Wenger: We need to stay calm and focused

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Arsene Wenger has called on his players to deliver a calm and focused performance against Sp*rs at Wembley even though he knows from experience that the occasion can be emotionally fraught.

One a nine-game winning streak at the national stadium – a run that has seen them collected five trophies along the way – the Gunners head into the clash in a positive frame of mind, all the more so following the impressive home debuts of new signings Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang against Everton.

While the duo are yet to experience the ferocity of the North London derby, Wenger insists that his established players will have informed them of the importance of the occasion.

“The players know [the importance] because we’ve had many players who have been here for years,” Wenger told press on Friday.

“The good thing in sport is that you have to find a good balance between being rational and and emotional.

“As much as you have to certainly be emotionally-charged because of the importance of the game and needing to get the high energy level, once you’re on the pitch you have to be calm, focused and make good decisions.

“That’s why you can’t let the emotions take over. At the end of the day, it’s down to making good decisions on the football pitch.”

Of his own memories of the derby, he added: “The memory is always the huge passion before the game and the emotional state. That becomes a bit more agitated.

“I worked with Pat Rice when I arrived for many years, so he got me very quickly on that territory! It’s always a game that is a bit more emotionally charged because of the importance it has for us, the fans and everyone around the club.

“This season, if you look at the table, for us it’s a very important game.”

Arsenal head to Wembley knowing a win would close the gap on their neighbours to just one point. A defeat, on the other hand, would seriously harm the Gunners top-four ambitions. It’s a real six-pointer.

“It’s the next one, so the next one is the biggest,” replied Wenger when asked if the fixture is the most important of the season.

“It is a big game because we are behind in the table and we have to catch up. I must say that personally, it’s more important mathematically for us to come back as quickly as possible, rather than it being emotionally-charged.

“I’ve known the importance of this game for more than 20 years but for us, it’s an opportunity to come back in the table and get closer to the Champions League spots. That is the priority.”

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30 Comments on "Wenger: We need to stay calm and focused"

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Clins

Says all the right things …But the performance hasn’t changed in a decade . In fact it has got much worse .

shmokin\'em

honestly…some of you “fans”

IamaGoober

Ultimately tomorrows match is much bigger than our internal issues. Its Spurs at Wembley.

My anxiety has been somewhat put at ease by looking at it from this perspective; if we honestly want to be in with a shout of Champions League football next season, then its a must win game, a point wont really cut it in my opinion.

I know with pride at stake a point isn’t the worst result, but realistically we have to leap frog Spurs, and then Liverpool. So 3 points is a must especially after our slip up at Swansea.

Aubameyang has scored 4 goals in 4 games against Spurs, and Ozil has never lots a game at Wembley, so roll on Saturday I say.

renaissancerosicky

Fucking hell man it’s the eve of the NLD if you aren’t pumped for this shit why the fuck are you even on this site?

Too Drunk For Offside
Too Drunk For Offside

Loved Newport fans singing –

Delle Ali, he’s got more pubic hair
than you’ve got silverware.

Classy lot 😀

Welbeck\'s Hi top fade
Welbeck\'s Hi top fade

Well we did beat them 2-0 in the last NLD…

Danger Mouse

You must have missed the last north London derby then….. do keep up..

John Lukic

Crumbs!

Anonymarse

You’ll always be shit. You’ll always be shiiit. Tottenham Hotspur, you’ll always be shit.

jackbut

he is certainly a spurd

Asrar Ahmed

Aubameyang to dive for a penalty to win the game at the last minute and reporters to ask Pochettino “what do you think about diving in football?”

James Kimberley

You can delete this post if you want blogs, couple of spelling mistakes in the second para
Love the blog!

Mayor McCheese

I believe “love the blog” is spelled correctly.

David Hillier\'s luggage
David Hillier\'s luggage

Let’s do the double over these lot, COYG!!!!

gooner1981

Definitely focus, especially defending, and this extends to the midfield. Some of our defending, especially away has been abysmal. Cut out the bloopers, and we could win this one for sure. We have the attacking potency

Granit(e) hard!

C’mon Arsene, playing (smashing?) the spuds is always more than just gaps and points and we all know it!…..its always first about North London bragging rights and those homeless lot know North London is definitely red!

Viv

Win it and doubts begin to creep in spuds minds,they will lose at some stage in champions league,lose more confidence,and we will be in top four,so let’s win this one

RamboJambo

Blogs, I’m in Dublin on Saturday, can you recommend a pub to watch the game?

Hi-brid

Didn’t we win all three charity shields after our recent FA cup wins? I thought we beat Chelsea twice and City once, but my memory might be failing me…

henry

Lets do this gooners!

jon

I think who is chosen for midfield is more exiting than usual. Xhaka? Ramsey or Wilshire? The less anarchistic Elneny? Will Iwobi start, as he did against Everton (when he, btw, played very good)?

Andy Mack

Who’s exiting what?

David C

I think Wenger is going to pump up the team for this one! WWWWWWembley is our home! COYG!!!

Also, I hope we get a real soft penalty after all this talk, haha.

Merteslacker

Keep CALM and win this NLD.

jackbut

the new signing have been adequately informed. this is NLD.. no chance for loss..3 points is all that matters…

Mpls

Mkhi has been in the league with the mancs for a bit, he knows a derby. Now he gets to be in the derby with a club where Class is Permanent.

Andre

*calm and focused*

santori

Sustaining the effort and concentration is our BIGGEST problem.

Particularly in midfield where players can switch off.

Its not just Granit, even much lauded fullbacks like AMN has failed to track runners into our box on many occasions.

The right combination is key because our midfield is still idiosyncratic without that one player who can hold everything, relief pressure and dribble from deep.

I think Jack will be key. We suffered with Elneny, Granit and Ramsey, none of whom can turn with the ball to save their lives. Instead, we were unable to relief pressure and the ball kept coming back into the defense putting the Cbacks under undue duress against Swans.

Lacazette did not help either as his hold up play was generally poor.

Jack can provide an outlet for us in midfield.

santori

Mind the gap.

its like start of the season when we overhauled them after our win but then threw it all away in January.

This time round we need to win and sustain effort.

Because its not them we are concern with but slightly further ahead with Liverpool and Chelsea also wobbly. There is an opening and we must get our act together, assert the pressure, finish strong.

Cut out the silly mistakes. Focus to the end is key.

Glasgow Gooner

Love the way Wenger pronounces the word calm