Wenger stays upbeat in Greece

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was not too down-hearted despite defeat at Olympiakos leaving them runners-up in Group B of the UEFA Champions League.

Last Updated: 05/12/12 at 09:46 Post Comment

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The Gunners boss has endured a torrid few weeks with fan protests and speculation about his future.

And although his team threw away a half-time lead in Greece to lose 2-1 with Schalke taking top spot, his less experienced players provided a boost to his mood.

"Some of the young players did very well for an hour and that's very positive," the Frenchman said.

"It wasn't the result we wanted but it was a very encouraging game. Now we have to wait for the draw, but ideally you want to finish first in the group."

With qualification to the last 16 knockout stages assured, Wenger made seven changes from the miserable weekend home defeat to Swansea.

Tomas Rosicky opened the scoring for the English visitors, only for Ioannis Maniatis and Kostas Mitroglou to hit back and snatch victory.

Wenger was unhappy with the hosts' equaliser, with a corner awarded despite goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny not touching the ball, and said: "It was a goal kick, simple as that. What a FIFA official is doing behind the line, nobody knows.

"It's not the right decision but you have to cope with it. After that they scored a good goal. We had a good first half but then we dropped physically in the second half.

"Many of the players are not used to that level and overall we had two or three chances to score that second goal. We didn't do that and knowing in the last 20 minutes we could be in trouble. We needed that second goal."

The 20-year-old defender Jernade Meade, in particular, was picked out for high praise, impressing on his Champions League debut.

"He tired late on but he was my pick," Wenger added.

Wenger refused to discuss his plans for business in the transfer window, but added: "What's important is we do well until January.

"We have big games coming up and the most important thing is to focus on the players we have to win these games."

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terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

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he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

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o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

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