Date: 29th September 2017 at 1:29pm
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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger took a number of positives from last night’s Europa League tie with BATE Borisov.

Taking the four two victory with a Theo Walcott brace, a first club goal from Rob Holding and Oliver Giroud’s 100th strike, Wenger was also pleased to see Jack Wilshere get another 90 minutes under his belt as we made it six Europa League points from six.

Speaking to the Official Site as he met with the media for his post game press conference, Wenger explained.

‘I believe overall we had a team that was a mixture of experienced players and young players and overall we had a good cohesion. We played football like we wanted to play, with good pace in our game. We maintained it for 65 minutes maybe, but the last 20 minutes were a bit more difficult. Overall, I am very pleased with our performance.’

As for Wilshere more specifically, he went on to say.

‘He had an outstanding first half and he did fight until the end. I think he is on a good way back to his best. He has shown that tonight. He is at an age where a player normally gets to the best of his career. He is on the way up and he has only been stopped by a series of injuries. Hopefully, I just pray that he is not hampered anymore by any problems and then we will see him getting stronger and stronger. He has shown again tonight that he has not lost his football.’

He did however dodge questions when it came to Wilshere’s contract situation, moving onto Giroud’s achievement.

‘I just congratulated him for his remarkable achievement of 100 goals. He is in good company when you look. It is a remarkable achievement. When you play football, the most difficult thing is to score goals and he has scored 100 for us. I just congratulated him for that remarkable achievement.’

Adding.

‘Yes, of course. I believe these players practise with us every day and they know how we want to play. I must say, BATE Borisov is a good team who have good cohesion. They have a good technical level, they work well together and we needed a good performance to beat them tonight.’

Per Mertesacker was also speaking about Giroud following the game.

‘He`s so valuable to our squad and he`s earned the respect of everyone by behaving properly, as a member of this team. The ultimate outcome is that he scores lots of goals, but when he wasn`t playing, he`s never thought about giving up or taking another road. He`s always been so engaged and as he says himself, his run isn`t over. Oli is an Arsenal man and he feels deeply that he can contribute to the success of this team.’

Mertesacker went on to say.

‘He`s absolutely right. Scoring 100 goals in five years shows that. I cannot praise his approach and his attitude enough. Oli is the type of leader you need in a team. He has a huge influence and that makes him so valuable. That`s why I appreciate his character. He`s such a good example for young players because regardless of if he plays or not, he always brings his energy. Look at the impact he has when he comes off the bench. I want everyone to be a leader in this team, to be positive and a good example for the next generation.’

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