Sagna Urges Gunners to ‘Stay Focused’
Bacary Sagna has urged his Arsenal teammates to remain consistent and keep up their level of play in order to realise their dream of recapturing the Barclays Premier League title at the end of the season.
The Gunners currently sit atop the PL points table, with their tally of 15 being two higher than the second-placed Tottenham Hotspur. While it is too early in the season and their lead is very small, Sagna believes they can be crowned the new champions come May, if they stay focused.
In a recent interview, the French right-back said: “At the moment the team is very confident, we are very ambitious and the best way to do that is to win games. We have to take it game by game until the end. We have the quality to do it and I think we can do it, but we have to stay focused until the end and we have to keep working hard.”
Olivier Giroud, who has scored five goals in nine appearance so far this season, has been a major reason behind Arsenal’s magnificent start to the season. And Sagna believes the former Montpellier striker’s desire for personal improvement could see him become even better and score many more goals during the course of the season.
“He is always questioning himself, knows what he did well and what he did wrong,” he added. “Olivier tries to work on it during training sessions and tries to communicate with the boss, is always asking about his positioning, what he could do more. He is a very good player, good physically in front of the goal and finishes well. We need to give him time and I think he will improve even more, and be more decisive.”
Sagna’s contract is set to expire at the end of the season, and so far, no progress has been made on the extension front. If a solution isn’t found in the next three months then he will be free to discuss future moves with potential suitors. When Wenger was recently asked to comment on the defender’s future, he simply said: “We are always talking about it. When the situation has developed, we will inform you. And there again, I do not think today is the best day to talk.”
Wenger Content with Missing Out On Higuain; Says Giroud is Good Enough
Arsene Wenger has once again admitted that he is an admirer of Napoli star Gonzalo Higuain but believes Olivier Giroud is not far behind the Argentine in terms of quality.
The Gunners failed with their attempts to lure Higuain to Emirates Stadium in summer, and in the end, Wenger kept faith in Giroud. His decision is paying off handsomely as the France international has been in excellent form so far this season, having scored five in nine games already
Ahead of Arsenal’s Tuesday-night Champions League clash with Napoli, the Arsenal manager was asked why he wanted to sign Higuain, to which he replied: “His movement, anticipation in the box and his reading of the game is very high. We wanted to give some support to Giroud. It is not the best moment to talk about transfers today. He was on the market as you know and several clubs were in for him.
“Giroud is already (one of the leading strikers in Europe). I think will he improve and be better in all the aspects of his game. As long as all the aspects are there, the attitude is there as well. At 27, you always think the best years are coming for him now. I am never surprised by the improvement of the players, because that gives you the feeling that we are doing the right things. For him, the jump from Montpellier to Arsenal was quite big. In the first season, it is always quite difficult.”
Arsenal Can Win UCL, Claims Wenger
Arsene Wenger has claimed that Arsenal can win the UEFA Champions League this season, provided that they can safely qualify for the knock-out stages of the tournament.
The Gunners are in Group F, which is seen as the group of death by some due to the tough competition in it. The presence of Borussia Dortmund, SSC Napoli and Marseille means that there are unlikely to be any easy games in this one. While progression to the next round could be difficult, Wenger believes if successful, they might go all the way and lift the prestigious trophy in Lisbon at the end of the season.
“It is something I miss that I will try to fight very hard to fill my CV with. But you play against Barcelona, Bayern (Munich), Real Madrid – every year they are there with a chance. You always think ‘let’s do it’ every year, and one year it will go for you, so let’s hope it will be this year. The competition is higher than ever.
“If we get out of the group I would say we have a chance (to win the trophy) – but what we have to show is that we have the strength. It is difficult to predict because after the group stage, it is a cup (competition) and then it is about who is available who is fit and who isn’t, you cannot plan.”
His confident stance in Europe is surprising considering the fact that he was irked when asked about Arsenal’s Premier League chances a few days ago. “We want the right balance between ambition and humility. To speak about the title today is ridiculous,” he answered back then.
When asked what his plan would be against Napoli in tonight’s home game, the Frenchman replied: “We will be faithful to what we do in the Champions League and try to have the ball. We know as well that the way we stop them from counter-attacking is vital as that is their strength.”
Wenger Is the Best In Premier League – Benitez
SSC Napoli manager Rafa Benitez has revealed his admiration for Arsene Wenger by claiming that the Arsenal boss is ‘the best coach in the Premier League.’
The Gunners currently hold top spot in the PL, and Benitez believes the North Londoners’ great start to the new season owes everything to their French trainer.
In a recent interview, the former Liverpool and Chelsea boss said: “I am expecting a strong team because I think Arsene Wenger is the best coach in the Premier League. They have signed good players, at this point everything going well for them. Wenger is a great manager, a great person, someone who knows the league here in England. He has experience in Europe, Arsenal is always top four and he is doing a great job. Hopefully he can win (the Champions League), but another year, not this one.”