Arsene Wenger on Bendtner’s hat-trick and importance of Chamakh scoring

March 3, 2011

Arsene Wenger was delighted with both Bendtner and Chamakh ending up on the score sheet against Leyton Orient. Bendtner got a hat-trick and Chamakh opened the scores for Arsenal as they beat Leyton Orient comfortably.

Speaking after the match, the manager admitted the importance of Chamakh and Bendtner rising to the occasion and scoring after Van Persie’s injury as he added how confidence of both the players will be needed to be successful in the big games coming up.

Wenger was pleased with Bendtner in taking his chances yesterday as he said how it now puts Bendtner in contention to start in the vital game against Sunderland and added that all the focus is now on beating Sunderland as it will put Arsenal in a strong position.

Regarding Chamakh, Arsene added that he too will be required in the games coming up as he explained how fatigue caused his good start to the season to be disrupted and how he is now coming back to his best and how scoring will improve his confidence.

Arsenal will play Sunderland this Saturday before they head to Nou Camp for the 2nd leg against Barcelona on Tuesday.

After the match, Arsene said:

“We have lost Van Persie so for Bendtner and Chamakh to score is very important, they now have a level of confidence that we need to be successful in the big games.

You need your strikers to take any chance and tonight Bendtner did that very well. It puts him in contention to play against Sunderland. That for us, is a vital game. We have to make our decisions game by game, if we beat Sunderland we are in a great position so all our focus is on that game.

We need Chamakh with the games we have in front of us. He had a great start to the season until the end of November and after he had a little bit of burn-out. Now he looks, even in training, to be coming back. For a while he looked very tired but now it is good for him he has scored”


Player Ratings: Arsenal 5 – 0 Leyton Orient

March 3, 2011

That is more like it now. A good response by Arsenal after the disappointment on Sunday.

It was an unnecessary fixture to start off with but it proved useful as it was the right game for many of the players before the, now important, match against Sunderland on Saturday.

Overall, it was a very good performance by the whole team. The movement, passing and finishing was at times excellent. There were a few moments where it seemed that we lost our focus, especially after scoring the first goal and when the second half started where Orient looked like scoring. However, credit to the team for responding with a goal every time.

One thing I wasn’t impressed was with the defense although they did keep a clean sheet. there wasn’t much to do yet whenever Orient were on the attack we looked vulnerable. Our fullbacks also need to get their decisions right of when to make a run and when not to as they were caught out of position most of the times.

With a lot of important players injured, Bendtner, Diaby and Rosicky for me were the players that needed to show they can be relied upon and they didn’t disappoint at all.

Coming to player ratings:

Almunia (6): Had nothing to do throughout the match. Still not convinced with his positioning, however, he did catch the ball cleanly on the few occasions it went his way.

Eboue (6.5): He spent most of his time upfront as he was involved every now and then in attack. He did get an assist on the fifth goal but needs to improve his crossing and decision making. Defensively was almost always caught out of position but thankfully we weren’t punished for it.

Squillaci (6): He had a normal game as there wasn’t much to do. Lost his man on a couple of occasions and needs to improve his reading of the game.

Miquel (6): Another decent game from the youngster as again he was comfortable and composed with the ball. Still a lot to learn as his inexperience was exposed at times yesterday.

Gibbs (7.5): He too spent more time in attack than in defense. Upfront was amazing as he created the second goal and earned the penalty for the fourth with an excellent run. If only he can improve his defensive side of the game, he will be a top class left back.

Denilson (7): Played his usual game as he helped us keep  possession and played his part in the linking up the play.

Rosicky (7):  A very good game by Rosicky. He moved about all over the pitch as he was involved in everything thing that happened.  A brilliant run and pass to set up Chamakh for the first goal. We need more performances like this if he is to prove his worth.

Diaby (7): A good performance by Diaby as he returned after a month. He combined well with Rosicky as he showed what he can offer us last night and I hope he stays fit till the end of the season. Made some good runs but he still needs to improve his decision making in the final third.

Bendtner (8.5): Excellent. We needed someone to take Van Persie’s place and last night Bendtner showed that he is ready to fill-in in his absence. A powerful and accurate header to open his account, a clinical shot to get his second and scored a very well taken penalty to complete his well deserved hattrick.

Chamakh (7): Chamakh had a good game but he needs more time to improve his confidence. It was good to see him score after almost three months. His movement was good and he was involved in a lot of one-twos. However, he needs to take his chances in front of goal as last night again he hesitated to take shots.

Henderson (6): Was anonymous for major parts but he had a decent game. Did lose possession on more than a few occasions but it was good to see him complete the ninety minutes as he also kept things simple. His delivery on the free kick was good if not perfect.

Subs:

Clichy’s (6.5) strike was sweet as he scored only his second goal for Arsenal last night. Adjusted well in the advanced role as he was involved most of the time after he came on. Wilshere (6) had some good moments along with Nasri (6) as both of them increased the tempo of our game and created half chances.


Arsene Wenger on Van Persie’s injury and why Rosicky was withdrawn

March 3, 2011

Robin Van Persie has a tear in his ligament that is going to rule him out for at least a month, if not more. Van Persie was already sidelined before last night’s match as Wenger revealed the extent of  his injury after the game.

Speaking after the match against Leyton Orient, Wenger revealed that he tore his ligament when he scored the goal against Birmingham by overstretching his leg as the manager added he continued with his injury during the game but had to be withdrawn in the end.

When asked about his return, Arsene replied that it is three to four weeks if there are no setbacks as the manager added it cannot be guaranteed and hoped that he will be available after the International break.

Meanwhile, Rosicky was also withdrawn last night due to an injury concern. Regarding him, Wenger said that he is good and how an elbow to his head left him a bit dizzy and had to be withdrawn.

On Wednesday, Arsenal qualified for the quarter finals of the FA Cup after beating Leyton Orient comfortably to set up a match against Manchester United.

Wenger, after the match, said:

“I am not a specialist but he [Robin Van persie] overstretched his knee at the back of his knee when he made the volley [to score on Sunday]. He got kicked or blocked by the defender and overstretched when he hit the ball. In fact we lost Van Persie after 30 minutes, we tried to keep him going in the second half but he was injured.

It is a ligament at the back of the knee, a tear in the ligament. It is three to four weeks, I take the short delay because I am an optimist but it could be four. As well it is the international break during that period so is it three or four, for us it is the same. We have two weeks to play now and then there is a two-week break because of international games. We have to hope it is only four; he cannot play before the international break, that is for sure. Let’s hope he can play after the international break. I listen to what the medical people say to me and you never know, he can have a setback. You can never guarantee.

He [Thomas Rosicky] is good, he had an elbow on his head. He was a bit dizzy so we took him off.”