Search

Arsenal are top of the league sooner than I expected, says Wenger

20:33 24 October 2015

Arsenal

Arsenal's Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring his side's first goal against Everton

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Arsene Wenger admits he did not expect his Arsenal side to reach the Premier League summit at such an early stage in the season.

The Gunners took over top spot in the table for the first time since the 2013-14 campaign following their 2-1 win against Everton at Emirates Stadium.

Manchester City will reclaim the lead if they avoid defeat in Sunday’s derby clash with neighbours United – but nevertheless Wenger feels the Gunners are ahead of schedule.

“After the first game against West Ham nobody would have predicted that,” said the Arsenal boss. “After 10 games we are there and that shows we have made some ground up.

“Honestly, I thought it would take much longer – Manchester City won [their first] five games and it’s still very early in the season.

“Let’s not focus on our position – we have to continue to grow and improve and there are still many aspects in our game we can improve.

“We have to keep the desire, the concentration and the humility and try to play better football. Our results at the moment are more the consequence of team effort, not individuals.”

Wenger recalled Olivier Giroud to lead the Arsenal attack for the first time in a month and was rewarded as the French forward continued his run of goals against Everton, heading the opener in the 36th minute.

Defender Laurent Koscielny nodded in Santi Cazorla’s free-kick just two minutes later, with Ross Barkley pulling one back for the Toffees with a deflected shot that looped in off Gabriel.

But the Gunners held on to secure their fifth successive win in all competitions – and Wenger is hoping Koscielny’s goal will prove to be the first of many resulting from set-pieces.

“We know that to fight at the top we need some goals from set-pieces, between eight and 12 and I believe at the moment we are a bit short,” added the manager.

“But the fact we did that today will give us the belief that we can score more. It was a good test for the hunger of our players and I feel we played with the right focus and desire.”

The Frenchman confirmed that he intends to rest some of his first-choice players for the Gunners’ next fixture, away to Sheffield Wednesday in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday.

Latest Islington Sports News

Yesterday, 18:35
Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette

Lyon have refuted reports that they have received a second bid from Arsenal for star striker Alexandre Lacazette.

Yesterday, 07:30
North London players celebrate a wicket from Jordan Gregory in their five-run win against Brentham. Pic: Max Flego

Captain Sam Bardon has urged North London to maintain the impetus of their seven-match unbeaten run as they prepare to face the top two sides in Middlesex County League Division Three.

Mon, 07:14
Middlesex's Eoin Morgan

Eoin Morgan feels Middlesex’s impressive County Championship form has been a key factor in their recent improvement in white-ball cricket.

Friday, July 22, 2016
Dominic Ogbechie was given the Outstanding Individual Boy award at last weeks Camden Sport and Physical Activity Celebration night. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Already standing 6ft 1in tall at the tender age of 14, Highgate Harriers’ Dominic Ogbechie clearly has a knack for defying gravity – and the sky is the limit for the prodigious teenager.

Thursday, July 21, 2016
Eoin Morgan batting for Middlesex

Middlesex overcame Surrey in front of a record crowd at Lord’s to strengthen their hopes of reaching the NatWest T20 Blast quarter-finals.

Thursday, July 21, 2016
North Middlesex captain Tom Nicoll. Pic: Paolo Minoli

North Middlesex captain Tom Nicoll has entered his name into the Middlesex County League’s record books after scoring a century and taking eight wickets in a stunning individual display.

Thursday, July 21, 2016
Emmanuel Nmecha, 17 (left) riding a two seater bike with support worker Harold Bennett during a disability cycle session run by Pedal Power at Emirates Stadium

Many might think that when you’ve seen one bicycle, you’ve seen them all – but a Thursday morning visit to Emirates Stadium would certainly change your mind.

Thursday, July 21, 2016
Middlesex batsman Nick Gubbins

At this stage of the season, you want to make sure you’re still involved in all three competitions, and that’s certainly the case at Middlesex.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now