Hungry Gunners; Arsenal Close to Place in History but Wenger Is Keeping His Cool

Daily Mail (London), March 20, 2004 | Go to article overview

Hungry Gunners; Arsenal Close to Place in History but Wenger Is Keeping His Cool


Byline: CLAIRE NASH

THIS time last year the problems were just beginning to pile up for Arsene Wenger. Now it seems the laidback Arsenal manager hardly has a care in the world.

Twelve months ago this week Arsenal followed a 2-0 defeat at Blackburn by losing against Valencia to crash out of the Champions League. It was the beginning of the end as Arsenal then surrendered their Premiership lead to a resurgent Manchester United.

A year on, however, and Wenger is coolness personified. His players are marching on three fronts, playing thrilling football and will take their place in history if they can extend their unbeaten start to the season against Bolton today.

Wenger said: 'I think people are starting to appreciate how we play and we've shown we can play well.

We want to share our football with as many people as possible.

'I enjoy the games we are playing, the spirit we show and the attitude. At the moment there's probably nothing for people to be critical of us about.

But it will come back, don't worry.' Not if Arsenal avoid defeat against Bolton at Highbury and equal the all-time record of 29 matches unbeaten since the start of a topflight season, set by Leeds (1973-74) and Liverpool (1987-88).

But Wenger said: 'We haven't even spoken about the record. We just know it's a massive game. We don't think about the records. We just want to show our hunger.

'As a unit we live in a bubble where all you want to do is play your game.'

Arsenal's Premiership hopes disappeared, arguably, last year in the 2-2 draw at Bolton. Wenger said: 'We were at our flattest at Blackburn, when we didn't look like a team who were up for the Championship, and the final drop was when we drew with Bolton.

'We put one of those things right last week (Arsenal won 2-0 at Ewood Park).

Now we have the opportunity to put the other right.' Wenger, however, has learned from last season and refused to say whether Arsenal could stretch their unbeaten run through to the end of the season. …

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