Arsene Wenger lauds Arsenal consistency in 2015 and a more pragmatic approach
Arsene Wenger sends Arsenal into today’s match with Southampton reflecting on how his side has progressed since the teams last met at St Mary’s in January.
The Saints won that match 2-0, with the Gunners turning in a woeful defensive performance.
That match will be best remembered from an Arsenal perspective for an erratic goalkeeping display from Wojciech Szczesny, and his post-match cigarette smoking in the showers meltdown.
It effectively ended his Arsenal career and led to him being shipped out on a season long loan last Summer to Roma.
David Ospina replaced Szczesny in-goal for the remainder of the 2014/15 Premier League season, with Petr Cech joining from Chelsea to take over as the new Arsenal No 1 keeper in the Summer.
With Ospina and Cech between the sticks Arsenal have won the most Premier League points away from home in 2015 so far (38).
Another victory today will help them keep pace with leaders Leicester City, who take on Liverpool at Anfield.
The Gunners trail the Foxes by two points in the Premier League.
Reflecting on Arsenal’s performance in the Premier League during 2015, Wenger said.
“The only the thing I can say is 2015, if you look back and try to analyse it, we have been consistent,” he said. “We have had quite a positive year and stabilised our defensive record and improved our record against the strong teams in the Premier League so it looks like we are on the right train going the right way.
“We have been top of the league in previous years and I think football is pragmatic. Nobody can predict what can happen in the next 17 games for example, and you just want to go with the same attitude and spirit.
“The real pressure is not to go down,” he continued. “All the rest is positive pressure. I believe that football is down to performance. In the media it quickly becomes a bit intellectual. Who will win the title? Nobody knows. I’ve worked for a long time in the game and nobody can tell you who will win the title.
“It’s down to being pragmatic, putting the effort in to win your next game and worrying about your performance. That gives you a chance over a longer distance to maybe achieve your goals. At the moment, it’s miles too early to say who will win the Premier League. We’ve played 17 games – we’re not even at halfway.”