Take the handbrake off, lads…

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Well, there is nothing like a bit of confidence ahead of two season defining matches for the rip-roaring Red machine. And when Arsene Wenger says we are capable of winning anywhere in the world I hope to high heaven that includes Shit Bridge tomorrow.

And so to this morning’s papers, where we find AW talking up our chances of getting the season back on track in the Mail. He said: ‘There is a lot of scepticism around us at the moment and we have to show everybody how strong we are. I am convinced that we are capable of winning anywhere in the world. I believe that if we play at our best we will win and I know how much the players need this kind of win.

‘This team is mentally strong and dedicated. But because they have not won yet they make it a bit harder in their heads to win than it is. We played with the handbrake on a little bit against United.

‘If we are in a strong position after these games, we don’t have to play Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Everton again this season. Six points behind Chelsea is not dramatic.’

The same paper carries an exclusive interview with the signing of the season Thomas Vermaelen in which he says Didier Drogba and Wayne Rooney are the best strikers he has faced.
In the Telegraph, AW is at his wind-up best. “If you win the League Cup you cannot say you win trophies for me,” he said. “We’re here to win trophies, but it depends on what you call trophies. Is it the Champions League, the Premier League, the League Cup? We’ve just qualified from the group stage in the Champions League for the tenth consecutive season. That, for me, is three times as difficult as winning the League Cup five times. I know what’s difficult and what’s not.”

Asked if third place in the Premier League was better than winning the FA Cup or Carling Cup, he added: “Of course. It’s much more difficult. I want to win trophies and, like the fans, I’m frustrated if I don’t. But it doesn’t mean the rest of the season has been completely useless. A season does not go from fantastic to zero. A season in the English league when you fight with Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham and Aston Villa to finish in the top three is still not a disaster.”

In the Sun, AW talks alludes to the John Terry saga ahead of the game tomorrow. He said: “I don’t want to go into that stuff about role models that you hear everywhere. It is quite a bit tiring. We do not have to interfere with Chelsea’s problems. I believe Chelsea will play at their best, we expect that, and that is why we just want to focus on our own performance.

“We have seen last Sunday when we do not play at our best we do not win the game and that is why the key is more on our side. Captaincy is over played, without a doubt. Maybe it has historical roots in battles, fighting.

“Traditionally in the history of England the captain certainly had a big role and a big importance. I like that, but team sport is linked with recent history, the 20th Century. Before that, it was all fighting, and so maybe it is linked with historical roots.

“In some other sports like rugby the captain has a bit more freedom and importance than in football. It is always an instant decision in a very quick time and the captain has no time to interfere with the individual decisions of the players on the pitch

If you fancy a giggle, check out the Harold Redknapp story in the Mirror…I kid you not, it is headlined ‘Redknapp: Spurs can still finish above Arsenal’.

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