December 12 2013 Latest news:
By James Cunliffe
Saturday, October 5, 2013
Manager Arsene Wenger has warned the rest of the Premier League that his Arsenal side have not yet shown their full potential.
The Gunners travel to West Brom tomorrow - a week after they beat the Baggies on penalties in the Capital One Cup - with a club record of nine straight away wins in the division up for grabs, 11 in all competitions.
His side will arrive at the Hawthorns having led the league on Saturday morning and, should Liverpool beat Crystal Palace today, their goal will be to claim a victory that will shoot them back to the top of the pile.
Apart from an opening day defeat at home to Aston Villa, Arsenal have put in an impressive run which has seen the feelgood factor return to the Emirates Stadium inspired, not least, because of the transfer deadline day arrival of £42.5million record signing Mesut Ozil.
But Wenger believes their is still room for improvement from his new-look side.
“For us it is important to maintain our consistent run and to continue to develop as a team because if you look at the broader picture we have had quite a good consistent run since March, but it is important of course that we continue to develop,” the Arsenal manager said.
“I believe we can still do better, that there is more to come from us, but that will depend now on how much we want it and how hungry we are to improve.”
Wenger continued: “We have managed to get a better defensive stability, and afterwards maybe a turning point is our game at Bayern [Munich in the Champions League in March], when everybody expected us to be trounced, to lose by six or seven, and after that also the fact that we could manage a consistent run towards the end of the season; that convinced the players that we must have some qualities.
“I believe as well, the consistency of our results comes from a greater attitude of the players - but let’s not forget we have won nothing and that is all to do. We have to continue to have that hunger attitude, to improve from game to game.”
Other than their exit at the hands of Arsenal in the League Cup, West Brom will go into the game buoyant on the back of a shock away win at Manchester United last week.
Wenger said: “It is a massive game for us and an exciting game as well, because both teams have full confidence and have quality.
“We [will] play with the same desire and the same attitude, and as well because we have a level of confidence that is there.
“But West Brom represents as well a good test for us because, on the back of an outstanding result at Manchester United, their confidence is certainly high as well, so it will be a very interesting test.”
French midfielder Mathieu Flamini is another factor for the good feeling enveloping the north Londoners of late as his re-signing - after being released by AC Milan - and performances in the holding midfield role have given the Gunners some steel in the middle of the park - something that has been missing for a number of years.
The 29-year-old, who left Arsenal in July 2008, told the club’s official website, www.arsenal.com: “Everyone knew Arsenal have a lot of qualities, but this year we are showing we have the fighting spirit.
“Everyone is helping each other and it makes the difference because of course in a season you have some good periods and some difficult periods.
“What is important is to win game after game, work hard and stay focused and to keep going with our great spirit and then we will see.
“Maybe for us there will be a good surprise this season.”