Arsene Wenger admits Arsenal weren’t at their fluid best during their 3-1 win over Stoke City and says he’s surprised the result came courtesy of three goals from set-pieces.
Aaron Ramsey, Per Mertesacker and Bacary Sagna each pounced in the box from Mesut Ozil free-kicks to seal the three points that returned the Gunners to the top of the table leaving Wenger to reflect on a satisfactory week.
“When the third goal went in, we just kept the result,” the boss told press after the game.
“It’s been a positive, very good week for us because we won in Marseille, we won in Sunderland, we won today. Overall it was a very positive week.
“We were in a position where we could take advantage of our home game and we did it. We had two [different] halves, the first one was fluent, we did well going forward.
“In the second half we looked jaded physically and lost our game a bit. In the end we lost our technical quality but we have shown again another aspect as well, that we can dig deep and fight when we are a bit under pressure.
“When you play against Stoke you don’t expect to score three goals from set-pieces and that is basically the biggest surprise to me today. It shows as well how important the delivery is. He [Ozil] is a player, when you look at his numbers, the assists are not a coincidence, it’s just the reality of his game.”
On a run of seven consecutive victories since the opening day defeat to Aston Villa, talk has now turned to whether an Ozil-inspired Arsenal can challenge for the title.
Taking the pressure of the record-signing from Germany, the boss stressed that his only focus at the moment is ensuring his team keeps improving.
“He [Ozil] gave a lift to everybody at the Club and, for the rest, it will be the quality of our teamwork and our teamplay that will decide that.
“The only thing of our position at the moment is that we are in a position where we can focus on improvement in a stable environment, so that’s a good basis. For the the rest, [in] the table everyone is mathematically together.”
Asked about the problem which saw Theo Walcott removed late in the day from the starting line-up, the boss revealed it wasn’t illness but an abdominal problem.
“He had an abdominal muscle problem, I don’t really know what it is. Is it a question of days? I hope so, because he had a test before the game and I decided to play him. I hope it’s nothing.”