Arsene Wenger believes his side were ‘relentless’ against West Brom after two disappointing matches in the week before.
Speaking to the official Arsenal programme ahead of the game, Arsene cast an eye back at the Boxing Day game which seemed destined to be a third poor result in a row before Olivier Giroud rescued the points.
“Overall we were dominant against West Bromwich Albion on Boxing Day,” Wenger said. “We had very good defensive efficiency, we won the ball back high up and we created opportunities. Coming after two bad results, we didn’t panic – we kept going. We were relentless and in the end we managed to win it.
“We’ve done that many times this season, so that means the resolve is there. We’ve said we want to have style and steel, and I think we maybe showed more steel than style in this game, but it will be important for our season.
“Of course, we were stunned from the week before and it was a big test.
“We responded well to four shocking days and managed to win the game. In the end we got there with the mental ingredients, maybe more than with the football ingredients.
“We certainly stepped up the pace in the second half. Our passing became quicker, but especially our movement off the ball became more incisive and penetrating. West Brom could not sustain chasing the ball as much as they did in the first half.
“When you watch the game, I think it was a penalty on Olivier Giroud on the cross that led to his goal, but despite that he had the strength and the determination to resist and still place the ball out of the goalkeeper’s reach. Olivier has received a lot of praise for the goal – and he deserves it.
“Coming after two bad results, we didn’t panic – we kept going. We were relentless and in the end we managed to win it.”
Casting his other eye forward, he had this to say about today’s visitors: “Crystal Palace will be another big test today. You expect Palace to defend well and they have offensive power in Christian Benteke, Andros Townsend and Wilfried Zaha, who is in good form at the moment, so we will need to have a go again and defend well. They are a threat so for us it will be very important to find that balance.
“It is very difficult to predict how Sam Allardyce will change Palace. He has the experience, he has been in similar jobs before and has succeeded, and when you face an experienced manager you should not speculate on any weakness in your opponents. Just focus on your strengths and your desire and the way you want to play the game because they will be well prepared and organised.
“There is always a challenge for the players when a new manager comes in – everyone starts on the same level again. I think Sam has enough experience to make the right decisions. But I believe Alan Pardew was a bit unlucky. He had many injuries at the start of the season, and when confidence drops it is very difficult.
“Our New Year’s resolution is to keep the attitude we have – the togetherness, the focus and the hunger to improve.”