Gunners gaffer stresses the need for consistency after finally getting off the mark in 2012 but singled out Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for praise after starring role against RoversArsene Wenger has expressed his pleasure after Arsenal picked up their first three Premier League points of 2012 but refused to get carried away after the 7-1 drubbing of Blackburn Rovers.
The Gunners had endured a torrid start to the calendar year sinking to seventh in the table after losing three games and drawing one before this afternoon’s whitewash.
The home side emphatically turned the corner against Rovers though, courtesy of eye-catching performances from Robin van Persie and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who scored a hat-trick and brace respectively, with Mikel Arteta and Thierry Henry completing the rout.
For Wenger, though, it was the outcome of the result, rather than its nature which truly counts.
“I feel that recently we have had good performances but didn’t always get results,” said Wenger.
“Today was the performance and the result that we wanted. I do not give much importance to seven goals, just that we won and played well.
“We remained serious and we were guided buy the way we wanted to play football and not by any extravagant individualism.
“We were mature, serious and played together until the end.”
Though Van Persie will steal the headlines with his well-taken treble, both Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott also caught they eye, flanking the Dutchman to devastating effect.
For Wenger, the English duo’s role was integral to the team performance and Van Persie’s cameo, while the Frenchman was quick to note the growing maturity of his young teenager.
“Providing today was as important as scoring and the flanks provided very well,” said Wenger.
“He [Oxlade-Chamberlain] was not ready early in season. He has made a big step in the last months.
“He produces and he contributes to the build up, to the defending and he has improved very quickly. He’s a fighter as well.
“He played like a guy who had talent in September but is much more mature now.
“Robin is exceptional, his movement should be shown in every football school. He takes advantage, when you feed him in the box, he is deadly.”
The win ensures that Arsenal keep the heat on the Premier League’s front runners after slipping considerably off the pace in weeks gone by.
Keen to safeguard against complacency, Wenger has underlined the importance of building upon today’s result and implementing consistency into the Gunners’ performances.
“It was important for the confidence of the side that we won and got three points,” he said.
“The result won't make us win at Sunderland, but the confidence might. We need to continue to play the way we did today.
“We need consistency. Strangely I don’t feel we played that badly at Fulham, nor at Swansea, nor against Manchester United.
“Every time we just couldn’t get the result and in the end it effects your belief.
“This will help us slowly believe again that we can win. To win 1-0 at Sunderland would be fantastic, that’s all we have to prepare for.”