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Wenger relieved to bounce back after United rout

11 Sep 2011 04:30:16

Wenger relieved to bounce back after United rout

Arsene Wenger admits it was vital Arsenal returned to winning ways as the Gunners recovered from their humiliation at the hands of Manchester United by beating Swansea 1-0 at the Emirates Stadium.

Wenger's side were unconvincing in their victory over newly-promoted Swansea on Saturday, secured thanks to a 41st minute goal from Andrey Arshavin after an error by visiting keeper Michael Vorm.

But the result brought the Gunners their first win of the Premier League season and helped recover a little of the confidence lost in the demoralising 8-2 mauling they received at Old Trafford.

Wenger admitted his side still has a long way to go before they can claim to have put the disappointing start to the campaign behind them and admitted his players had been gripped by nerves.

But with five new faces in his squad following three days of hectic business in the final moments of the transfer deadline, he is convinced Arsenal can now look forward from a position of strength.

"It was vital for us to win the game," Wenger said. "I think we started quite well and slowly the nerves took over and we played restrictive in the second half.

"It's not often that you see us pass the ball back to our goalkeeper from halfway so you could see that in the second half.

"We just wanted to get over the line and not make a mistake. Because we didn't get that second goal we always knew if we made a mistake we don't win a game we had absolutely to win.

"The nerves are not a deeper problem. When you don't win you have a deep problem, that's for sure, the longer it lasts, the deeper the problem becomes. And as soon as you win things are different."

With Per Mertesacker and Mikel Arteta making their full debuts and Andre Santos, Yossi Benayoun and Park Chu-Young on the bench, Wenger now has more options, especially with Gervinho and Alex Song set to return for this week's Champions League trip to face Borussia Dortmund.

Jack Wilshere, Abou Diaby and Thomas Vermaelen are out with long term injuries, but Wenger is satisfied his squad is better suited to the demands of a long season.

"We know that the confidence goes quickly and comes back slowly and for us, to be in the situation we were in, we are not used to that," he said.

"We will come back when you look at the fact we had no Gervinho, no Song, no Diaby, no Wilshere. We now have a decent squad and when everybody is back we have a chance. But we need first to put a few wins together."

Wenger was pleased with the performances of Mertesacker and Arteta, and believes Arshavin will benefit from scoring the winning goal.

"Mertesacker was calm and composed," Wenger said. "Of course he leads the line well. He needs to adapt to the pace of the game but he is very intelligent in his positioning.

"Arteta played well overall, especially in the first half. You can see he will bring us some technical security that we need. He will fit in the team well."

Wenger also offered his condolences to Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers who was absent from the Emirates Stadium following the death of his father.

Colin Pascoe, the Swansea first team coach, took charge in Rodgers' absence and was left frustrated after the Welsh club failed to score for a fourth league game.

"Of course you have to score goals to win the games. But we are creating chances. I would be more concerned if we weren't making chances," he said.

Pascoe also refused to condemn Vorm for his error, insisting the keeper has been in good form since arriving at the club.

"Michael has been outstanding in three games," he said. "He has come in and he has been a revelation. It's just one of those things where he changed his mind at the moment and unfortunately it dropped for Arshavin."


AFP

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