Belfast Telegraph

Wenger demands consistency

Arsene Wenger challenged his Arsenal side to find consistency again after romping to a first Barclays Premier League win of 2012 as they thrashed 10-man Blackburn 7-1 at Emirates Stadium.

Robin van Persie plundered a hat-trick - his opening goal coming after just 79 seconds - as the Gunners shrugged off their recent frustrations to close back to within two points of fourth-placed Chelsea, who host Manchester United on Sunday.

Wenger, however, insisted he never reads much into big results, demanding instead his team just produce another winning display when they head to in-form Sunderland next weekend. And he said: "We need consistency."

He added: "Strangely I don't feel we played very badly at Fulham, nor at Swansea, nor against Manchester United, but every time we just couldn't get the result and in the end it affects your belief.

"It was important to the confidence of the side that we won a game and get three points. This will help us slowly to believe again that we could win - to win 1-0 at Sunderland would be fantastic and that is what we have to prepare for, to produce a good performance."

It was another all-action display from Oxlade-Chamberlain, who was signed from Southampton during the summer. The 18-year-old admits he sometimes has to have a double-take at how far he has come in such a short space of time after notching up his first Premier League goals.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Oxlade-Chamberlain said: "I have been waiting for a day like this.

"That [playing with Thierry Henry and Robin Van Persie] is something I have always wanted to do, but making it happen is a different thing.

"I know I have a lot more work to do to stay in this team and to improve my own game, to push on.

"I listen to everyone, and people like Thierry and Robin, who score goals and are attacking players like myself, you can always learn a lot from them."

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