Wenger paise as Ozil rescues sloppy Arsenal


Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain admitted Arsenal have simply not been good enough in recent weeks which has left their hopes of a top-four Premier League finish hanging by a thread.

The Gunners ended a run of four straight away defeats, with a 2-1 win at Middlesbrough on Monday night and now trail fourth-placed Manchester City by seven points, although they have a game in hand.

Wenger conceded: "You could see we were not playing with full confidence during some moments in the game but overall we wanted to win".

Arsene Wenger looks poised to revert to a flat back four when Arsenal face Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final showdown at Wembley on Sunday. "I think Middlesbrough came out second half and made it a lot more hard and they went very direct at the end but all in all it was a new system and we have got the three points with it and that is all that matters".

Wenger said: "It is the first time in 20 years [playing three at the back] - that shows you that even at my age you can change".

'I don't know, I just felt that sometimes the team needs to believe in something new, something different, just to find a bit of confidence back, ' said Wenger when asked if he would use the formation again.

"We needed to play forward a little bit earlier, and I thought we did that, and when we scored the goal I thought we would start to put them under pressure".

"I think it will make the team a bit more serene".

"But there was (still) a nervousness there, because when you don't win the confidence goes quickly and comes back slowly".

"But overall it gave us security from Middlesbrough's direct game".

"I felt we were focused and committed".

"It's a massive honour to play for Arsenal and maybe those levels have slipped".

As the game grew more open, the gap in talent between the two clubs became more evident and Özil gave the Gunners a 2-1 lead in the 71st minute with a goal made possible by Alexis and Aaron Ramsey.

"Despite sometimes hard situations, or some situations that lack clarity, we still can perform". It gave the opponents more of the ball. We knew we needed to win. "I think we adapted really well to it tonight and I think it worked really well for us, especially in the first half", said Oxlade-Chamberlain.

"The players were awesome, I couldn't ask any more of them", he said.