Manager: Why I want to give Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger credit

The former Newcastle boss believes Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger deserves credit for securing some momentum for the Gunners

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger Photo: The Sport Review

Alan Pardew believes Arsene Wenger deserves credit for securing some momentum for Arsenal in the closing weeks of the season.

The Gunners were 4-1 winners against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday evening to heap pressure on fourth-placed Liverpool.

Arsenal made the breakthrough thanks to Olivier Giroud’s 42nd-minute opener before Mesut Ozil doubled the visitors’ lead shortly after the break.

Peter Crouch halved the deficit before Alexis Sanchez and Giroud secured a three-goal cushion and moved Arsenal to within a point of Liverpool.

Arsenal have endured a disappointing campaign after a 10-2 aggregate loss to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich in the Champions League last 16.

The Gunners lost to Chelsea, Liverpool, Watford and West Brom to leave their title bid in tatters and top-four place in doubt.

However, Wenger opted to switch to a three-man defence over the past month or so which has salvaged Arsenal’s season after a 2-1 win against Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-finals.

Speaking to Sky Sports about Wenger, former Crystal Palace and Newcastle United manager Pardew said:

“Who would have predicted at the start of the season that Arsene Wenger would play three at the back? He’s never done that but it’s worked for them.

“It’s gained them this momentum. He’s had a lot of criticism and as a fellow LMA member I want to pat him on the back because that tactical change has got them this chance [of Champions League qualification].”

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