Arsene Wenger revealed that he only told Jack Wilshere he’d be playing at 10.30 today, and that his performance was a huge encouragement after so long out of the game.
The midfielder shone in a pretty dismal first half, withstood some hefty challenges, and despite being taken off after a little over an hour, the manager is happy with his comeback.
“You could see technically he is there, and he gave everything, and what he is missing he will get through competition. He still misses a bit of the pace of the game, the rhythm of the game, but overall what he did was class.
“I told him he was playing at 10.30am today. Sometimes I think it is better when you don’t have much time to think about it when you have been out for a long time.
“I made the decision without telling him because when you have not played for such a long time it is not always easy to deal with that and there is a high level of expectation when he goes on the pitch.
“I also felt the confidence of the team was a bit jaded and sometimes players with experience and quality give a bit of a lift as well.”
Arsenal had to rely on a late Mikel Arteta goal to take the three points, but Wenger was happy that his side showed improvement after the two previous defeats.
“I am very happy with the result because we lost two big games in our head, and the confidence was a bit jaded. We were serious, we moved the ball quite well and we needed to be patient today. It is a QPR team with quality, I don’t think they will stay at the bottom.
“It was important not to make a mistake, and wait for our chance and take it. We were a bit lucky that they lost a player, because it made it easier for us in the last 20 miniutes. But overall we played a serious game against a good team.”