Wenger full of praise as Alex bags double for Arsenal
Arsenal 2 Reading 0
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is growing in confidence in front of goal after his brace secured a 2-0 win over Reading in the EFL Cup at the Emirates Stadium last night.
The 23-year-old has scored five goals in 12 appearances in all competitions this season and, despite only making three Premier League starts so far, Wenger is confident he will continue to make an impact for the club.
He said: "I feel that before (Alex) looked nervous when he was in front of the goal and now we hope that he will continue to go forward and this will build his confidence.
"He has been working really hard in training. That is now showing on the pitch.
"His concentration and his focus have improved, he is much sharper and he will continue to do well.
"(To start games in the Premier League) he needs to keep playing like that."
Arsenal made nine changes from their 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough in the Premier League on Saturday and Wenger believes that enjoying a good cup run is great for the players that are struggling to break into the starting XI.
He said: "I think that the players did well. I felt Rob (Holding) did well, Ainsley (Maitland-Niles) played some nice passes and Jeff (Reine-Adelaide) had a good game too.
"If you are still in all the competitions it is not to hard (to give the whole squad a game).
"That is a positive of the result here, when the players win they gain confidence and they know they will get a game.
"We have three top goalkeepers and (Emiliano Martinez) knows he will get a game if we win. It is a good incentive."
Reading manager Jaap Stam believes that his side can take a lot out of the defeat but they were outclassed on the night.
Stam said: "I think we tried to get the result but playing Arsenal they have quality in a very big squad.
"They can make it very hard and that is what they have done today.
"We wanted to push them up and make chances. We have done it a couple of times but then sometimes we gave the ball away as well.
"It is a very good team, we knew it wasn't going to be easy.
"We wanted to win but I think the players need to learn from (that game) to improve their chances going forward."