On winning without being at their best...
"You can call it what you want but it was a welcome goal. I feel we had a difficult first-half, we were not sharp and Tottenham had a very good first-half. We needed to raise our game and we did in the second-half but after we went 1-0 up we looked to be in control of the game but we released the pressure on them and allowed them back in.

Overall we are conscious that we were not at our best for 90 minutes today - only in patches - and as well that they missed a sitter through Robbie Keane and Almunia stopped a great penalty for us. That was the turning point of the game.

A good sign of today is we knew we could win the game without being at our best and that is something that tells you about the maturity and mental strength of the team. We know the players want it but were not so sharp today."

On the goalkeepers...
"I am not in a situation where I have any bad feeling towards Jens Lehmann at all because I can understand him. He is a 200 per cent professional, he fights everyday to be in the team but we have three keepers' of top, top class and the two that do not play can feel it is not justified. It is not only Lehmann, it is Fabianski as well and he showed himself at Blackburn.

"At the end of the day I can only chose one and Almunia is doing very well. The more experience he gets the better he plays. I feel he is a player without a CV when he came here. He had to create that and when you do that as a keeper at a big club it is very difficult. He had limited experience but he worked very hard. He didn't come here with a big name and of course you have to make it and you make it with performances."

On the omission of Robin van Persie...
"Robin van Persie is a few days away. I don't know whether he will play at Portsmouth or Everton but one of the two. I would say, being cautious, we plan for Everton rather than Portsmouth. It is a little muscular problem, but a very minor one. We nearly played him today but we didn't want to take a gamble."

On Nicklas Bendtner...
"We don't control the young lads. We give them an opportunity to play. Nicklas Bendtner is 19 years of age and I don't feel anywhere else in the world you have as many young players in a big club so the best chance is always to stay where you are, especially if you are going to play. Nicklas is here now for four years and we have developed him and want to keep him. He is close to a start and of course he will play."

On getting results...
"In some ways we played a top level game last week and we relaxed a bit after that and thought against Tottenham it would be a little bit easier. We play Chelsea at home and Tottenham at home and got six points. You cannot say we have underperformed or underachieved. To have 43 points after 18 games, 20 to go means we are in a very strong position. It is true today you can argue with the points we got but in all the rest we got what we deserved. "

On having faith...
"I am always convinced of us but maybe I am an optimistic man. I thought it was possible to be where we are now, but when I listened to the television or the radio somewhere I thought that I must be crazy but that wasn't new for me."

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 22 Dec 2007