Premier League

December 17, 2012



2 - 5


Premier League

20:00 +00:00, December 17, 2012

Madejski Stadium, England

Wenger: We answered our critics

Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal made the perfect response to his side's critics with a convincing win at the Madejski Stadium on Monday night.

Wenger's job was placed under intense scrutiny after the Gunners' Capital One Cup exit at the hands of Bradford last week, but the Arsenal boss insists he will let football do the talking.

"There could only be one answer and that was on the football pitch," Wenger said. "Success came with the quality of our game. We focused on the quality of our game and played.

"Our ambition is to finish as high as we can and win our next game, that is all we can do. We have to focus on the quality of our football.

"We have games based on movement and technical quality and that demands freedom of initiative and when you are in a crisis that suffers sometimes, but we have to go beyond that and focus on the way we play football."

Wenger was quick to play down the criticism he has faced at the Emirates, claiming it is unwarranted.

"It depends on what you mean by a crisis. If you call being slaughtered by everybody then we were in a super crisis," he said. "In our job you need to be mentally strong. It is a test when you have been in a position like we were in.

"In the championship our run is not so bad recently. We lost just one of the last six, but because we had not won them and were starting in the middle, no win becomes highlighted. This run is not fantastic, but not disastrous."

Theo Walcott earned a rare start for Arsenal and the winger once again proved his worth with an 80th minute goal that would leave Wenger hoping to retain the 23-year-old.

"It is not my decision, it is Theo's decision as well - if it is [only] my decision, it is quickly done," Wenger said. "Theo has been educated at Southampton and Arsenal, where he has become a top level player here.

"I hope that when he considers his future he will think this is the best place for him and sign for us. I will just say our desire and will is clear, and Theo knows that. Hopefully we can get to a happy end with it."

QPR's win over Fulham on the weekend compounded Reading's woes, with the Royals now languishing six points away from safety.

"We came up against a side who were at the top their game, but we changed the shape in the second half and I thought we were better," Reading boss Brian McDermott said. "We got ourselves a couple of goals and I think if we had got a third something could have happened.

"I thought there was a little bit of an edge that crept into their game, but obviously the fifth goal meant it was done and dusted. The hardest thing to do is score goals, but we have to make sure we stop conceding."