Arsene Wenger says Arsenal’s penalty shootout victory over Chelsea is encouraging but insists it’s up to his squad to maintain the positive atmosphere inside the club when the new Premier League season kicks off.
The Gunners picked up their first silverware of the season courtesy of a 4-1 victory on penalties, however, having made poor starts to domestic campaigns in recent years the boss is wary of getting carried away.
“It’s an encouragement and nothing more than that,” Wenger told press at Wembley.
“We want to find a good balance between the confidence we can get out of these games and the urgency that every Premier League game demands.
“We had some bad starts in the first game of the Premier League over the last four years but we’ve had the intensity in our games that is needed to be ready.
“Let’s go into the Premier League with the same discipline, the same spirit, and see where we can go. If you look at the Premier League, there’s seven or eight teams who you can say can win the Premier League, so it makes it very interesting.”
On today’s performance, he added: “I’m very happy because we won the trophy. The quality of the game was very good and the two teams gave absolutely everything.
“The two teams played with a lot of intensity and quality. Even when we were 1-0 down, we didn’t panic and kept control of our game to come back. Overall, the performance is a continuity of what we did at the end of last season. ”
Not for the first time, Wenger also admitted that last season’s sour attitude on the terraces was in part down to his wavering over signing a new contract.
“Yes, it’s down to us to keep a positive atmosphere around the team. I think a lot was created by my own situation and maybe I made a mistake, but overall I believe that it’s down to us – the strength always comes from the team.”