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Interview Materazzi : L'inter à 3 derrière

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  • Interview Materazzi : L'inter à 3 derrière

    Avant-Match du site officiel :

    Tonight, Arsenal will start the arduous task of closing the gap between their position and their ambition.

    Arsène Wenger’s side are 10th in the fledging Premiership table with six points from four games. Chelsea are top with a maximum 18 points from their six games, including a 1-0 win over Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.

    It is ominous to be playing catch-up so early in the campaign but Wenger is not unduly concerned yet. And anyway his immediate aims are on a smaller scale. He wants his side simply to re-discover their consistency after two wins and two draws in the League this season.

    “Mathematically, it is worrying,” he said, “You have to be not too many points behind. It is important not to have a big gap between your position in the League and your ambition. After that you are in a dangerous situation mentally. You look at the table you think ahhhh.

    “But if you consider the way we played is not so worrying. If we can find a bigger stability defensively and get back to winning habits away from home then the problem will be easily sorted out. It is not like we cannot string two passes together.”

    In losing twice, Arsenal have already racked up more defeats than each of the past two title-winning campaigns. But Wenger is a long way from discounting his side just yet.

    “It depends on how many games you win,” he said. “I won one losing six and another losing none. After 38 games you always get what you deserve.

    “At the moment I think Chelsea have some positive results going for them and that will not happen the whole season. I just want us to get back to consistent behaviour, not one game - yes, one game - no.

    “I feel this team has character. There have been two or three occasions to show it and they have done it. What they have to find now is the consistency. The pressure is big on us because we want to be as high as possible in the table, not in the middle. That is why this is a big game for us.”

    Jens Lehmann returns after suspension but Thierry Henry (groin) is still absent and Mathieu Flamini is a slight doubt.

    The French midfielder scored the final goal in Arsenal’s 7-0 victory in this fixture at the end of last season. It was a crushing defeat for David Moyes but one that was written off in the light of their Champions League qualification.

    They return to Highbury tonight having been dumped out of that competition at the first hurdle and facing a similar scenario in the Uefa Cup. Their Premiership form is little better. They are second from bottom with three points from four games. However, Wenger dismisses the doubters.

    “It is just a bad start,” he said. “It is only four games. If they had that run in December then everyone would say OK. I think their run is linked with injuries. Remember there is no time to recover if you have European fixtures and the disappointment of the Champions League is difficult to take.”

    Unsurprisingly, Wenger remembers that 7-0 with fondness, after his side’s patchy start, he’d be happy with a more familiar scoreline this evening.

    “That was a special circumstance,” he concluded. “It was a firework game at the end of season when they had already qualified for Europe.

    “But I think 1-0 will be great for us tonight.”
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