Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has stressed how important it was for his team to claim the three points this afternoon against Newcastle United.
Mesut Ozil’s wonder goal 25 minutes in was the only thing that separated the Gunners from Newcastle in a 1-0 win, and the visitors came close on multiple occasions to snatch a point from an Arsenal side fighting desperately for a Champions League place.
Recent games were on the players minds
Speaking to the press after the game, Wenger said: “We had plenty of chances we didn’t take today and we had to force it a little bit given that we haven’t scored in recent games which played on the players minds today.
"I would had preferred it if we were more comfortable on the score line, but it was important we got the three points today.
“When you have played three games in six days the third game is more physically challenging.
"We knew going in today that we had to be more organised on set-pieces, on long balls, and on contacts. We are an offensive team and had plenty of chances, but as long as you are 1-0 up your opponent will always be up for a chance.”
Praising the future
Wenger always made it clear that Arsenal academy product Ainsley Maitland-Niles is a player who will feature heavily for the Gunners in the future. The England U21 international made his second Premier League start of the season after impressing against West Ham on Wednesday night, and the 20-year-old midfielder again stood out this afternoon.
Wenger said: “He is the future. He can play left back, right back, central midfield, and of the three positions he is less natural at left back where he played today and on Wednesday, but he adapts very quickly and he is a good defender.
"He is good one vs one and has good pace, and his recovery runs are impressive.”