Arsene Wenger has spoken out in support of his new-look strike force, insisting forwards needed more time to adapt to a team than midfielders or players in any other positions. He believes this is down to the limited amount of time strikers are given on the ball.
Wenger's words comes after Arsenal's goalless draw in the first league game of their season; the Gunners drew with Sunderland at home and Wenger claimed a lack of cutting edge in his forward department. His claims were backed up by the fact that midfield signing Santi Cazorla, of Spain, put on a better show than either of the Gunners' two new forwards - German Lukas Podolski and Frenchman Olivier Giroud.
"I believe [Cazorla] convinced everybody that he is an Arsenal player from the first game on. It is bit easier in midfield because you touch the ball more and maybe coordination with the other players is less important than when you play up front, because the players in midfield need to know your runs," Wenger was quoted as saying, on the club's official Web site.
"But I believe a team goes through its strong point and we have seen that straight away with Cazorla - he is a strong point in our team," he added.
The 62 year old Frenchman was understandably unhappy with the draw against the Black Cats and also admitted his team "were a bit below on all the speed work" despite doing well defensively. On the whole, Wenger claimed the lack of "a little bit of sharpness"; the Gunners only managed three shots on target, although they had 23 overall.
Finally, Wenger also pointed to the 2012 European Championships as a reason why the club has yet to shine. He said the recovery period for players, during an international tournament year, was just a little longer than normal.
Delight at New Staff Appointments
Meanwhile, Wenger feels Liam Brady (the head of youth development) chose wisely when appointing Terry Burton, Pat Holland and Kwame Ampadu as coaches for the reserves, U18 team and the academy, respectively.
"I let Liam [Brady] deal with that, with the youth team. I think a club works when everybody does his job and that's Liam's job. He has gone for experience and it is highly defendable because they are quality men who have a lot of experience, who have a big passion for the game," Wenger told Arsenal's official Web site.