Arsenal have put themselves in a precarious position after losing three out of their first five Champions League games, but Arsene Wenger believes that the Gunners have been unlucky with referees, sendings off and own goals which has left them in this situation.
But he also thinks that if we get through (which we usually do) then we will be no pushovers in the knockout stages. “We can be dangerous if we go through because we come from far,” he said on Arsenal.com. “Overall if you look at the numbers since the start of the Champions League group stage, we have played with 10 men in Zagreb, we scored an own goal at home to Olympiacos, every single game we were a bit unlucky but if we get through we will be dangerous that is for sure.
“At the moment we have two or three super-favourites [for the competition] and whoever gets through will have to chase them.
“As long as you don’t win the competition – at any stage to go out is bad. That is basically it. On the other hand, we have gone 15 times out of the group consecutively so you could say that is a good habit.”
That sounds like Le Prof is confident that we will maintain the habit, and is trying to remind the players that we have usually had some amazing results in away games in the past which have ensured we get through the Group Stages. But first of all they just need to be prepared for any eventuality and focus on getting the job done.
“We have to put every scenario in our head, it is important we focus on the performance,” Wenger continued. “The results come if we play well so let’s focus on that. When the goal comes I don’t know, but if we play well we have a chance to score.
“Mentally, you prepare yourself to adapt to every situation and give the right response to every situation you face.
“We will have to adapt to what is happening on the pitch and to all of the scenarios, accept them and respond.
“Ideally, you would like to not have to be patient but we might need to be. What is important is that basically the same for every game in Champions League you attack well and defend well, that is the best way, go into the game with a desire to win it and knowing you need to do both sides of the game well.
“Of course, we have a history where we have positive results. We know we can do it so the best way to do it is with a top-quality performance and that is what we want to focus on.”
We all know history and records are there to be broken, as we have seen by our defeats to Zagreb and Olympiakos already this season, but Wenger is right, we DO usually overcome the odds and make it through. But we can’t rely on history, we have to get the result through playing excellent football and scoring lots of goals.
And a positive attitude never did anyone any harm either….