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.”