Wenger frustrated at timing of international break

Arsene Wenger

LONDON (Reuters) – Arsene Wenger lamented on Sunday that Arsenal’s recent upturn in form will be interrupted by next week’s international break.

The Gunners have amassed 10 points out of a possible 12 in the Premier League and won both of their Europa League group games since the previous round of World Cup qualifiers, which had been preceded by back-to-back defeats by Stoke City and Liverpool.

Arsenal now have to wait until Oct. 14 for their next match, away to Watford in the Premier League.

“I would have loved to be able to continue to play, but we cannot do anything about that,” Wenger said after his side’s 2-0 league win over Brighton & Hove Albion.

”Our last international break was a nightmare, but this is one is a bit better.

“Let’s hope the players come back in a good shape. I knew that after the game at Liverpool, everybody did write us off. It just depends on us how much we respond.”

Pressure on Wenger had intensified in the wake of those early defeats, but the Frenchman insisted the results had not made him panic.

”Nothing is permanent,“ he said. ”You’re not bad in a permanent way, if you can do something about it. You’re not good in a permanent way, if you don’t keep your urgency.

“We responded in a united way and we put some wins together and some good performances as well.”

Arsenal’s win over Brighton, sealed by goals from Nacho Monreal and Alex Iwobi, came on the 21st anniversary of Wenger taking charge of the club.

“In this job you only look for the next game,” the 67-year-old said. “When you look back, you see the distance you have made. Overall, football changed a lot in this 21 years.”