Backpage Roundup: Wenger Calls for Strong Start against Norwich, Koscielny Likes Pressure, Ox Talks about Gunners Confidence, Hawk-Eye System and More

Wenger Calls for Strong Start against Canaries
Arsene Wenger has urged his Arsenal charges to fire on all cylinders from the very beginning when they take on Norwich City at Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Frenchman believes that when his men take an early lead, it draws their opponents out and makes the game even more favourable for the Gunners. A victory over the Canaries will lift Arsenal to third position on the league table, and so Wenger wants to make sure that they do all they can to take full three points on offer in this fixture.
He told Arsenal Player,Once we are in front, the teams who usually defend against us have to come out and that gives us space to develop our game even better. That shows you that when we start our games in a positive way, we can dominate. It shows you just how important the confidence is to go into the games and to have a strong start.”
Gunners Confidence Will Show on Pitch, Claims Oxlade-Chamberlain
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has revealed that confidence in the Arsenal camp is sky high, thanks to their recent resurgence that has seen them win five of their last six games.
Since losing 3-1 to Bayern Munich at Emirates Stadium in mid-February, the Gunners have lost just once, with that solitary defeat coming away at Spurs by the slimmest of margins.
Oxlade-Chamberlain says that this positive run of form has provided a huge lift to him and his teammates, and it is showing in their general outlook.
In a recent interview with, the teenage winger said: “When the team is winning, everyone is obviously more upbeat. We all want to win games and when you do the confidence and self-belief within the group rises. When you get on a winning streak, you start to go into games thinking that you are going to win – that is the self-belief you create.
“You know it will be a tough game, but once you have that winning mentality you really believe in yourself a lot more. It all oozes out on the pitch, the team’s play is a lot more positive and the attitude of the boys is more positive. The fans help as well but know we have to continue to work hard and hopefully that run can continue.”
Wenger Unbothered by Tottenham’s Europa League Exit
Arsene Wenger says that he wants to only focus on his Arsenal side and is not bothered about the positive effect that Tottenham Hotspur’s Europa League exit could cause to their battle for top-four places.
Spurs lost out to FC Basel on penalties in their Europa League quarterfinal clash on Saturday night, leaving them with just one target, which is to secure Champions League qualification for next season.
Like the Gunners, coach Andre Villas-Boas’ men are now also fighting on just one front, leading to suggestions that their European exit might have hurt the cause of Wenger’s men too. But Wenger has made it clear that he doesn’t care about their rivals’ result because their destiny is in their own hands.
He said: “I don’t mind if it (losing in Europe) had an influence or not, and I don’t care about that because I care about our results. We do not have to look at other teams. We just want to focus on how we want to play and to win our games.
“That is all we want to do – focus on ourselves, win our games and continue to play the way we play, with the same spirit and go from strength to strength in every single game. That is our target. I have said many times, there is no room for dropping points – but there is room for winning points and that is what we want to achieve.”
Wenger Welcomes Hawk-Eye System but Wants More
Arsene Wenger has endorsed the Premier League’s decision to introduce the Hawk-Eye system in English football’s topflight division from next season but believes even more technology is needed to make the refereeing easier and just.
From the 2013/14 PL season, the PL refs will be quickly informed whether or not the ball has crossed the line, which would eliminate or reduce the amount of controversial decisions arising from this particular facet of the game.
However, other issues such as offsides and diving, which also go wrong on a regular basis, would still depend solely on human judgment, and Wenger is not happy with it.
He said: “It’s good news and I hope there is more good news to come on technology because we want the right decisions to be taken. The more assistance the referees get, the better it is. When you look at the level of refereeing that you have seen again in Europe this week, it is absolutely disastrous what happened. The major decisions that have gone wrong in the Champions League, football cannot accept that lasts.
“When you have four players that are offside and nobody sees it, how can that happen? In the same action, another player is offside and scores a goal, and we stand here and defend that? It is not defendable. I don’t believe technology would slow the game down at all if it is done in the right way. I am amazed we are just resistant by principle in our sport to move forward for more justice. If it is to get more decisions right then we all have to fight for it.”
Koscielny: ‘Pressure Is Good’
Laurent Koscielny feels that pressure up to a certain extent is healthy for a football club and is confident that Arsenal would excel when put in such a situation.
The Gunners once again failed to end their trophy-drought this season, and while pressure could be one of the contributing factors to their failure, the France international believes it is not necessarily a negative thing.
In an interview with Arsenal Player, Koscielny said: “I think it is good to have a little pressure. Not a lot because then you can’t play, you are afraid and you do nothing on the pitch. A little pressure is good to make sure you give your best for the team.
“We haven’t won a trophy for a long time, and I think it’s important to have this pressure for yourself, for the club, to give your best on the pitch.
“You need some luck, to have players who are in form as well. It’s difficult, but if everybody is ready to fight together and be focused then you can be successful.”

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