Arsenal: Wenger praises resilience; contract dispute continues for star man; Wilshere injury scare
Arsene Wenger praised Arsenal’s resilience after they battled back to win an unlikely point against Paris Saint Germain courtesy of an Alexis Sanchez equaliser.
Edinson Cavani put the hosts ahead after 42 seconds, guiding home Serge Aurier’s cross with a well-placed glancing header.
The Uruguayan, as well as some of his teammates, spurned a host of other chances to put the Gunners to the sword before Sanchez’s goal made it 1-1. Wenger said:
“When you start so badly against a team of that quality you need experience. If you are too young, you can be caught.
“I thought that we didn’t panic, and overall we were resilient enough, and the resilience comes through experience.
“I told the players at halftime that if we keep playing we will come back, because we could see if we had better possession we could score goals.
“Overall, I think it was a good result to come here and not lose and pick up a point.”
A point away from home against the strongest team in your group is always a good result, but deep down, Wenger must harbour concerns about how comprehensively his team were outplayed last night.
Their policy of trying to press from the front and play a high line was evident from the first minute, and was a risky tactic against a team with PSG’s technical quality.
Nevertheless, the result puts Arsenal in a good position in the group with games against Ludogorets and Basel to come. Now that arguably the most challenging hurdle has been and gone, winning the group is likely to depend on their game with PSG at the Emirates.
According to The Daily Mirror’s gossip column, last night’s hero Sanchez is demanding an extra £35,000 a week as negotiations continue with Arsenal over a new deal.
That would take the Chilean’s salary to £175,000 per week – very much uncharted territory for Arsenal – but the club are keen to tie down their star assets.
Talks with playmaker Mesut Özil are expected to be far smoother, but there were signs that Sanchez was becoming agitated at the Emirates last season.
However, having been handed the number seven shirt in the summer and scored a couple of important goals already this season, he seems in a better state of mind. Nevertheless, while the wrangling continues, Arsenal supporters must be facing serious concern as there is no doubt that their side are not the same animal without the Chilean in their ranks.
Finally, there is some worrying news for all concerned parties as The Sun say that Jack Wilshere has undergone a scan on his left ankle.
The England international is on a season-long loan at Bournemouth, and had a precautionary scan on Monday.
However, he was able to participate in full training yesterday which will reassure Bournemouth, Arsenal and England fans alike.
This is a crucial campaign for Wilshere, and you get the sense that another extended spell on the sidelines with injury could spell the end of his Arsenal career, with an incredibly long comeback path for his international future beckoning too.
Featured image: All rights reserved by Emrah Partal
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