Defiant Wenger insists Arsenal can make top four after victory over West Ham
PUBLISHED: 23:07 05 April 2017 | UPDATED: 23:07 05 April 2017
PA Wire/PA Images
A defiant Arsene Wenger insisted Arsenal can finish in the top four after easing past West Ham 3-0 to register their first win in nearly two months tonight at the Emirates.
A trio of second half goals from Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud saw his under-fire team move up to fifth place, only four points behind fourth placed Manchester City who lost to Chelsea tonight – with a game in hand.
Speaking afterwards a visibly relaxed Wenger said: “It’s possible of course [to finish in the top four] if you look we have a game in hand.
“We have players back from injuries – we have done it before in more difficult conditions and that’s what we have to try and do again,
“You could see that even if the result was not what we wanted against City it had a positive impact on the morale of the team [tonight].
“In the first half we had to be patient and not to make a mistake but in the second half our technical superiority made a difference – and at the end of the day it was a convincing win.”
Wenger gave a start to third choice 24-year-old Argentine keeper Emiliano Martinez in place of David Opsina following Petr Cech’s calf injury at West Brom and was full of praise for the whole team.
He said: “There were positive performances from everybody – from the goalkeeper to the strikers. It’s a good result tonight. We have gone through a bad period but tonight was a good game.
“Someone reminded me that we have scored more than 100 goals already this season. Going forward we are good but defensively recently we have not been efficient enough.”
Tonight’s win was the first triumph in a league match for nearly two months, since Arsenal beat Hull City 2-1 on February 11.
With two crushing 5-1 defeats home and away against Bayern Munich in the Champions League as well as two poor 3-1 losses on the road to Liverpool and West Brom pressure has been mounting on the long-serving Frenchman to reveal whether he intends to sign a new contract – or leave the club when his current contract expires at the end of this season.
With questions also being asked of the character of his side and whether they still believed in his methods he added: “Players play for the team.
“Of course I am part of the club as well but I have never questioned the mentality of the team - but when you go through a difficult period the confidence goes quickly and comes back slowly. But even to come back slowly you need [to put] in some work.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Islington Gazette. Click the link in the orange box above for details.