Following Arsenal’s routine 2-0 Premier League win at Aston Villa, Arsene Wenger says his opposite number Remi Garde needs time to turn the struggling club’s fortunes around.
Olivier Giroud’s penalty put Wenger’s men in front and Mesut Ozil set up Aaron Ramsey to send the Gunners top of the Premier League.
Garde played under Wenger at Arsenal from 1996 to 1999 and the former Lyon coach is considered a protege of the Arsenal manager.
“I think his team today had good spirit and cohesion, they are a bit short of confidence but I believe he has done a good job,” Wenger said.
“He needs to be given time, but time in the Premier League is difficult to get now.
“I encouraged him to come because I believe he has the intelligence and the quality.”
Wenger added that teams are often written off in the Premier League only to bounce back and prove their critics wrong later in the season.
Villa have not won since the opening day of the season and are eight points from safety after 16 Premier League matches having extended their longest run without a win.
“Every year we have seen teams survive who everyone thought had no chance before Christmas,” Wenger said.
“Last year one of those was Leicester, so it’s not completely a lost cause yet.”