Wenger tells in-form Ar­se­nal to stay grounded

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

ARSENE WENGER warned his Ar­se­nal stars not to get car­ried away after they gave an­other de­mon­stra­tion of their sky-high con­fi­dence with a 6-0 de­mo­li­tion of Lu­do­gorets in the Cham­pi­ons League.

Wenger’s side are in peak form at present and Bul­gar­ian min­nows Lu­do­gorets were pow­er­less to pre­vent their hot streak ex­tend­ing to seven suc­ces­sive vic­to­ries in all com­pe­ti­tions.

Alexis Sanchez scored a sub­lime opener and Theo Wal­cott and Alex Oxlade-Cham­ber­lain were also on the score­sheet at the Emi­rates Sta­dium yes­ter­day be­fore Me­sut Ozil (car­i­ca­ture) hit a sec­ond half hat­trick.

With Ar­se­nal top of their Cham­pi­ons League group after three matches and sit­ting pretty in the Pre­mier League, where they are be­hind lead­ers Manch­ester City on goal dif­fer­ence, Wenger and com­pany are fi­nally feel­ing good about them­selves after a trou­bled time last term.

But the Gun­ners boss knows over-con­fi­dence could be fa­tal to Ar­se­nal’s chances of win­ning ma­jor sil­ver­ware and he urged his play­ers to stay hum­ble.

“Let’s not be too quick on the ver­dict. We have a strong squad and a strong spirit, but you have to take care of it and keep your feet on the ground,” Wenger said.

“Maybe the con­fi­dence is high, we have a good bal­ance at the mo­ment in the team.

“In this game a lot is linked with con­fi­dence. I feel that at the mo­ment be­cause we win game after game, maybe we get through dodgy pe­ri­ods with less psy­cho­log­i­cal dam­age.

“The only way to win some­thing big is to fo­cus on the next one and work on hu­mil­ity.”

De­spite lead­ing 3-0 by the 46th minute, Wenger’s team kept their foot on the gas and the French­man had no qualms about run­ning up the score be­cause he be­lieves fine­tun­ing his at­tack will pay div­i­dends in the long run. “We are tak­ing more of our chances. Is that be­cause our fi­nal ball is bet­ter or the fin­ish­ing is bet­ter? It’s dif­fi­cult to an­a­lyse,” he said. “In the first half it looked a dif­fer­ent game be­cause Lu­do­gorets were dan­ger­ous go­ing for­ward, but in the sec­ond half they suf­fered a lot phys­i­cally. “We took con­trol com­pletely and could have scored more. We have a risky game so it’s im­por­tant to take our chances. “As long as we score three the op­po­nent has to score four to beat you. Lets keep scor­ing and get any lapses out of our game.”

Key to Ar­se­nal’s hopes of win­ning the Pre­mier League and thriv­ing in Europe will be main­tain­ing the cur­rent pur­ple patches of Sanchez and Ozil.

Both Chile for­ward Sanchez and Ger­man mid­fielder Ozil are seek­ing im­proved con­tracts and made per­sua­sive cases of bumper deals with their lat­est dom­i­nant dis­plays.

Wenger was es­pe­cially en­cour­aged with the way Ozil is surg­ing for­ward in the hunt for goals after spend­ing much of his time at Ar­se­nal con­tent to sup­ply as­sists from mid­field.

“It looks like he gets a taste to score. In the past he would come deep for the ball to be a provider, but now he gets for­ward more. That’s what we want to en­cour­age,” Wenger said.

Wenger also in­sisted Sanchez would be fit to face Middlesbrough in the Pre­mier League on Satur­day after the for­mer Barcelona star came off in the 73rd minute.

“I just wanted to give him a breather but phys­i­cally he is fine,” Wenger said. – AFP

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