Arsene Wenger believes there must be a balance between ambition and humility when it comes to competing for the title to keep his players grounded and hard working after an emphatic start to the season.
The Gunners have won nine matches in all competitions since their opening day loss to Aston Villa, gathering a table-topping 15 points from their five consecutive wins in the Premier League, and the Arsenal boss is keeping his feet firmly grounded.
Yesterday we asked the question “Can Arsenal realistically win the league?” To some it seemed a daft question – certainly we can. But as Wenger has iterated it is a long season and we have only just begun. He does however believe they can build upon their impressive winning streak and continue to improve as a team.
The Frenchman told reporters in his pre-match press conference on his sides title chances:
You believe 100 percent, or you don’t believe. So that’s how much our belief is. I think at our job the most important thing is to have a good balance between ambition and humility. Ambition, because of course we want to win, but humility as well, because we know we have only played six games.
To speak today about the title is absolutely ridiculous, but what we have done is to continue to have the same ambition. I think the team has a good humility level and is conscious that we want to improve.
Arsenal’s shock 3-1 loss at the hands of Aston Villa on the opening day of the season applied a new level of pressure on Wenger, but since his side have responded admirably.
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The Frenchman played down the result against the Villains as an accident, a blip among an impressive run of 21 fixtures with just one loss.
I trust the mental response of this group. If you put it into perspective, it was just one single game that we lost in 21 now, so I think it was a combination of factors: the fact that we had not bought anybody, we had not won the league for years and the fact that we started badly.
All this together made the situation a little bit explosive but purely on the results perspective it was an accident that can happen.
Every fan’s frustrations were vented at Emirates stadium against Villa after the dreadful loss, but since that fateful day they have bounced back fantastically despite lacking numbers in certain areas of the squad. Wenger’s faith in a selection of his youngsters has started to pay off.
Certain players are exercising their potential that has lessened the blow of losing Cazorla, The Ox, Podolski and Arteta for much of the season. Aaron Ramsey has been nothing short of excellent, while Flamini has slotted in seamlessly since his summer arrival. Giroud has been in fine form, and collectively as a unit Arsenal are developing into a real force.
Wenger and his side cannot afford to get carried away, but they have a realistic title chance this season and a big opportunity to end their trophy drought.
What are your thoughts Gooners? Think Wenger is right when he said talking early on about winning the title is ridiculous?