Date: 25th October 2016 at 2:26am
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Manager Arsene Wenger has reflected on the scoreless draw with Middlesbrough at the weekend, and as well as admitting Arsenal looked jaded after the Champions League clash in midweek against Ludogorets, he also knew that lack of sharpness meant the side simply wasn’t as flowingly creative as can usually be expected.

That said, with the chances that were created on the day he’d have hoped we’d have taken at least one of them.

Speaking to the Official Site in his post game press conference, the birthday boy and 67 year old explained.

‘I think I have a frustrated face, certainly, and I am. We had a lot of the ball, in the modern game it`s maybe not enough to win the games. We had 75 per cent possession but we didn`t have our usual pace in the combination or enough sharpness in our movement. In the first 20 minutes we were quite satisfied, after Middlesbrough came back in the game and were dangerous on the break. In the end, we couldn`t win it. At least we were intelligent enough not to lose it.’

Asked further about tiredness.

‘Yes, you are right. We paid a little price for the Champions League on Wednesday night and usually when you play at home you still would like to manage to win but we couldn`t. We could`ve lost the game as well in the first half, but that`s the modern game you know. If you don`t score early, if you`re not sharp enough, if you`re not creative enough. We lacked a bit of creativity today and then you can have a draw or even lose the game.’

With David Ospina having a good midweek and Petr Cech certainly having a good weekend, he went on to say.

‘This week, I must say our two goalkeepers had two great performances. You know, Ospina on Wednesday night and Petr Cech today and that shows you how important it is to have two top-class goalkeepers.’

With Olivier Giroud continuing to be an absentee for the game for his September based toe injury and Santi Cazorla missing out after picking up a knock on Wednesday, Wenger was asked if we missed the pair and he said of Giroud firstly.

‘Look, we didn`t make enough from our set-pieces today and from our crosses, so of course the first thing that comes to mind is a guy with a bit more size in the box and more physical presence could have helped, yes. But we`ve just come out of six straight wins you know and we still would not like to jump on this kind of excuse. We have to deal with what we face and unfortunately we are used to scoring, we are an offensive team. We have five or six offensive players on the pitch in the end, we didn`t manage to score so it`s a bit frustrating but it`s part of the Premier League. You know, the other day Man City had a similar possession against Everton and didn`t win. We have to find a way to be efficient even when the games are like that.’

As for Cazorla.

‘Yeah, of course. You miss always, of course, Cazorla. At home he is from deep midfield into the final third, his pass is always quick and accurate. And, yes.’

And pressed on potential returns.

‘Cazorla – I don`t really know because we have to see how he recovers on Monday and Giroud could be in the squad on Tuesday night. We have a game on Tuesday night here, so maybe he will be available to be in the squad on Tuesday.’

Despite the disappointment at the draw and not continuing the winning run, Wenger remained confident nontheless and he was targeting a return to winning ways in the League Cup against Reading this midweek.

‘That`s our target. We have a game on Tuesday night so let`s come back to winning habits straight away. It`s how you deal with disappointment and how you bounce back and I believe that the group is strong enough. We lost the first game here against Liverpool and after that we bounced back in a very strong way so that`s what we want to do again.’

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