What a performance last night, More From Arsene & Hleb

Arsene Wenger spoke after the game of the performance of the team:

“We tried to play well, we had a game based on movement, technique and combination and we nearly respected that 95 per cent of the game, not 100, but there is still room for improvement there. In the second half when Derby were tiring we could have scored more goals.”

It’s been a topsy turvy season this season and many people say we cracked under pressure. It was clear to see that we played without any pressure yesterday. I don’t particularly agree with the pressure thing. Our bad patch started with the loss of Eduardo and continued with the loss of Sagna. Arsene can see a new found freedom in our play:

“We started well and maybe when we came under pressure in March you could see that we did not have the experience to deal with that and I feel we have learned a lot. Now that the pressure is gone we are back to our real level and I feel our real level is better than at the start of the season.”

One thing is clear is that our real level is phenominal. Our play against Derby was amazing, but so was our play against Man United, Chelsea and Liverpool. It’s clear to see we need to tighten up. If we can add 3 players to the pool and replace the ones are leaving, be it my promotion from the youth ranks, loan returns or new signings, we’ll be in a better position next year. A slightly bigger squad should give us time to rotate and rest when necessary.

With the number of games reducing, Ade and Cesc look a little bit more refreshed then when we were playing 2-3 games per week. Both are looking forward to next season…

Ade said (in about 20 seconds, damn that guy speaks fast):

“I am praying for a miracle now, but miracles do happen. We have put pressure on the top two and it is not too late for something amazing to happen.  Obviously we have to hope that Chelsea and United make mistakes at the weekend, but I can promise we will not make any. We showed with our win (over Derby) we have character because it might have been easy just to look at the table and give up on trying to be champions, but that is not who we are. What was also important is that we sent out a message to our rivals that despite all the disappointments we have had in the past couple of months we are sticking together and showing that we are getting better and better. This season we may end up with nothing, but it will not look the same this time next year.”

Mathematically, we’re still in it, but let’s win our next two games and finish as close to the top as possible.

And whilst we’re speculating, what is going on with Alexander Hleb. His agent has come out and said that all the big teams are interested and after Hlebgate / ice-cream rendevous, you’ve got to believe there is no smoke without fire…. Hleb recently spoke on his future.

“Who knows what will happen? All I can say is that I enjoy the game here and enjoy playing for Arsenal. There is more to come from this team and from me.”

It’s a positive statment… doesn’t sound like a player who is about to buy their contract out… so possible good news.

Looking out of the window, it’s a miserable day today but lucky me, I’m off to Barcelona on Thursday evening… but don’t worry my buddy JAT will be blogging for me on Friday & Saturday and he knows his stuff…

Til tomorrow…

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