Arsenal have answered critics 'on the pitch' says Arsene Wenger
Gunners beat Reading 5-2
Tuesday 18 December 2012
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes his players answered their critics on the pitch as they steamrollered Barclays Premier League strugglers Reading.
The Gunners ran out 5-2 winners at the Madejski Stadium last night with hat-trick hero Santi Cazorla the star of the show in a rampant Arsenal performance.
Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott also struck for Wenger's side, who moved to within two points of the top four with the win.
Wenger felt talk of a crisis at the North London club, escalated by the Capital One Cup defeat at Bradford and reported rifts with assistant manager Steve Bould, was put to bed at the expense of bottom side Reading.
"There could only be one answer and that was on the football pitch," he said.
"Success came with the quality of our game. We focused on the quality of our game and played.
"Our ambition is to finish as high as we can and win our next game, that is all we can do. We have to focus on the quality of our football."
When pressed on the recent harsh criticism of Arsenal, Wenger added: "It depends on what you mean by a crisis. If you call being slaughtered by everybody then we were in a super-crisis.
"In our job you need to be mentally strong. It is a test when you have been in a position like we were in."
Walcott, who is still yet to sign a new deal with Arsenal, was deployed in his favoured central role and Wenger is hopeful an agreement can be reached sooner rather than later.
The Frenchman said: "It is not my decision, it is Theo's decision as well - if it is [only] my decision, it is quickly done.
"Theo has been educated at Southampton and Arsenal, where he has become a top-level player.
"I hope that when he considers his future he will think this is the best place for him and sign for us.
"I will just say our desire and will is clear, and Theo knows that. Hopefully we can get to a happy end with it."
Reading boss Brian McDermott still reckons he is the man to guide the Royals to safety this season despite a sixth straight league defeat.
Goals from Adam Le Fondre and Jimmy Kebe saw Reading briefly threaten a revival at 4-2 but another loss has not made the 51-year-old question his ability.
"My position is what it is, I'm not enjoying the results but I'm enjoying the challenge," he said.
"I felt I was the right man to get us out of trouble when we were in the Championship, I felt I was the right to get us two quarter-finals of FA Cups.
"I thought I was the right man to get us into the play-off final, I felt I was the right man to get us promoted to the Barclays Premier League and I feel I'm the right man to get us out of trouble where we are."
Latest in Sport
Louis van Gaal denies problem with Wilfried Zaha despite Manchester United forward being given no game time
Calum Chambers: Who is Arsenal's £16m right-back target?
Manchester United latest: Angel Di Maria move no closer as Juan Mata emerges as Louis van Gaal's favoured No 10 as prospect of signing
Arsenal transfer news: Versatile Calum Chambers is a 'gamble', admits Arsene Wenger as Arsenal spending passes £50m
Everton transfer news: Romelu Lukaku deal ON, Roberto Martinez assures fans
- 1 Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
- 2 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 3 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
- 4 Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star, dies aged 45
- 5 Businessman charged £75 for three small bottles of water in London hotel
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace