Wenger swerves Dixon’s Arsenal leadership question

Date published: Tuesday 18th April 2017 9:47

Arsene Wenger has admitted the Arsenal dressing room is not the noisy place it was 20 years ago.

Wenger’s men ground out a 2-1 away win at relegation-threatened Middlesbrough last night to end a run of four consecutive away defeats in the Premier League.

Goals from Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil sealed the win in which Wenger switched his system from a back four to a back three for the first time in his Gunners tenure.

One of the many criticisms of the Arsenal team over the last few years has been the perceived lack of leaders on the pitch and afterwards on NBC former Gunner Lee Dixon asked Wenger to tell him who the leaders were in the dressing room.

Wenger said: “It’s quieter than it used to be in England 20 years ago and they (current squad) are younger as well.

“When I arrived you (Dixon) were around 30 and the whole team was around 29 to 32, so maybe you were a bit more mature. You had seen what competitive football was about.

“Any maybe society has changed a little bit as well,” added Wenger, who failed to answer Dixon’s question directly.

Speaking about the change to a three-man defence at The Riverside, Wenger thought the switch helped his side’s confidence.

Arsene Wenger: Happy that Arsenal fans are happy

“I think in the first half we did quite well, and in the second half we still gave away some chances on crosses,” added Wenger.

“But overall it gave us security from Middlesbrough’s direct game. I think we were so low on confidence we needed reassurance on that front.”

Asked when he considered making the change to a wing-back system, Wenger replied: “During the week, but I had an idea a few weeks ago that we needed to make the switch and we worked on it.”


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