Premier League - Managers: Wenger hails 'mature' Chamberlain
Managerial reaction to Saturday's Premier League games, with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger impressed with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Arsenal 7-1 Blackburn Rovers
Arsene Wenger: "Chamberlain has made a big step in the last months. He produces team play, he is not only going forwards, he is contributing to the defending and has improved very quickly. He is a fighter as well, with personality, and is much more mature now. I do not give much importance to the seven goals, it is just we won and played well. I felt that recently we had quite good performances but did not get the results. Today we got the performance and the result, which is ideally what you want."
Steve Kean: "Trying to compete here with 11 is hard enough. The sending-off was not a tough decision for the referee to make because we all know the rules now. After that, it was a long afternoon. Gael (Givet) is cut up, he is a genuine guy and a very committed player, so he is very down at the moment. We picked up a injury to Jason Lowe, Givet will now be suspended for three matches so it was costly for us. This was the first time we really got turned over, so we will have to analyse it and respond. I could shout at the players in the dressing room, throw tea-cups at them, but the hard work starts again preparing for the next game. The players know they have let themselves down and we will be looking to get back to work as soon as possible."
Norwich City 2-0 Bolton Wanderers
Paul Lambert: "In my time, which is nearly three seasons now, that's as good as it's been because of the circumstances and the desire they showed. They were brilliant. They were fantastic. It's a blow when you lose your two centre-backs. I can't remember that happening to me before. The two lads who went off are big, big players and Bolton are a big side. Kyle Naughton is knee-high to a grasshopper.
Owen Coyle: "I am disappointed that we didn't get to the standard that we set previously and we need to go back to that quickly. We have a big game coming up next week and hopefully we will get back to the form we showed in recent games. We just need to pick ourselves up. We know we have a good side when we are at our best. We weren't today, but I hope we can pick up points that will help us move up the table."
Mark Hughes: "I was really pleased with what we were producing. I thought the interplay between Bobby, Adel (Taarabt) and Djibril (Cisse) was excellent. That bodes well for the future and that is a real positive from my point of view. Obviously we are disappointed because we have lost a key game, but I think moving forward we now have real options up front."
Mick McCarthy: "I've been under pressure for the last 20 games as I've only won two of them. I was under no more pressure from Wednesday night than I've been for the last 20 games. You know me and my sentiments towards football now. (Cisse’s red card) for me wasn't a sending off when I played. But it is and the sending off is because you can't grab anybody by the face because it's not allowed any more. He was playing well so he's made a mistake and cost his team. And it did because the extra man paid dividends. We weren't having too much of the good luck so one man's mistake has given us the opportunity to win a game."
Stoke City 0-1 Sunderland
Tony Pulis: "I have watched it twice now. Robert (Huth) has committed himself and then pulled out of the challenge, and he hasn't touched the kid at all. The disappointing thing for me is - and it has become more ingrained in the game - is the reaction of the player. It is something I think Gordon Taylor and the PFA should really get to grips with. We don't want to take challenges out of the game - we want to be as competitive and fair as we possibly can. But it is creeping into the game, where players I think are going down now with the intention of getting other players booked or even sent off when they have not really been hurt. I think it is something we seriously have to look at. For me, when players do that, it is cheating another professional and they are all part of the same union. I find that a disease that we should stamp out as quickly as we possibly can."
Martin O’Neill: "I haven't seen it back, but my initial view was that I thought it looked as if it was going to be a red card. Given the new directives that the referees have been given, I thought it looked that way - but I'm sure Tony will probably disagree. Naturally, I am delighted with (my players). This would have been a big test for us anyway, but we hadn't taken the snow into consideration, so from that viewpoint, I am really pleased that we have won and collected these important points. There was a lot of snow on the pitch at the end. I didn't think the game was ever going to be called off - the conditions were good enough in the first half. But it was in the last 20 minutes of the game that it really started to lay."
Roy Hodgson: "When we took the lead I thought maybe this was going to be a situation where we would get a result. But the lead only lasted a minute and then you find yourself suddenly 2-1 down and it's a familiar pattern. Once again we will go home disappointed and dissatisfied and very downhearted. We all get down when we lose and up when we win. That's football."
Brendan Rodgers: "We could have scored four or five. We are a little club fighting to earn respect at this level through our game. It is not our mentality and philosophy to sit back. There is an inherent belief in our game. We know we needed to improve our away record and we've had a couple of good results."
Roberto Martinez: "In the second half we had that little bit of luck. We haven't had much luck this season and in the first half there were a couple of situations where you felt the ball was going to bounce into the striker instead of the centre-half but we didn't get that. I thought the break was what we deserved after the dominance we had and the attacking threat we showed, and the real intent to try to play our football in difficult conditions. At that time I thought it was the right reward and it looked like it was going to be our day, but unfortunately it wasn't."
David Moyles: "I think the effort we put in in midweek, physically and mentally, did take a bit out of us but Wigan had to play as well so it was the same for them. We never really sparked. When we went a goal down we came alive and looked as if we were going to get back in it but we were waiting on it happening today rather than making it happen. But I didn't think we looked like we were going to concede a goal today, we looked comfortable most of the time, and it was a complete freak. The pitch here is really heavy and it's going to take its toll. It was hard for them to play on and run through - compared to pitches they play on nowadays. In our day they were the norm."
Manchester City 3-0 Fulham
Roberto Mancini: "The players were fantastic and played very well. It was not easy as Fulham are a good team. This is a very important result after one defeat. We need to fight against the top teams and we need to win. There are some difficult moments in the season and January for us was so-so. Hopefully now we can continue to win the next game."
Martin Jol: "It was not possibly the most beautiful dive I've ever seen (from Adam Johnson). If you go to Man City you can expect a defeat or 2-0 but with hindsight they were a bit lucky. The first goal and second goal were a bit unfortunate, especially the first. They were better but there were some good things, especially in midfield we linked up well. I think we had more possession than them in the game but there was a lack of urgency and penetration that you need at 2-0. I hope we will have (Pavel Pogrebnyak) for the end of the week, Thursday or Friday."