Arsene Wenger on the Fulham draw, the penalty shout and Vermaelen’s performance
Written by Jeffrey on November 27, 2011 4:30
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was disappointed after the Fulham draw but proud of his players for showing spirit and desire.
Speaking after the game, the Frenchman explained that part of his squad was still suffering from fatigue after the mid-week Champions League game against Borussia Dortmund adding that the Gunners were unlucky to concede when they had the upper hand and also how it’s positive that the unbeaten run is stretched to ten games.
Asked about the performance of defender Thomas Vermaelen, the Arsenal boss explained that the Belgium international showed character after conceding the own goal as he bounced back and scored the equaliser with a well-timed header.
After the 1-1 draw, Wenger said:
The positive again is that we have shown exceptional spirit, desire and refusal to lose the game.
Many players were on the fringe today and we had not completely digested the Champions League game on Wednesday night. We needed to dig deep.
The circumstances went against us on top of that because when Fulham scored I didn’t see them crossing the halfway line too much in the second half.
It was very unfortunate to be 1-0 down but we refused to lose the game can came back to 1-1. It’s disappointing because we dropped two points but at least it keeps our unbeaten run going.
It was the type of game where you didn’t want to be 1-0 down. We scored an own goal at 0-0 at a moment where it was all us.
If we went into the final 20 minutes at 0-0 we had more chance to win the game than lose it. You feel that scoring two would have been difficult today.
I don’t blame Fulham. They are in a position where they need points and you can understand that.
You have to accept that football is played by human beings and even if you prepare well you can be a bit less sharp. You can drop points against anybody in the League.
If you look at the team sheet of Fulham, they are all international players in there, good players. It’s not a shame that you can concede a goal against them.
Overall if you look back at where we came from we have a long unbeaten run and of course we are disappointed because we dropped two points.
But I feel we are in a way of improvement and hopefully we can show that again Tuesday night.
We could have lost this game earlier in the season. You have to give credit to Fulham, they defended well and their goalkeeper played well.
They saved the ball on the line. It happens only to us that the defenders play behind the goalkeepers.
It happened at Norwich and against Fulham. But you have to give them credit for that.
[Thomas Vermaelen's performance?] I believe he scored unfortunately [at his own end] – left-footed players many times refuse to play with their right foot.
But he has shown enough character to come back and score a great goal. On crosses he is very good, he reads the ball well. Overall he had a very good game.
It’s unfortunate to drop two points today because overall I thought we did enough to win it.
[The late penalty shout?] Honestly I didn’t see it, I will have to look at it again. I felt the referee was in a good position, I don’t know.