The independent London newspaper

After Watford shock, Wenger says Arsenal need real response at Chelsea

Arsene Wenger says Gunners 'want to respond and win the game' against the Premier League leaders tomorrow

03 February, 2017 — By Steve Barnett

Arsene Wenger: ‘Of course we want to respond against Chelsea on Saturday in a very convincing way’

ARSENE Wenger says he wants to see his team respond to their midweek disappointment “in a very convincing way” when they travel to Stamford Bridge to tackle Premier League leaders Chelsea this weekend.

The Arsenal boss described Tuesday night’s 2-1 defeat against Watford at the Emirates Stadium as “a big opportunity missed” after rivals Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool all dropped points.

Wenger is adamant that although the Hornets made the game “very physical” his charges weren’t bullied into submission.

“I don’t think we have a physical power problem,” he said. “I think we were not mentally ready to deal with the duels that we usually do. You don’t make 47 points in the ­Premier League after 23 games if you have no physical power.

“But you have to switch it on at 100 per cent every time in the Premier League, that’s what it is about.”

The defeat leaves Arsenal nine points behind Chelsea, and with homework to do before this Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off at Stamford Bridge.

“We want to respond and win the game, of course,” said Wenger. “First, however, we have to analyse why we didn’t start well against Watford. There are some situations in our team which were not completely clear at the start of the game, and we have to analyse that well.

“Of course we want to respond against Chelsea on Saturday in a very convincing way.”

Aaron Ramsey is a major doubt for this weekend’s London derby after limping off after only 20 minutes against Watford. Wenger had better news regarding Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who was also hobbling when he left the field.

“Aaron has a calf strain. It’s too early to tell how long he will be out for,” said the Gunners’ boss.

“We shall find out more in the next 48 hours. “Alex got a kick on his knee, but I think he should be all right.”

Meanwhile Arsenal’s David-vs-Goliath tie away against National League side Sutton United in the fifth round of the FA Cup will be played on Monday February 20 and is a 7.55pm kick-off. The match will be screened live on BBC One.


Share this story

Post a comment