Arsene Wenger demands perfection in order for Champions League qualification

"For us, the clarity is there", Wenger told reporters including The Times after the victory secured by goals from Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil. "It was only right we could get them three points and I would like to thank them". "I think Middlesbrough came out second half and made it a lot more hard and they went very direct at the end but all in all it was a new system and we have got the three points with it and that is all that matters".

"What we've done hasn't been good enough".

"It will be tough again because ultimately people will say "You're not going to win a trophy", "You're not going to finish in the top four", everything then will come onto Ozil, Sanchez and Wenger", added Neville.

It's a massive honour to play for a team like Arsenal and maybe that had been slipping in the last few weeks. That is what we needed and that's what we wanted.

Wenger responded to Arsenal's 3-0 loss at Crystal Palace by switching formations to a 3-4-2-1, playing with a three-man back line for the first time in his 21-year reign as Gunners boss.

"I think it will make the team a bit more serene".

Of the formation employed in the north east, the Frenchman said: "I just felt that sometimes the team needs to believe in something new, something different, just to find a bit of confidence back". Although he has taken only two points from his five games since succeeding Aitor Karanka, Boro's performances have improved considerably and there was a second half period when they threatened to win.


Now in sixth place, the Gunners trail fourth-place Manchester City by seven points, but the London club have a game in hand. "The players care. When you don't win your confidence goes quickly and comes back slowly, so of course you could feel even in the way we played that there was nervousness there".

"But hopefully that win will give us more confidence".

When asked whether their Champions League hopes would have died had they not won at the Riverside, Wenger replied: "Yes".

"We needed to play forward a little bit earlier, and I thought we did that, and when we scored the goal I thought we would start to put them under pressure".

"I couldn't be any more proud of the players. We have to take responsibility for that and we've done that this week between ourselves", he said.

"This group doesn't know how to give in, they will never, ever stop", he said.

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