Ahead of the clash against Anderlecht, Arsene Wenger addressed the media. The press conference was focused mainly on the start given to goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez; Arsenal’s defensive woes and Wenger’s birthday were also topics that were discussed.
Arsene Wenger stressed that he has complete confidence in Emiliano Martinez ahead of the goalkeeper’s Champions League debut. With Szczesny suspended and Ospina sidelined due to injury, Martinez is Arsenal’s seniormost keeper. The 22 year old has made two League Cup appearances in his time at Arsenal, including the 7-5 win at Reading two years ago.
He is two years older now and has a good experience. He has grown in stature as well.
I am extremely confident, because he has experience from [a loan spell at] Sheffield Wednesday last year and, when he played for us, he did very well. I have no special worry about that.
We have to make it as comfortable a night as we can for him, and that is by defending well as a team.
Wenger also spoke about the defensive issues of the team, admitting that they lacked efficiency. But he believes that with the return of Calum Chambers to the side, Arsenal will turn in a much stronger performance today.
Today is also Arsene Wenger’s birthday, and the veteran manager turns 65. However he clarified that the main focus was on getting the win against Anderlecht.
No I am not a celebrator of birthdays. I just think what is important is that my team performs well.
Do I feel young? No, because my age is my age and you have to deal with that, but until now I am lucky to be in good shape – the desire and the motivation is stronger than ever.
The ideal birthday gift for the under fire Wenger would be a win today. Arsenal have struggled to get going this season and the draw at home to Hull was a major upset for the Gunners, especially after the loss to Chelsea and the draw against Tottenham. A win, and a convincing one, would help restore confidence in a shaken side and hopefully allow us to get our campaign back on track.