ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger has praised the work of Reading counterpart Brian McDermott and hailed last season’s Championship winning campaign as “a miracle”.
McDermott followed 2011’s play-off final defeat to Swansea by inspiring his side to the 2012 Championship title despite the loss of influential striker Shane Long to West Bromwich Albion and losing five of the season’s first seven fixtures. That he did so without spending significant sums of money is something the decorated French manager particularly admires, and he understandably cites their impressive scouting network as a specific reason for their success.
“Reading have done well over the years,” said Wenger, whose team tonight travels to the Madejski Stadium for their fourth-round Capital One Cup tie.
“You have to congratulate Brian McDermott for promotion last year, I believe he made a miracle basically. When you get to the Premier League, the level of expectation is to stay and I feel they have a chance.
“McDermott has the qualities to achieve that. We expect a challenge and we know Reading will give absolutely everything when they play us. Reading have done very well in their scouting. They are one of the examples of that and living within their resources. I always respect that. There is some quality work behind their success.”
Wenger will tonight select Laurent Koscielny, Johan Djorou and Andrey Arshavin as he rotates his squad, though Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gervinho and Wojciech Szczesny remain unavailable.