Search

Gunners boss wary of Royals threat

08:00 16 December 2012

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. Photo credit: Adam Davy/EMPICS

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. Photo credit: Adam Davy/EMPICS

EMPICS Sport

Arsene Wenger fully expects a tough battle when he takes his beleaguered Arsenal squad travel to Premier League strugglers Reading on Monday night.

The Gunners’ season lurched to another crisis with their midweek Capital One Cup defeat to Bradford, where the League Two club won a penalty shoot-out at Valley Parade.

The Royals may be struggling in the relegation zone following five straight defeats, but having given leaders Manchester United a run for their money in a 4-3 defeat in October, Wenger knows there will be no easy ride at the Madejski Stadium.

“They are a team who deserve a lot of credit because they came up last year, for me surprisingly,” he said.

“Reading make it difficult for every team in every game, so we expect a battle.

“Our results are quite consistent and good away from home. We had a good game against West Brom [and] it’s important to confirm that in our next away game.”

Arsenal have already played at Reading once this season, when they trailed 4-0 in the Capital One Cup before producing an amazing comeback to win 7-5 in extra-time.

Wenger feels Arsenal’s away form has been positive compared to the inconsistencies at Emirates Stadium, where they finally produced a winning performance against West Brom last weekend having been booed off again after Swansea ran out 2-0 winners a fortnight ago.

Despite their run of poor form, Arsenal remain within striking distance of the top four.

Wenger, though, knows his team cannot afford to take anything other than maximum points on Monday night.

“If you look at our season at the moment, we have not produced our performances at home, away our results are in the same bracket as the two top teams,” he said.

“Where we have lost the points is we made too many draws at home.

“Manchester United are top of the league, six points ahead. They have lost three games, we have lost four.

“We had more draws, especially at home, that is where we have lost the points.”

Striker Olivier Giroud should return from a back problem to face Reading, having not been included for the midweek cup tie at Bradford.

Defender Laurent Koscielny has returned to training after his thigh injury, but it remains to be seen whether England forward Theo Walcott - who netted a hat-trick against the Royals in their October Capital One Cup tie - will have shaken off a calf problem which has sidelined him since December 1.

Related articles

0 comments

Latest Islington Sports News

12:09
Hanshi Sampson Sampson (left) with Sobell Judo Club's European disabled champion Karl Summerbell.

Bouncing back in the face of adversity is a commonly-used sporting cliché – but scarcely can it have been more accurately applied than to Karl Summerbell.

07:06
Nathan Sowter has become a regular member of Middlesex's T20 side. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Leg-spinner Nathan Sowter is seeking to play his part in a rare Twenty20 double for Middlesex this season.

Yesterday, 17:35
Danny Arnold during his run to the junior ABA final with St Pancras ABC. Pic: Dieter Perry

Former St Pancras ABC star Danny Arnold has been tipped to become a professional champion by the club’s trainer CJ Hussein.

Tue, 18:35
Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette

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

Tue, 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.

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