Arsene Wenger has been asked about the situation at Newcastle United.
Arsenal made it 10 wins in a row against Newcastle on Saturday and Wenger also kept his record against Rafa Benitez intact, the Frenchman never having lost a home Premier League match against the Spaniard.
After promotion, Brighton and Huddersfield had net spends of over £40m each, almost four times as much as Mike Ashley allowed Rafa to invest in his squad this summer.
In light of that, Arsene Wenger says: ‘I think Rafa Benitez is doing a good job because Newcastle is not one of the teams who invested hugely when they came up to compete at the top’.
The game only had one goal in it but predictably the Gunners boss thought his team could and should have scored more.
As for the opposition he praised what the Newcastle manager is doing in very difficult circumstances, stating ‘The job of a manager is to take the best from the potential of his team and I believe Benitez does that very well’.
As Rafa Benitez and the Newcastle fans live in hope of January signings and a takeover, Arsene Wenger thought that with the players he has got available, Rafa’s team were ‘organised, they look mobile, and look to have a good spirit’.
The eight defeats and one draw in the last nine matches tells us that no matter what Rafa Benitez does, it is very difficult when having so little quality available.
Hopefully a bit of luck can go Newcastle’s way as they now face four of their fellow relegation strugglers in the next five matches.
“I think Rafa Benitez is doing a good job because Newcastle is not one of the teams who invested hugely when they came up to compete at the top.
“So I believe the team overall look to me to be organised, they look mobile, and look to have a good spirit.
“The job of a manager is to take the best from the potential of his team and I believe Benitez does that very well.
“We knew before the game it was on where we had to be well-organised on set pieces, long balls and counter-attacks but we are an offensive team.
“I think we had plenty, plenty chances but as long as you are at 1-0 you know a moment in the game comes where you are under threat and they have a chance. It is like that in the Premier League.
When you look around, Chelsea played at home against Southampton and won 1-0. It is their third game. We are the only team basically that played Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday.
“I would say we had plenty of chances we didn’t take. You could see that we wanted sometimes to force it a little bit, the fact that we didn’t score recently, the chances we had, played a little bit on our mind.
“I would have loved it to have been a bit more comfortable on the scoreline but what was even more important was to get the three points and that’s what we did. Overall we had a serious game and you could see that we played three games in six days and the third game is a bit more difficult physically.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Arsenal 1 Newcastle 0
Arsenal: Ozil 23
Possession was Arsenal 71% Newcastle 29%
Total shots were Arsenal 23 Newcastle 10
Shots on target were Arsenal 5 Newcastle 2
Corners were Arsenal 7 Newcastle 5
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Elliot, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Manquillo, Murphy (Gayle 67), Hayden, Merino (Diame 82), Atsu (Ritchie 54), Perez, Joselu
Darlow, Clark, Dummett, Aarons
Crowd: 59,379 (Newcastle 3,000)
(Method in the madness of Rafa’s team selection – Read HERE)
(To read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s match, go HERE)
(Newcastle in bottom three after Saturday results, read HERE)