Wenger highlights evidence of 'matured' Arsenal - European - Football - The Independent

Wenger highlights evidence of 'matured' Arsenal

Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal's 2-0 Champions League win over Olympiacos is another example of just how his young side are maturing.

The French coach will later this week become the longest-serving manager in the Gunners' history, transforming the north London club over the course of his 13 seasons at the helm.

The burning desire, though, to bring more success to the Emirates Stadium remains as strong as ever for Wenger and his young side.

The Greek champions, now managed by Brazil legend Zico, had goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis to thank for preventing Arsenal chalking up a big score in a one-sided contest at the Emirates last night.

However, they were eventually undone with 12 minutes to go when substitute Eduardo set up Robin van Persie before Andrey Arshavin made sure of the win when he netted a cheeky backheel, which had more than a hint of offside.

"We kept our composure and kept going," said Wenger.

"We played with a desire to keep the discipline in the team. We did not do anything crazy. I always felt we could score.

"We have matured and a game like this shows just that."

Wenger feels the manner of the victory shows just why Arsenal are not "desperate" for new signings.

The Gunners' parent company this week announced healthy financial figures, with a record £35million profit and the board indicated there was plenty of money available for the manager should he wish to invest further in the squad when the transfer window opens in January.

However, Wenger firmly believes in the quality he already has.

"We got very young players, and they make their name here," said the Gunners boss.

"When you look at the players who did not play, you can see why we are not desperate."

The Arsenal manager added: "Because the club have announced good financial results, everybody wants me to splash it out straightaway.

"But at the moment, there is no transfer market.

"You do not go to Waitrose, there is no supermarket to buy players. You cannot buy anybody, even if you want to. It is closed."

Arsenal have now taken control of Group H, with maximum points from both matches.

However, Wenger is not taking anything for granted.

"You go anywhere in Europe now and it is a difficult game. You can see that from the results on Tuesday night," Wenger said.

"To win at that level without conceding a goal is fantastic."

Wenger last night revealed forward Theo Walcott should be back in the squad for Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash with Blackburn, the forward having taken part in a specially-arranged match yesterday afternoon to get some match fitness following a side strain which has sidelined him all season.

"Theo played for 60 minutes and came through well," said the Arsenal manager.

"He will be available for England."

Olympiacos manager Zico, meanwhile, felt his side paid the price for too many recent games.

"We would have liked to have left with better result, but Arsenal are one of best teams at the moment," he said.

"But out fifth game in less than 15 days affected our performance in the last 10 minutes."

Zico added: "It was not just us sitting back and not playing.

"We went forward, but could not get any passing going and suffered from Arsenal's way of playing."

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