Previous
VfL Wolfsburg
Everton
0
2
FT
Game Details
Tottenham Hotspur
Partizan Belgrade
0
0
ESPN3 LIVE 41'
Game Details
Internazionale
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk
1
1
ESPN3 LIVE 40'
Game Details
Feyenoord Rotterdam
Sevilla FC
2
0
FT
Game Details
Villarreal
Borussia Monchengladbach
1
0
LIVE 43'
Game Details
Torino
Club Brugge
0
0
ESPN3 LIVE 43'
Game Details
River Plate
Boca Juniors
11:45 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Next

Who's responsible for Newcastle's revival?

Tactics and Analysis 3 hours ago
Read

Chelsea out to maul Black Cats

Chelsea 4 hours ago
Read

Bojan could be key vs. Liverpool

Stoke 6 hours ago
Read

Bruce set for the 700 club vs. United

Hull City 6 hours ago
Read

Wilshere out for 3 months

Arsenal 6 hours ago
Read
Dec 29, 2013

Wenger: Giroud will need rest

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has admitted he is struggling to find a gap in the fixture list to give Olivier Giroud a much-needed rest, after conceding his squad is "lightweight" and relies on the physical input provided by his French goal striker.

With the much-maligned Nicklas Bendtner acting as Giroud’s back-up in an Arsenal squad lacking out-and-out hit-men, Wenger’s lead marksman has taken on a huge workload by playing in virtually every game so far this season.

However, fatigue does not seem to be an issue for Giroud right now, after he headed the Gunners winner in their vital win at Newcastle on Sunday, inspiring Wenger to suggest the striker has emerged as the key figure in table topping Arsenal’s impressive form this season.

"We have a team that is a bit short, lightweight and more focused on mobility and technical movement, so he [Giroud] is the one guy who has that strength and structure for us," stated Wenger. "That fighting up front is very important for us.

"I think about giving him a rest, but he is important for the team. He has these physical qualities and that is, of course, very important for the team."

Wenger went on to hail the "special" qualities in his team, as their 1-0 win at Newcastle cemented their positions as the top points scorers in the Premier league during 2013.

"There is something in the team that is special on the mental front where we have many times been questioned," he continued.

"We have shown that at West Ham when we were 1-0 down and ended up winning 3-1 on Boxing Day, we have shown that again today when we were a bit backs to the wall in the last 15 minutes. There’s a great solidarity and a great spirit in the side.

"For years we were younger and less able to resist this kind of pressure but we have always been up there at the top. If you analyse well our results we have always been up there. Last year in this period we were out of the title race but 2013 we have been quite consistent."

Wenger has changed his rhetoric in recent days to suggest his side deserve to be considered as genuine title contenders despite many a pundit suspecting they do not have what it takes to last the pace in a gruelling Premier League campaign and he repeated those sentiments after Arsenal’s win at St James’ Park.

"We had a big physical challenge from Newcastle, but I felt we showed a technical aspect and a mental aspect that was needed in a game of that stature," he added. "This team had our backs to the wall in the last 15 minutes [against Newcastle], but we are showing what we are capable of.

"We believe in ourselves and we are determined to give our best absolutely and to turn back on this season at the end and think we have given our best. I hope it will be enough of course but it’s a long way to go and it’s still too early to say that."

 

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.