Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Wenger Says That Reborn Arsenal Are Thinking Big Again

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Wenger Says That Reborn Arsenal Are Thinking Big Again

Article excerpt

Byline: James Olley Chief Football Correspondent

[bar] HILE talk of a title challenge was being played down by Arsenal today, their amazing victory at Chelsea has convinced the players they can achieve "big things," according to Arsene Wenger.

The Gunners lie just three points outside their customary Premier League top-four position after rumours of their revival created by seven wins from their last eight games prior to Saturday was given emphatic credence by a 5-3 victory at Stamford Bridge.

Suddenly, Arsenal's worst start to a season in 58 years appears consigned to history as the chance to all but secure qualification for the Champions League knockout stage with success against Marseille at Emirates Stadium tomorrow night presents another step towards their rejuvenation.

"The mood was already good but it is better now because it convinces my team we can realise big things," said Wenger today. "It is one step. What is important now is to play lots of big games.

"From the team who have been asked the question about relegation to a team who are unbeatable, we still have some progress to make. Among the players there is a huge desire to improve and a good solidarity in the squad and that is why I always believed in the team.

"It is important because it shows how much the players want to win and how big the test was.

"We need much more consistency in our results before we can claim that we are back in the title race. We are closer to the Champions League places, the next thing is to get back closer to the teams at the top. We need more time to do that."

The focus now, though, is on this year's Champions League and the clash with Marseille.

In France 12 days ago, Arsenal seemed destined to pick up a point until Aaron Ramsey ensured they claimed all three as he struck an injury-time winner.

Wenger expects the visitors to adopt a different approach tomorrow and said: "Marseille are more at ease away from home than at home, they can defend well and attack on the break, counter-attack suits them well. …

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