Arsene Wenger addressed the media after his side beat Aston Villa 3-0 on Saturday afternoon. The manager looked very relaxed when compared to midweek. After the humbling 2-0 loss to Dortmund, this 3-0 thrashing of a high flying Villa must have felt good. The manager answered a variety of questions, including those on Ozil; who was finally played in his favoured No. 10 position and turned in a performance of the highest quality. A goal and an assist for the German are a good start, and all Gunners fans must be hoping for more.
Welbeck also scored his first goal for the Gunners, against his preferred opposition of Aston Villa. All in all, a very good game for us, and here is what Wenger had to say.
When asked about the win against the Villains:
It was the response we needed after Tuesday. Aston Villa started quite well and they had one or two dangerous situations, but after that we were in control and we scored three goals in three minutes. Then in the second half it was a possession game, a controlled game, because they didn’t come out too much. Overall it’s still a convincing win where [Danny] Welbeck scored, [Mesut] Ozil scored, and that’s important as well.
When asked about whether he intends to stick to today’s winning strategy:
I adapted a bit game by game. There is a little difference but not a major one. Ozil played today behind their midfield because I thought they made it very tight. But it’s important for us to find Ozil between the lines and move the game forward. It worked, but he can play everywhere. I believe that the team played well and after it’s easier for everybody.
About Welbeck’s performance:
He scored a similar goal to the one he scored in Switzerland. A cross from the left and he pushed it in – the timing of his run is good. I think he had a very good performance today because he kept the ball. Ball retention is important and he had a good all-round game for a central striker.
On Ozil’s efforts:
I was very pleased he got the goal as quickly as possible. It’s not your [the media’s] fault, I didn’t say that it was your fault, I just said knowing you the media how well you find out what we miss. It was important for him to score.
About Sanchez being dropped from the team:
Sanchez was rested today and of course he was completely available.
A large number of questions were about Ozil and his performance, and whether Wenger has decided on a permanent position for the German.
On whether he considered dropping Ozil:
No, not really, no. You consider it always, I have many offensive players and you always look to find the right balance and it’s not always easy because I gave Sanchez a rest as he played many games. We have plenty of experienced players who are not playing at the moment and are top quality. But I felt as well that it was at the point where you have to show him that confidence is there. He showed as well that he can respond when he’s under scrutiny.
On whether Ozil would lose confidence after being dropped:
It’s always a very sensitive point. You never know really how people respond to that.
When asked about what Ozil’s preferred position is:
In the middle. But I can find you 10 more players in my squad who want to play in the middle.
A great result for Arsenal and a great way to start the weekend for Gunners fans. Now lets hope that the team is able to retain this momentum going forward. We have two tricky fixtures against Chelsea and Spurs coming up; but if we continue to play at this level, we can easily claim the points from those games as well.