December 21 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists he will not take Norwich City lightly at the Emirates.
The table-topping Gunners have recovered well from an opening day Premier League home defeat to Aston Villa, but the Frenchman believes it is tougher than ever to grind out results in the top flight.
“We have learned something in the last 18 months, that the Premier League has changed, that every single game is a potential danger for any team in the league and the recent results in the Premier League have confirmed that,” he said. “Every team who is favourite today is on its toes because they know every game is a potential danger.
“We are top of the table, we are in a very strong position, but if you look the schedule, then by the end of November you will have a much clearer situation of where the strengths of everybody lies in this Premier League. When we get all of our players back (from injury), I am confident we have a very big part to play in this league. I am confident at the end of May, we will all be happy.”
The longest-serving manager in English professional football celebrates his 64th birthday next week but Wenger is in no rush to sign a new deal to stay in north London despite entering the final year of his current contract.
The Gunners’ chief denied reports he had already agreed terms on a contract extension.
“I believe that when you are manager at the club, you have to prepare for the long term always and act like you would stay forever,” he said. “I believe that what is important is the next game. We have a huge ambition to win this league again and that is the target of the season. I believe we have a huge advantage in that our club is well respected all over the world because we have values, because we are not artificial, because we are based on tradition. We are as well forward thinking and we give a chance to young people who deserve it. That is for me something that is very important to preserve.”
Reecord-signing Mesut Ozil (knee) has been passed fit but Theo Walcott is yet to resume full training after missing England’s recent World Cup qualifiers following a a minor abdominal procedure.
“I am very happy with the team who has played until now,” said Wenger. “What is important is that instead of focusing on one or two players, we focus on developing ourselves as a team and our team play, where there is still room for improvement and we have to show that desire.”