Saturday, August 19, 2017

Wenger: ‘We showed exceptional spirit’

November 28, 2011 by  
Filed under International, Premier League

The main positive from Saturday is that we showed exceptional spirit, desire and refusal to lose the game.

We had not completely digested the Champions League game against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday night, so we needed to dig deep to get something, especially after we went 1-0 down.

The circumstances went against us because when Fulham scored they hadn’t crossed the halfway line that often in the second half. We were unfortunate to be behind but we refused to lose the game. It’s disappointing that we dropped two points, but at least it keeps our unbeaten run going , which is now ten matches in all competitions.

We struggled to convert our chances on Saturday, maybe because our mental sharpness wasn’t quite right after the midweek game, maybe we were suffering some physical fatigue as well. That happens sometimes, but we still had the potential to win 1-0 or 2-0 because early on in the game we could have scored.

Thomas Vermaelen was unfortunate with the own goal but like the team, he showed enough character to come back and score a great equaliser. On crosses he is very good, he reads the ball well. Overall, Thomas had a very good game.

I don’t blame Fulham for setting out to frustrate us. 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 shameful to concede a goal against them.

Indeed, 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. Chris Baird saved the ball on the line – just like Russell Martin did at Norwich. That’s unusual but you have to give them credit.

Overall, if you assess our situation, we have a long unbeaten run, we have won 11 from our last 14 matches, and I feel we are on the way up. Hopefully we can show that again on Tuesday night.

Speaking of which, I will have to rotate the team for the Manchester City Carling Cup tie. Some players are on the fringe muscle-wise, so I will have to think carefully about who will play.

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