Wenger praise for Nasri
Arsene Wenger was full of praise for match-winner Samir Nasri after Arsenal returned to the top of the table.
Last Updated: 05/12/10 1:05pm
Arsene Wenger was full of praise for match-winner Samir Nasri after returning to the top of the Premier League in the tightest title race the Arsenal boss has experienced.
Nasri scored his 10th and 11th goal of the season with two sensational pieces of individual skill in a 2-1 victory over London rivals Fulham on Saturday afternoon.
The win at Emirates Stadium propelled the Gunners back to the summit and Wenger was happy to single out the contribution of his fellow Frenchman.
"It was a combination of touch, intelligence, special talent and calmness as well," he said of Nasri's goals.
"He needed to be patient to finish on both occasions and he did that very well.
"I'm happy because he had a game that was, at the start, only based on coming to the ball.
"But now he has more variation in his game: turns, runs in behind without the ball, and as well coming to the ball and taking it to his feet.
"So his game is improving and he is, of course, more efficient."
Nasri has certainly been Arsenal's player of the season and few in the entire Premier League have performed as impressively.
"It's always difficult to compare," Wenger added. "But what is important when you are a manager is you want to get the best out of a player and I always was a strong believer in him.
"Many people questioned me when I took him here but he is showing that he is an exceptional talent and I think there is more to come from him."
Diomansy Kamara scored in between Nasri's moments of brilliance, with the Fulham striker taking advantage of confusion after Arsenal defenders Laurent Koscielny and Sebastien Squillaci collided.
Wenger was furious that the match was not stopped by referee Chris Foy when Koscielny sustained a head injury which eventually led to the centre-back being stretched off.
However, asked about whether the game should have been stopped, Wenger said: "That is the approach that I made to the referee.
"But having seen it again, it is difficult for the referee because Koscielny tried to play on, he did not immediately fall down, and that is why the referee allowed the game to go on."
Asked about the extent of Koscielny's concussion, Wenger said: "I haven't spoken to the doctor yet."
Arsenal started in scintillating form against Fulham, but Kamara's equaliser at 1-1 led to a nervous match.
Wenger said: "We are good enough to go on, that is for sure. As you see, every single team struggles to be consistent.
"At the moment, we are where we are despite having lost three games. Today, you could see again every game is a cup final. And if you're not completely up for it, you don't take the three points.
"We have the spirit, we have the quality but we face tough opponents. And it will be down, as I have said already many times here, to consistency.
"We are far from winning the championship yet.
"The only thing I can say: we have the desire and the spirit to fight for it. Will it be good enough? We'll have the answer in May."