Wenger tells in-form Arsenal to stay grounded
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