In his press conference before Arsenal host Man City at the Emirates tomorrow, Arsene Wenger declared that he would be sending the Gunners out with every intention of claiming a morale boosting victory over the reigning Premier League champions.
As reported by Arsenal.com, the Frenchman is not really concerned about the league table at this early point in the season. He is more concerned with making sure that Arsenal do not suffer from the same problems against the big teams that we did last season, when many people thought that our failure in those games was the main reason for the title challenge faltering in the latter half of the season.
Arsenal started pretty well last season, with the first two games against top six sides, Tottenham and Liverpool, both ending in home victories. It all went downhill from there, however, with the Gunners winning just one of the remaining eight top six clashes, away to the spuds. And that damaged the belief in the side significantly. Wenger wants that confidence back and thinks it is worth taking a risk and being a bit adventurous in order to restore belief in those big clashes.
Wenger said, “It is a good opportunity to show that we have improved on that front because a year before it was completely the opposite and last year it was like that.
“We have now got the opportunity to show that we have grown as a team, that we are more mature and ready for the fight. Let’s do it.
“I don’t think that this game is very important for us mathematically [just] because we dropped points away from home [at Everton and Leicester]. But it gives us credibility and confidence if we do well.
“It’s a big game and for us it is a home game as well. We had a decent start in the Premier League but of course we dropped some points and we have a good opportunity at home to play against Manchester City and get the three points.
“They [Man City] have the same problem. I think you have to accept your schedule and to deal well with it and adapt. Our game is to accept and adapt and give your best performance.
“The pressure is big in a game like that but you want that, we enjoy that and it’s also an opportunity to show that you can deal with it and that we have the quality to do it.”
I appreciate what the boss is trying to do and admire his courage. However, it was being too gung ho in those away games that led to such heavy defeats. So is Wenger right to really push to make the most of home advantage and risk a point in the hope of a morale boosting win against a big club?