Wenger pleased with Monreal debut
Updated Sunday, 3rd February 2013
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was impressed by Nacho Monreal's performance on what was a baptism of fire against Stoke on Sunday.
The 26-year-old arrived from Malaga on transfer deadline day and made his Gunners debut less than 48 hours later. Monreal replaced the injured Kieran Gibbs at left-back and helped his new team-mates to a hard-fought 1-0 victory.
"The satisfaction is that Nacho Monreal had a good start for a player who just arrived yesterday and is in the team," said Wenger. "He did not have time to think about it, but he got stronger and stronger during the game. There is no better culture shock than Stoke when you come from Spain! They had a very physical game and I think he dealt well with it."
Wenger was also pleased by the way Theo Walcott dealt with the attention he received on Saturday.
"There were some heated moments," Wenger added. "I don't think there was anything exceptional in the tackles.
"Theo Walcott got good treatment today, but I am very happy because the way he responded to it was with full commitment and desire to impose himself.
"That is where you see that Walcott has become a different player recently.
"They know that we try to play a game based on movement and technique and they oppose us with a very strong defence.
"You have to give them credit for the way they defended today, but overall I don't think too much happened. Apart from Theo Walcott, he got a few bad tackles that maybe deserved a yellow.
"Overall it was a physical game with a team who tries to get some points and we expected that. We prepared mentally for that."