Arsene Wenger spoke after Arsenal’s emphatic 8-0 win over Norwegian club Viking FK on Friday night and insisted that right now he’s looking at the quality of our play and physical fitness, rather than the scoreline.
Despite scoring eight goals through Joel Campbell (brace), Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott, Alex Iwobi (brace) and Chuba Akpom, the boss insisted after the match that you can’t take too much from the scoreline. I’m guessing this is partly because Wenger always favours quality over quantity but also because Viking FK aren’t exactly Manchester City.
“What was very pleasing was that we played at the pace we wanted to play and we were very quick,” Wenger told Arsenal Player post-match.
“Our collective game was very good and we were able to give confidence to all the players.
“Some of the players who needed a goal scored a goal, we didn’t have any injuries, Santi Cazorla had 90 minutes, so it was a positive night for us. The score is the score and we do not take too much from that. What is important is that we focus on the way we want to play football and we did that well.
“At this stage I’m looking at how ready we are physically, how fit we are physically, how well we play the game we want to play, our mobility, the quality of our movement and passing, and the quality of our penetrations in the final third.
“I’m also very pleased with the focus, the dedication and the unity of the group. I look at that a lot and also how good the spirit is because we know that will be vital in the Premier League and we need to be strong mentally. How united we behave, how much we take care of every detail when it comes to performing will be vital.”
The bigger test will come on Sunday when Arsenal do actually face our Premier League rivals in the final pre-season game before the new season kicks off.
I get what Wenger’s saying, we shouldn’t suddenly believe we’re going to win the League because we put eight goals past a team from the Norwegian league. I don’t think anyone does think that. However, as the boss also said, the night was positive. We got goals from a number of players, young and senior, we gelled well and the big win gives us a nice little boost before our clash with City.
We’ll probably see a more senior squad on Sunday, with the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey included, but it’s good to know our young’uns can ‘do a job’.