Wenger defends non-firing Gunners
Soccer:Arsene Wenger has defended his new-look Arsenal strike force and is confident they will begin to fire as the Gunners look to take a different approach.
Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Gervinho played up front in Arsenal’s goalless draw against Stoke at the Britannia Stadium and despite a strong performance in midfield, they lacked a cutting edge.
Wenger’s side have not scored in their opening two Barclays Premier League fixtures following the departure of Dutch striker Robin van Persie but the Frenchman believes his side will adapt and spread the goal scoring duties.
Wenger said: “If you want to convince me that we lost an exceptional player (in Robin van Persie) you are wasting your time. I was the first to say that. We have to find a way to get around that by sharing more of the goals than we did before with Van Persie. Giroud scored 20 (last season), Podolski scored 20.
“We will get some goals I’m convinced from Diaby, Ramsay, Walcott, Gervinho, so we have of course to share it around a bit.” Wenger also threw his support behind French striker Giroud, who made his first start against Stoke, and played down what he called a lack of “understanding” between his front men.
“The more you speak about the problem the bigger it becomes in our game,” Wenger said about the lack of goals. “I think Giroud has not to think he has to replace Van Persie with the number of goals he has to score. We want to play well as a team and if you play well as a team you score goals.
“I do not listen to much of what people say. I listen and I try to see if it is exaggerated or not. I have worked for 30 years on a football pitch every day and I know what it is to improve a football player and what it is to go out morning and afternoon. Not everyone can say that.”
Wenger also played down talk about the effect of Van Persie’s departure. “I had the same questions when Thierry Henry left as Robin van Persie,” Wenger said. Even last year I had to answer: ‘Why you play Van Persie as a centre-forward because he’s not a centre-forward?’
“You have to put all this into perspective, and what for me is positive is you feel that there is potential there.”