our game and good flow and slowly lost a bit our cohesion and our speed in our passing and decreased our level and after that I think we did the job even if we had not anymore the style we want to play and the flair to kill the game off.'
With a Ferguson being in the dug out, the press wouldn't not mention Sir Alex.
'I invited him tonight, you know! Sport is good for that. You fight against each other and with respect. I think he was a big personality in the Premier League of course, but I still meet him sometimes in the European meetings.'
With Walcott going off injured with just under 15 minutes to play, Wenger explained.
'He had a kick behind his knee at half-time and in the second half he got another kick. I don`t think it`s big, it looks to me a kick - not more than that.'
Wenger also confirmed that Calum Chambers went off at the half time break with a hip injury.
The Frenchman also believes that with 90 minutes under his belt Alexis Sanchez is now ready for Monday night's tie against West Bromwich Albion.
'For me he needs competition and that`s why I left him on the pitch as well. Yes, he should be ready now.'
Speaking about the opposition on the evening, Wenger had praise for their efforts.
'I would say that they played well, very well and that has changed in the lower divisions now, first of all everybody is super fit. They had absolute total fitness, they were well organised, they came they gave us a tough time, they never have shown any weakness mentally, they kept going until the end - they could have scored a goal as well. I must say I was surprised by their quality and their level, so they shouldn`t be too concerned to stay in the league. I think they need to adapt because they just came up, but they have enough to stay in the league for me.'
With a number of youngsters on show in the game once again with rotation, the gaffer was pleased with the test Doncaster gave them as it will only benefit their development.
First team debuts went to Josh Willock and Josh Dasilva, with Reiss Nelson making is full debut.
'They`ll have found out about the intensity of the game. That the quality of the decision-making has to be spot on, and especially the quality of your concentration. They showed all qualities but sometimes they were surprised by a lack of concentration. At that level, you cannot afford that. Overall, there are positives in it because they`ve shown a good level, but tactically they still have to adjust to the intensity of that.'
Wenger went on to say.
'Overall, in the first half we played very well. We started very well with a quick flow in our game, good passing and good movement. Slowly we lost our way a little bit and couldn`t score the second goal. In the second half we missed a few opportunities and it was always open in the end. It was important not to make a mistake. We looked like we lacked a bit of competition in the second half. We had some tired legs and then our level went a little bit. Overall we managed to win the game without conceding a goal, and that is positive.'