Speaking at the press conference earlier today, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted that the win against title rivals Manchester City was important as far as the title goes, but pointed to the confidence levels of the team as being a more important factor (via Arsenal.com). The Frenchman was speaking ahead of Arsenal’s Boxing Day clash against Southampton, which once more will offer Arsenal the chance to go top of the Premier League.
The Gunners emerged 2-1 victors in the game against third placed Manchester City, but the manager believes that more important than the result is the current team spirit and confidence levels at the club. The players are naturally on a high at the moment, having won several key games already this season, and Wenger believes that this will snowball into future games and provide the team with an edge over their opponents.
Speaking to Arsenal Player, he said, “It was an important win for us but we already had a good confidence level. To win these sorts of game you need to believe you can do it.
“Overall what came out of the game was a strong team attitude and strong team effort. Everybody put hard work into the game – we got a positive result against a strong team who will fight for the championship, so it was an important night for us.
“I believe for us, the most important is to focus on ourselves. We have not to speculate too much on any weakness of Southampton. When you look at their team, they have the potential to be a very strong team. We have to convince ourselves that we again need another top-level performance.”
The Saints are generally tricky opponents, but have performed below expectations this season – currently sitting in 12th place in the league table. Based on our recent form, we should be able to win comfortably despite the injury setback suffered by key player Alexis Sanchez (via Goal). However, underestimating them is never wise, and we only have to look at the 2-0 result from January of this year to know what they are capable of.
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Winning the next couple of games will allow us to end the year on a high, and this has certainly been one of Arsenal’s best years in recent times. The coming month also heralds the beginning of the winter transfer window, and while we cannot expect top quality players to make a move in the middle of the season, a few replacements should certainly be purchasable based on our current position – both domestically and in Europe. With the FA Cup also starting up next month, Arsene Wenger is faced with the challenge of planning his campaign to retain the trophy for the third successive season. Overall, it promises to be an exciting second half to the season, and the Gunners could easily land themselves a large haul of trophies based on our actions over the coming few weeks.
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