Wojciech Szczesny has been revelling in his first clean sheet since 1994 after the Gunners managed to keep Tony Pulis’ clodhopping squad of bin-juice drinking bandits from scoring at the Emirates on Saturday.
Reflecting on a game which mostly involved him watching from afar as Ryan Shawcross booted the ball onto the head of Peter Crouch or Per Mertesacker, the Pole in goal underlined how much he felt Arsenal deserved their 1-0 win.
“I thought we dominated the game from start to finish and deserved the victory,” he told Arsenal Player.
“Their goalkeeper, who has been outstanding this season, was man of the match and that shows the [scoreline] should have been higher. But we will take the victory and we’re happy with it.
“When Stoke come to the Emirates, you know they will play long ball and will not create a lot of chances. But it is all about winning the first and second balls at the back and we did that.
“We dominated Crouch and Walters so they never got going. They never had a chance to get anywhere near me.
“It was vital for us to keep a clean sheet because we hadn’t kept one for quite a few games. I am quite happy with it, and we didn’t really concede many chances, which is a positive. I hope we can repeat that next week [away at Sunderland].”
Mikel Arteta, who was the apparent target of the lamest attempted punch ever thrown, added that the victory was all the more sweet having been accomplished by a much rotated squad.
Back in the first team after a spell sidelined with an ankle problem the Spaniard highlighted that it was important for the likes of Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla to have a breather after starting the match on the bench.
“You have to do that [rotate],” said the lego-haired midfielder. “I think Santi’s played a lot of games, as I did before I got injured. The last thing you want is [him injured] for a few weeks, [especially] now important games are coming up.
“He [Wenger] decided to leave him on the bench. He came on to help us win the game and that shows that the players can be changed, that we can rotate the team, and that we have a powerful squad.”
That squad should be strengthened ahead of next week by the re-introduction of Gervinho (heh!). Despite performing impressively for the Ivory Coast during the group stages of the the AFCON in South Africa, the winger wasn’t able to deliver on his promise of retribution for last year’s heartbreak as he and his countrymen crashed out to Nigeria in the quarter-final stage.8,836 views