• What They Said

Aguero a major doubt for Arsenal meeting

ESPN staff
January 1, 2013
Manchester City took an important victory against Stoke © Getty Images

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Manchester City assistant manager David Platt admitted Sergio Aguero is a doubt for City's next Premier League game against Arsenal, after limping off in the win over Stoke. He said: "It's difficult to assess an injury like that and how long it is going to be. Certainly on Saturday [the FA Cup game against Watford] he will be out and my experience would say he will be doubtful for Arsenal.

"But it is far too early to tell. There will be a lot of swelling in there and a bit of bleeding and, to be honest, we won't know for 48 hours how quickly it is going to settle down."

Tony Pulis was turning his attention to the transfer window, hoping to strengthen his Stoke side: "We'd like to do some business. The important thing is we have to wheel and deal as well. We have to move a few out. The squad needs fresh blood, but we have to generate funds. We have to move people on first."

Boss Sir Alex Ferguson was happy to avoid a potential banana skin, as Manchester United beat Wigan 4-0. He said: "Wigan are a difficult team to play against, particularly at their own ground so 4-0 is a good result for us. The game started slowly but once we got the first goal we were away and we were happy to go in a half-time 2-0 up.

"Javier Hernandez is a goal-scorer, a real penalty box player. Van Persie's ability to play is exceptional and his first goal was magnificent. We expected him to be a major player and add something to us and that is exactly what he has done."

Meanwhile, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger slammed his players after they were held to a 1-1 draw at Southampton, saying they did not even deserve a point: "Considering our performance and the result of the game, I don't think we deserved more today. It is two points lost if you look at the overall target we had for Christmas. It is frustrating and disappointing as we didn't create a lot today.

"After having scored five at Reading and seven against Newcastle, when you sum it up today with all the chances we created there is not a lot to consider. Our game lacked purpose, penetration and speed, all qualities we have usually but that we didn't see tonight.''

Andre Villas-Boas was delighted as Spurs saw off Reading with little fuss. "We did well to close out the festive period with 10 points from four games and hopefully we will continue this form to put ourselves in the position we want to be.

"Aaron Lennon is such a magnificent player and sometimes he does not get the recognition he deserves but his form has been extraordinary. He has been magnificent for us, scoring goals, like last week, and is such a good player."

Brian McDermott paid tribute to Spurs, but admitted some disappointment at how the game panned out for his side. "It was frustrating to concede an equaliser straight after scoring and if we could have had it at 1-0 at half-time then it would've been a really good game.

"This is a really good Tottenham side that Andre has built here and not many people will come away from here taking points."

Aston Villa's recent horrific run brightened slightly, as they took a draw against Swansea. But it was marred by the concession of a late equaliser. Paul Lambert said: "With 30 seconds to go you expect to see it through. First half Swansea were right on top but second half we were very good.

"The goal before half time did change it. We have a lot of injuries so you have to give credit to the players. It is a big point for us."

Opposite number Michael Laudrup was left to rue his side's early profligacy in front of goal: "We could have been 4-0 up after 12 minutes. Incredible. The only negative part was conceding a goal in the end of the first half and not scoring a second one. Aston Villa really fought after three losses."

Fulham manager Martin Jol confessed he was worried by his team's preparations ahead of their 2-1 win over West Brom, due to a disrupted night's sleep on New Year's Eve: "Probably the best fireworks were yesterday at 12 o'clock in front of my hotel!" Jol said. "That was annoying. I said we needed a quiet hotel and it was unbelievable. There were 2,000 people in front of my window! I think it kept the players up too so I was worried. At first I thought it was fans, but it wasn't. To then get a win under our belts the next day, on the first of January, is fantastic.

"It was typical English! Unbelievable celebrations for 15 or 20 minutes then everybody goes home and shoots off and it's quiet after 30 minutes! I was in a penthouse suite at the Hyatt Hotel. The next time we'll go to the Moat House where I lived for seven months when I was younger!"

Steve Clarke bemoaned the performance of his team after goals from Dimitar Berbatov and Alex Kacaniklic sandwiched Romelu Lukaku's equaliser for West Brom: "It was a poor first half from us but a much better second half," Clarke said. "On what we produced in the second half, we deserved at least a point out of the game. But the first half was really disappointing because we've set really high standards here at the Hawthorns and we didn't reach them in the first half."

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