Eu­rope no prob­lem, Wenger

> Arse­nal can han­dle dis­trac­tions, says man­ager

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

“Did we get a lit­tle men­tal blow when they equalised? I don’t know,” Wenger said.

“But over­all when we were ques­tioned in the fi­nal 30 min­utes, we had no phys­i­cal an­swer good enough to win the game. I can­not ques­tion the spirit, but we looked a bit flat.”

As well as wel­com­ing Kane back from a seven-week lay-off, Spurs man­ager Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino sprang a sur­prise by set­ting his team out with a back three.

Arse­nal winger Theo Wal­cott said the hosts had been sur­prised by the move, but Wenger in­sisted his play­ers had been pre­pared for the even­tu­al­ity.

Chelsea’s re­cent fine form was sparked by a sec­ond-half switch to a 3-4-3 sys­tem dur­ing their 3-0 de­feat at Arse­nal in late Septem­ber, but Po­chet­tino said he had not taken their ap­proach as in­spi­ra­tion.

“Be­cause Chelsea won 5-0 yes­ter­day (Satur­day), they didn’t dis­cover the sys­tem,” he said.

“It’s a good sys­tem to use de­pend­ing on the play­ers. But we don’t play like Chelsea. We play with two strik­ers and Chris­tian (Erik­sen) be­hind.”

Dem­bele was Spurs’ stand-out player and hauled them back into the game by win­ning the penalty after driv­ing into the Arse­nal box from deep in char­ac­ter­is­tic fash­ion.

Po­chet­tino de­scribed the Bel­gium in­ter­na­tional as “a ge­nius”.

While Spurs have now gone seven games with­out a win in all com­pe­ti­tions, they have avoided de­feat in their first 11 league games for the first time since the Dou­ble sea­son of 1960-61.

Spurs have lost Dele Alli to what Po­chet­tino termed a “mi­nor” knee in­jury and he con­ceded he will need to jug­gle his re­sources skil­fully if his team are to re­peat last sea­son’s ti­tle chal­lenge.

“All teams have good and bad mo­ments dur­ing the sea­son,” said the Ar­gen­tine, whose side re­mained fifth in the ta­ble.

“If you have bad mo­ments, like we suf­fered last month, and you are still un­beaten, all I can do is smile. Be­cause I’m happy.

“When you com­pete in the Cham­pi­ons League and the Premier League, which for me are the tough­est com­pe­ti­tions in the world, you need all the squad fit.

“We have suf­fered some is­sues and maybe we can­not ro­tate in the way we want to give fresh­ness and put the play­ers in their best con­di­tion, so we have to use the same play­ers.

“But I’m very happy with the way we fin­ished now. The feel­ing is fan­tas­tic.” – AFP

Arse­nal’s Shko­dran Mustafi (L) try­ing to steal the ball away from Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur’s Harry Kane dur­ing their English Premier League match at the Emi­rates Sta­dium in Lon­don yes­ter­day. –

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.