Wenger rests easy after his Gunners stay in the groove
Premier League: Fine run continues after August’ s horror show at Anfield
Wenger believes Arsenal were written off too early this season after they continued their Premier League resurgence with victory against Brighton yesterday.
Goals either side of halftime from Nacho Monreal and Alex Iwobi earned a 2-0 success against the Seagulls to leave the Gunners with 10 points from the four league games played since August’s 4-0 thrashing at Liverpool.
Arsenal, who have also claimed back-to-back Europa League wins and a Carabao Cup triumph since losing at Anfield, now head into the international break level on 13 points with fourth-placed Chelsea and six behind the table-topping Manchester clubs.
“I knew that after the game in Liverpool everybody would write us off and I knew it just depends on us, how much we respond,” said Gunners manager Wenger.
“Nothing is permanent; A defiant Jurgen Klopp is confident Liverpool will rediscover their killer touch after passing up a series of chances to see off Newcastle yesterday.
The Reds have now won only one of their last seven games in all competition after their 1-1 draw on Tyneside and are seven points adrift of league pacesetters Manchester City and Manchester United.
However, Klopp, whose you’re not bad in a permanent way, if you can do something about it, and you’re not good in a permanent way, if you don’t keep your urgency.
“We responded in a united way and we have put some wins together and some good performances as well.”
Monreal turned home the 17th-minute opener following a scramble in the Albion box, before Nigeria midfielder Iwobi sealed success by superbly finishing following a flowing Arsenal move early in the second period.
Wenger admits he will be sleeping better during the forthcoming set of international fixtures than he did during the last lot, which came immediately after their Anfield horror show.
Sunday’s fixture at the Emirates marked the 21st anniversary of Wenger’s arrival team is now struggling to score as well as to keep clean sheets, said: “There are different ways to get one win in seven.
“You can play badly and lose a lot, or you play in more than a few games really well. In most of the games we have been the better side, but a few chances have been enough for the opponent to score.
“That has happened too often, of course, but the only alternative for us is to carry on. I am not concerned.”
Liverpool took a 27 thArsene in north London. The 67-year-old, who succeeded Bruce Rioch on October 1, 1996 and has since won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, said he was initially unaware of the milestone occasion.
“I did not know about it,” he said.
“I was told by the press. I wouldn’t like to reflect too much on that. I have kept focus on my job always under good and bad circumstances.
“When you are 21 years somewhere you know that you have good and bad moments. Nobody can make 21 years and only fly. What I love in the game is to deal with bad moments and find the response.”
After Arsenal went ahead, Brighton offered some resistance and almost equalised when winger Solly March rattled the right post following a well-worked free-kick routine.
Albion were ultimately left empty-handed but manger Chris Hughton felt his team gave a good account of themselves on their first visit to Arsenal in 34 years. minute lead at St James’ Park courtesy of Philippe Coutinho, only to see it cancelled out just nine minutes later by Joselu’s fortuitous goal.
However, they also wasted several good opportunities to win the game, and might have lost it at the end had Magpies substitute Mohamed Diame been more clinical.
Asked if the result was fair, Klopp replied: “Yes, because we scored once and Newcastle scored once. What do you think?”
When the questioner answered that he thought it was a fair result, Klopp said: “This was the first football game you saw? Interesting. Obviously we have different opinions.”
The Reds will return to action after the international break with a home game against high-flying United and, while Klopp is confident there is more to come, he knows they will have to be more clinical to get anything out of it.
He said: “I have played a lot of times really badly and got a point and, after that, actually it feels like you have won a point. But you know, we have a real problem. We have to play better in the next game because otherwise we will not get a point.”
Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez, who had six years in charge at Anfield, was understandably more satisfied after a game which was watched by millionaire businesswoman Amanda Staveley at the end of a week rife with talk of a takeover on Tyneside.
He said: “Some games you get what you deserve, some games not.
“In this case, we got one point at home and I don’t like that – but against a top side, I think it’s positive.”
The promoted Magpies have now taken 10 points from their first seven games and are ninth in the table – and that, too, is a source of comfort for the Spaniard.
He said: “If you had asked me before, maybe I would have said yes, but after the games we lost, I think we deserved something more. It could be even better. But I will not be greedy, I’ll just be happy with that.” Everton manager Ronald Koeman insists he has no reason to think about his future while the players are still committed to his plans.
The Dutchman refused to answer when asked, if he was the right man to lead the Toffees out of their current malaise after the 1-0 home defeat by Burnley made it four defeats in five Premier League matches.
Everton have just seven points from as many games and their performance against the Clarets was devoid of much genuine threat or hope of turning things around once they had gone behind to Jeff Hendrick’s 22nd-minute goal.
Koeman, however, believes he saw enough in the display to give him confidence.
“It is not in my hands but I try to get the best out of the players,” he said.
“If there is no commitment and no aggression that is maybe a reason to think about my future but I thank the players for their commitment today.
“I can’t complain about my players today, they did everything. Maybe we could create more but it is not so easy against Burnley. You go down in the result, they are really defensiveminded, really physical.”
Specifically asked whether he was the right man for Everton, Koeman said: “I don’t answer this type of question. That is not the business at this moment.”
Burnley manager Sean Dyche, meanwhile, was delighted with the result which secured their best start to a top-flight season away from home since 1966 – and their best start to a Premier League campaign.
But he nonetheless had some sympathy with Koeman’s situation.
“He’s a very good manager at a very good club and with some very good players,” he said.