Arsenal 1 QPR 0: We were low on confidence, admits Arsene Wenger
Arsenal 1 QPR 0: Arsene Wenger admits his side were low on confidence after their successive defeats ahead of nervy win
Arsene Wenger admitted his Arsenal side were lacking in confidence after Mikel Arteta’s late strike sealed victory over 10-man Queens Park Rangers to draw a line under a turbulent week for the Gunners.
The Gunners came into the game after having suffered back-to-back defeats by Norwich City and Schalke – and the north Londoners were frustrated for large portions of Saturday’s game as Mark Hughes’ men battled hard.
Arsenal were handed the initiative in the 80th minute when Stephane Mbia was shown a straight red card for a needless kick out at Thomas Vermaelen.
And the winner came four minutes later, when Arteta prodded home from close range following a scrappy goalmouth scramble.
“It was a good game overall. We played against a QPR side which has quality,” Wenger told BBC Sport.
“We played quite well but lacked a little bit of the confidence you miss when you have lost two games. We had chances before the sending off but it made it easier and more difficult for Rangers.
“A draw would have been a big disappointment, but if we had lost today it would have been a crisis.”
Aside from three points which lift Arsenal into fourth place, the other positive was Jack Wilshere’s return to the starting line-up after missing 14 months due to knee and ankle injuries.
And Wenger was encouraged by the midfielder’s display. He said: “Overall if you consider the time he was out, 17 months since his last appearance, it was quite positive. Of course he still lacks the rhythm needed at that level, but it will come with games.”
Wilshere himself admitted it was “amazing” to be back in action after his lengthy lay-off.
“It was amazing to be back – words cannot describe it,” he said. “I was just running around smiling. It’s great to be back.
“Last time I played it was with [Cesc] Fàbregas and [Samir] Nasri – now it’s with [Mikel] Arteta and [Santi] Cazorla, who are great players too. It’s like a new team and I’m like a new player.”