Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger looked confident during the press confidence ahead of the grudge clash against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday. He insisted on doing well in the match. Wenger also heaped a lot of praises on Chilean International Alexis Sanchez, who has been Arsenal’s top player since his arrival at the Emirates Stadium from Barcelona at the start of the season. He also backed Sanchez to do well in away games too. Here is what Wenger spoke at the press conference according to Arsenal.com:
On the game against Manchester City:
“You have many games when you know you will be judged on your potential. Manchester City is one of them. Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool are other games that people have a close eye on to judge your potential. They have always had good teams but we have won at Manchester United, we have won at Manchester City.”
Although, Arsenal have been decent against top teams at home, its the away games that they have struggled. Etihad is one such place and Arsene Wenger seems to be confident of getting a result.
“The history will not play a big part in this game. It’s the performance of the day that will play the biggest part and the only important part. We did not perform in the top games away from home. I believe we have the potential now to be much more stable and to show that we can do it.”
On game plan against Manchester City:
“It’s a commitment. It is important that we keep calm, [play with] control and be committed as well. We have to find that right balance between going for every challenge but also not going overboard – we have to respect the rules. We want to win. You have to die and you want to win. What we want is to put the maximum effort in to give ourselves the best possible chance of winning.”
In the same fixture last year, the Gunners were humbled to a 6-3 scoreline thanks to Arsenal’s highline defensive tactics. And if Wenger’s men are set to return with anything from this game, they would have to work hard than it sounds and the key to that will be the discipline showed by their back four.
Team news ahead of the all-important clash:
Mathieu Debuchy, Mikel Arteta and Danny Welbeck are out of the match with an injury. Kieron Gibbs had a test yesterday and he should come back into the squad. Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey were available for last week and they are available for Sunday.
It is likely that Wenger might retain the likes of Ozil and Walcott to subsitute roles as they are yet to regain 100% fitness, with Aaron Ramsey having an outside chance to start.
On Alexis Sanchez:
It’s possible, he is a player who can play through the middle – but not the way Giroud plays, but because of his mobility. His two assets are the quality of his runs and his reception of the ball. He gets into areas where you can find him. When he gets the ball short he can run at people. But he can also play further forward because of the timing of his runs. He is one of the fastest to adapt to the Premier League. I believe it’s because he feels accepted by the other players that he feels he is an important player.
On Sanchez’s poor form in away games:
Yes, it’s true that at Chelsea and Liverpool he wasn’t at his best. But he has some good away games too. It’s maybe because the team has not been as effective away from home, because when you are a striker you depend a little bit on how much your team pushes forward. As a team we didn’t play as well as we would like and it was difficult for the strikers to get good balls.