Arsenal FC manager Arsene Wenger eager to learn from Old Trafford’s mistake and emphasizes on the importance of keeping possession against Manchester City and the importance of Mathieu Flamini in the side.
Arsenal travel to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City in what promises to be an exciting clash. The Gunners’ last victory in that stadium came in 2010 when Dedryck Boyata was sent off in the opening five minutes of the game and Samir Nasri opened the scoring for the away side. Nasri of course will line-up for the opponents tomorrow and is currently in fine form.
Arsenal have made a flying start to their domestic campaign and currently lead the points table with a five point advantage over Liverpool and Chelsea. But their title credentials will be tested in the next two fixtures as they face Manchester City and Chelsea. The Gunners are coming into this game on the back of a disappointing performance against Napoli in their last group stage fixture. They were one goal away from being knocked out of the tournament and Wenger will hope that his players can recover in time for this match.
The Gunners have been the best away team in the league this season and their only defeat on the road arrived in the match against Manchester United at Old Trafford. But Wenger says that his team is keen to learn from their mistake in that game and will look to make a quick start against Manchester City. He also emphasized on the importance of retaining possession and attack being the best form of defence against the Citizens.
“What we can learn from Old Trafford is that it took us one half to be completely ourselves. I think we have learned from that and we will go into the game [at City] on full cylinders.
“I believe first of all that you need a strong defensive performance and maybe the best way to do that is to attack and [keep] the ball and not let them find their flow.
“We have an opportunity to make the difference with everybody else [on Saturday] morning, as we play first. We have an opportunity to go from five to to eight [points clear] and that’s fantastic. We have to look at it like that.” – The Arsenal manager said.
The Frenchman also insists that the although a win in this fixture will be a huge boost to their belief, his team will always have faith in their abilities irrespective of the result.
“Of course [a win would] strengthen your belief, but I am convinced we believe in ourselves anyway, no matter what happens.
“Let’s not forget as well that if you are in City’s position and they lose, then they’re nine points behind, so they have more negative pressure than we have.
“We have a positive pressure that we can make a big difference with them, so let’s look at it like that.” – He added.
Arsene Wenger was also full of praise for Mathieu Flamini, who has been in superb form since re-joining the club in the summer. Wenger stressed on the importance of having someone like Flamini in the midfield as most of the other players are mostly attack minded and creative players.
“He is more focused on defending well and helping out. That is what he has brought to the team and the squad.
“We had no real defensive midfielders. All our players in the middle of the park like to attack and are creatively focused.
“It is good that he is concerned by [defensive duties] because in our team most players are only concerned by how quickly we can go to the other goal.
“Someone who has that focus helps to stabilise our defensive record. He has certainly contributed to improve our defensive record.” – Wenger told the press.
The Arsenal manager also faced questions regarding the club’s transfer policies for the upcoming January transfer window. Wenger insisted that he is currently focusing on the short term goals and will access the options once the window opens.
“We will assess that situation in January, at the moment we are like every club, focused on the short term and for us what is vital is Saturday’s game.
“If you look well at the clubs who struggled not to go down, even those who bought a lot you realise it does not help a lot.” – He insisted.