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Friday 20 October 2017

Player options please Wenger

Arsenal's Danny Welbeck and Hector Bellerin. Photo: Getty
Arsenal's Danny Welbeck and Hector Bellerin. Photo: Getty

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes greater selection options have allowed him to get a better balance in his side.

Wenger had some doubts about the ability of striker Danny Welbeck to manage back-to-back starts, having previously spent so long out injured, but the England international justified his inclusion with the opening goal in a 2-0 win at Everton.

Teenager Alex Iwobi also rewarded Wenger for giving him his first Premier League start with a maiden goal, while January signing Mohamed Elneny showed he has adapted to English football with a composed performance in midfield.

The win ensured a disappointing week of FA Cup and Champions League exits ended on a high and dampened down some of the criticism being aimed at Wenger and his players.

"If you lose it is disastrous but we were not as bad as that," said the Gunners boss, whose side remain 11 points behind leaders Leicester with a match in hand.

"We were backs-to-the-wall and responded well. I am pleased mentally we responded under pressure.

"We have a game based on movement, mobility, technical level and attacking football and we have to get the balance right.

"Sometimes it is not right. Let us not forget some players were out for the whole season basically.

"Welbeck was just coming back, Iwobi is just coming into the side and Elneny is giving us good balance, and we just bought him in January."

Defender Hector Bellerin, whose quick pass released Iwobi for the second goal just before half-time, thinks, despite their disappointments this week, they are actually playing well.

And a win was the ideal way to sign off for the international break.

Performance

"The team put on a great performance, especially in the first half with two great goals. That gave us the chance to relax a little bit in the second half," he said.

"I think the team has had more purpose with the ball lately and we are playing better football and that is showing on the pitch because we have to defend less, because we are keeping the ball and creating way more chances."

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