Wenger praises spirit after Villa comeback

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Arsene Wenger has praised the spirit of his team after coming back from two goals down to beat Aston Villa today.

The Gunners left the field at half-time to a chorus of boos, fans unhappy that the team were heading for a fourth successive defeat, but a seven minute goal spree in the second half turned things around.

And the Arsenal manager was happy his team showed the neccessary character to ensure they stayed in the FA Cup.

“I was very impressed because I felt that when you come out of a bad period like we are, and you are 2-0 down, you can feel sorry for yourself or you can show you have the mental qualities to play for this club. I was very proud that the team came out and showed they are not ready to lie down.”

The boss was also asked about the half-time reaction, saying, “I am sad we cannot always keep them happy, the only thing we can do is show the spirit that we showed today. They have seen some interesting things today, I felt Oxlade-Chamberlain had another good game, and we have some quality.

“I just want to do well for this club that I love. I understand that people question my decisions, but I wouldn’t understand if they questioned my commitment and my dedication.”

Many people will be curious about what was said at half-time in the Arsenal dressing room, but Wenger wasn’t forthcoming.

“We always keep what is said in the dressing room [to ourselves]. The players were all very positive at half time and we showed that in the second half. It was important to put massive pressure on them in their half. We closed them down very hard in their own half.”

So while one win doesn’t make everything in the garden rosy again, and team and manager still have much to prove, it’s certainly a better feeling than the last few Sunday evenings.

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Glenn Helder
Glenn Helder

Hope this can be a defining moment of the season – well done lads.

COYG

Geoff
Geoff

‘I just want to do well for this club that I love’

Can’t argue with the sentiments Arsene but why oh fucking why can’t we start the game with the same passion, spirit and urgency we showed when we were two down?

Young Gooner
Young Gooner

As expected. Words like mental strength and spirit will come out. However, well done!

Josh
Josh

But at least handbrakes and mature stayed at home

Witoldo
Witoldo

Yeah, this “news” article might as well have been: “Sun goes down in the evening.”

paddymac
paddymac

To be fair though, coming back from 2-0 to win does show mental strength. I have no problem with Mr. Wenger using that phrase when it’s actually true!

Ajax
Ajax

“I just want to do well for this club that I love. I understand that people question my decisions, but I wouldn’t understand if they questioned my commitment and my dedication.”

Well put Arsene, you’re the greatest servant this club could have asked for.

Brownman
Brownman

Happy for Wenger after all the flak the fans have given him off late. As some mentioned above, really hoping that this is the turning point in the season.

On another note – he also said this: http://www.espn.co.uk/football/sport/story/133653.html?CMP=OTC-RSS

Waiting till Tuesday to see if we get any more goodies!

SmokingGunner
SmokingGunner

This has a feeling like the chelsea game, lets hope we can go on another run now. Milan here we come!

Brownman
Brownman

Guess I didn’t have to wait till Tuesday!
http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11095/7464835/?

Cygan's Left Foot
Cygan's Left Foot

Unleash Jack. Le Coq and Ox on all those European teams this season, they would have the shock of their lives.

One can dream.

mike
mike

“It was important to put massive pressure on them in their half. We closed them down very hard in their own half.”

would love to see that in every half of every game.

Jasonissimo
Jasonissimo

Once or twice, after RvP chased down one of Villa’s CBs only to have the pass go behind him, he look back toward midfield questioningly. It looked to me like Ramsey may have been unaware that Arsenal were pressing high, because at least in the first half, he did not support van Persie’s efforts to close them down. Generally, a forward won’t run around like that if he knows the team is going to sit back and not support him.

(arsYse)
(arsYse)

“It looked to me like Ramsey may have been unaware that Arsenal were pressing high”.

Yes Ramsey who was in the dressing room when the manager was giving out the instructions was unaware of Arsenals game plan while you aware of the game, did nothing.

Armando
Armando

Nicklas Bendtner is the answer to this problem. As you can see here, he has plenty of spirit inside his body. http://img.metro.co.uk/i/pix/2009/05/bendtnerXP_450x508.jpg

Zak
Zak

I’m not usually one for superstition, but my father has been convinced the past few months that when he watches his favorite teams play, he is the cause of their bad luck. At 2-0 down at halftime today, he stopped watching the game for this very reason. We went on and won 3-2. I think we should all be thanking him really.

Also, that’s 3 penalties in 2 games against Villa this year. Must be frustrating for them, but I’m convinced that McLeish has told his squad that Arsenal are rarely given rightful penalties anyways so foul all you want. He’s only got himself to blame for that.

Thorough

Give me a midfield of Song/Coq, Arteta and Rosicky. I bet it has metal mental strength. Rosicky collects the key to the midfield and runs it once he settles into a game. If we have him, control a game, then I believe the goals will come eventually as we saw today. I think he is the only playmaker we can count on, for now, if we are serious with our top four ambition. God help us.

John
John

Haha always good to get ol’ Peanut Head McLeish =]

Nikki
Nikki

With players coming back from injury and AFCON later, it might be a begining of another run. Wednesday match will be very crucial for the foundations.

Red Cannon
Red Cannon

I agree with Thorough about Rosicky. He controlled the midfield beautifully today, and think he’s proven in the past few games when he has played that he deserves our confidence. Unless he was tired, I think he shouldn’t have been subbed out today. I would much rather have taken Ramsey off. …But thankfully, in the end it didn’t matter and we progress to the next glorious round.

Goon4lyf
Goon4lyf

“you can feel sorry for yourself or you can show you have the mental qualities to play for this club.”

Eddie McGoldricks Goldrick
Eddie McGoldricks Goldrick

Arteta upped the swoonfactor to levels not seen since Bobby “Pires” Pires glided over Arsenal turf.

garyfootscrayaustralia
garyfootscrayaustralia

….as he came on to screams similar to those heard at a Beatles concert……

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[…] build a little bit of confidence and belief ahead of the trip to Bolton on Wednesday. Afterwards Arsene spoke of the second half comeback: I was very impressed because I felt that when you come out of a bad period like we are, and you […]