Arsene Wenger was suitably impressed with the way Mikel Arteta cooly slotted home both Arsenal penalties in this weekends game against West Brom, especially as he had blown his last opportunity in the dying minutes against Fulham a few weeks ago.
“When you miss a penalty in the last minute of a game and you come back and you take two, you can only take your hat off,” Wenger said.
“It is not easy to do what he did. It’s funny because the keeper thought he had missed one on his right, so next time went to his left and Arteta put it in the middle twice. It demands some nerves. He could be a good poker player.
“He is a winner. He is ready to fight to win. In the game, he shows that as well.”
Wenger was quite happy to admit that Arsenal were fortunate to get the first penalty, but overall he was pleased that the Arsenal team fought to gain a very-necessary three points from the game.
“I feel overall we played well.” Wenger said. “We were a bit lucky maybe on the first penalty because he could have given it or not given it. For the rest we created many chances, kept a clean sheet and have shown a great spirit, which many people questioned after our last game. That’s all we could do, we did our job very well.
“They tried to stop us playing, they are physically strong and they played deep. Their keeper started very early in the game to gain time, and we were a bit nervous. I think that showed in the way we took our chances. But you could feel that we were ready for a fight and we knew we absolutely had to win this game. We did it and somewhere, with top-level sportsmen, when you have to win, you win. To deal with the nerves and be serious and resolute, that is what we have shown today.”
Let’s hope they carry on and do it in the forthcoming games as well. We desperately need to inject some consistency into our game. And lets not have another 12 goal thriller next week at Reading. My poor old ticker can’t take much more of that!