AW: We got encouragement but we needed points

on a tight game…
I think it was a game that could have gone both ways. It was very intense with both teams going for it and I feel as well that we were a bit unlucky. Their keeper had a good game and we were a bit unlucky with the fact that we had to reshuffle completely at the back in a position where we are already short – we paid too much for that.

Overall I did feel at half-time that we would win the game if we stayed stable at the back. We lacked a bit of accuracy with our final ball in the final third as well because we had a few opportunities where we didn’t pass the ball well. But overall we had a very positive performance, great spirit, quality, but we lacked a little bit of what is vital in the big games.

on resources…
I must say we have four full backs out and the first injury we get in the game is a full back. It’s not only down to resources, you cannot buy 17 full backs anyway. That is why I think we were a bit unlucky today.

on penalty claims against Richards…
Yes [I thought it was a penalty]. Honestly I haven’t seen it but Van Persie is adamant it was a 100 per cent penalty.

on Van Persie’s offside ‘goal’…
I haven’t seen it again but we know that these decisions can turn the game and they didn’t go for us today. We were unlucky with the decisions but we have to take it on the chin.

on the title race…
Unfortunately for us it was a game that we couldn’t afford to lose because it puts us too much [behind Man City]. If we had won the game we would have come back to six points and with players coming back like our full backs and Wilshere and Diaby – we will have a better squad in the second half of the season. At the moment we are too far behind.

on Chamakh and Arshavin…
You can only try and they tried. They had chances, I think Arshavin had two good chances, Chamakh had very little time to have an impact on the game. We played at the end with four strikers, Ramsey and Arteta in midfield, so you know that when you lose the ball you could be in trouble every time. But we still had the chances to score. Even Vermaelen, at the end, I thought the ball was in when he hit it twice, the free kick first and then the one he hit outside the box.

on closing the gap on City…
It will be difficult to close the gap but we will try. This is a game we couldn’t afford to lose and that’s why it’s very difficult to take. On the other hand we will continue to fight, there is a lot of positives. The team has made a lot of progress since August and they can be proud of it. The team has a fantastic spirit, we have shown that again today, and let’s hope we can continue our progress and get closer to City.

on encouraging signs…
It is encouraging but at the moment we need encouragement and points, and we got only encouragement.

on the transfer window…
We hope to have Wilshere and Diaby back so in midfield we have the numbers required. But at the moment we are short at the back and if Gervinho and Chamakh go to the Africa Cup of Nations we are short up front more than midfield.

on Djourou’s injury…
It is a groin problem. Usually that is 21 days.



No problem, Professor! I am a Gooner and I believe in you, last night’s match was very epic. Like they said, “In Wenger We Trust” :D

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