Wenger: A great response

Arsene Wenger admitted Arsenal’s 5-2 victory at Reading was
hugely important in the wake of their shock defeat at Bradford.

Arsenal’s difficult season hit a new low last week when they
were dumped out of the Capital One Cup by League Two Bradford.

But rock-bottom Reading were on the receiving end of a Santi
Cazorla masterclass, the Spanish playmaker scoring a hat-trick.

Wenger said: “The target was to win in a convincing way. We
focussed on playing the game. At 4-0 we had a little wobbling
period. And at 4-2, after what happened last week, we became a bit
uncertain. We lost a bit of focus and paid for it.

“But overall it was important to go out and play and give the
right answer on the football pitch.”

There was a new-look strike force on show with Theo Walcott
playing in the middle of a three-pronged attack with Lukas Podolski
and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain either side.

And Wenger was impressed with Walcott’s display.

“In training sessions he has shown the abilities to play in this
position – the timing of his movement – and for his first game I
think he has done very well. There are very encouraging signs.

“We had pace, that was the target in the build-up to the game
and overall we gave them many problems through that.

“I said many times I believe in this team and the players want
to do well. In the league – apart from the Swansea game – we have
been quite consistent but we need to go from strength from
strength.

“It’s been difficult (the past week), you’d prefer it when
everything goes well. It’s been interesting also – you discover who
is strong and you discover who can remain united and on that front
in the club we were very good.

“In 16 years we went out just once against a team from a lower
division . If you compare that record to all the other clubs in
England it is still the best record.

“I agree that it was hurtful, and very disappointing. But on the
night Bradford did very well. I am responsible for when it goes
well – and I have to take the criticism when it doesn’t go
well.”