Arsene Wenger on the performance of Oxlade-Chamberlain and his first-team opportunities
Written by Jeffrey on September 21, 2011 4:45
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was clearly happy after the Gunners reached the fourth round of the Carling Cup after a tricky game against Shrewsbury Town, on Tuesday.
Speaking after the game, the Frenchman explained that the starting eleven included youth and experience as he praised 18-year old Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and 20-year old Francis Coquelin who impressed against the Shrews with the former scoring the second goal of the game with an impressive long-range effort.
On the Englishman, the Arsenal boss declared that he improved as the game progressed and was exceptional in the second half adding that he will soon “knock on his door” to secure a regular place in his starting eleven.
Wenger concluded by praising centre-back Johan Djourou who looked to be the one to blame for the conceded goal with the manager again insisting that he doesn’t care about speculation as his near-future objective is to do well in charge of the Club.
After the Carling Cup win, Wenger said:
We played a young team with a mixture of young players and experienced players.
We took a gamble and it worked because you could see some players, who we haven’t seen so much of like Oxlade-Chamberlain and Coquelin, have done extremely well and that is positive for the future.
[If I panicked at the end of the first half?] No, I was very calm at half time because panic doesn’t help. I felt that if we maintained the pace in the game we had a good chance to win the game.
[Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain grew through the game and became stronger and stronger. In the first half he was a bit timid and suddenly he grew in stature in the second half.
It was unbelievable. What came out, you didn’t expect it after the first half. He became stronger and stronger.
You could see that he will be a first-team player here, that is for sure. He still has things to work on but, very quickly, he will be knocking on the door.
[Johan Djourou?] He was very good in the second half. In the first half, he was surprised on the goal. In the second half, he had a good performance.
[My future?] Whether I work here for the next 10 years or the next day here, I will give my maximum for the Club.
I will let other people assess the situation. I focus on doing well for this club, that is all. I am not bothered at all by all this speculation.