Arsenal must now 'show continuity' demands Arsene Wenger
The Gunners take on Wigan tomorrow
Friday 21 December 2012
Manager Arsene Wenger has challenged Arsenal to maintain their momentum towards the top four of the Barclays Premier League by beating Wigan tomorrow.
The Gunners head to the DW Stadium on the back of Monday's 5-2 win at Reading, which was a second successive league victory and made it only one defeat in the last six league outings.
Indeed, a maximum points haul against the injury-hit Latics would temporarily at least see Arsenal leapfrog Tottenham and Chelsea up into third place.
Wenger said: "We had a good result against West Brom, a good result at Reading, so it is important to show continuity now."
Despite Wigan having slipped down into the bottom three after last week's 2-1 defeat at Norwich made it five losses from seven, Wenger remains impressed by the work of Roberto Martinez and his cosmopolitan squad - with Honduras midfielder Roger Espinoza set to join in January after the end of his contract with Major League Soccer side Sporting Kansas City.
"Wigan always have good players, technically talented players and they're scouting countries where nobody else goes," the Arsenal manager said.
"They have for me an intelligent idea - they say 'if we go to France or Germany, we face Arsenal and Manchester City, so lets go to countries where nobody goes'.
"There must be a good player in every country and usually they find him. They have done that very well."
Lukas Podolski netted his eighth goal with a well-taken strike at Reading.
The German forward has called on his team-mates to reproduce their form at the Madejski Stadium on a regular basis and stop throwing away "stupid points."
Podolski said on Arsenal Player: "First place is (now) very tough, but the season is long and when we fight, play our game and do not lose stupid points, I think we can go for the top four.
"We lost a lot of points where we did not play well - but still we are only two points from third place.
"When we play like we did at Reading, this is very important. we want the next three points again."
Podolski joined Arsenal in the summer from Cologne in an £11million deal.
The Polish-born frontman, 27, has been deployed down the left flank by Wenger, and is happy enough with his contributions over the first six months of his stay at Emirates Stadium.
"It has been good. I feel I have done well, but the season does not stop now, we still have a lot of matches," he said.
"Hopefully I will score more goals, make more assists and do more for the club."
While talks continue over a contract extension for Theo Walcott, British quintet Jack Wilshere, Carl Jenkinson, Aaron Ramsey, Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all penned new long-term deals this week.
Wenger's own future has comeback onto the agenda following a difficult spell, which included a shock Capital One Cup defeat on penalties at Bradford.
However, the Arsenal manager insists it is all about the here and now, not whether he will remain in charge for the duration of the young players' time with the club.
"I cannot give them that insurance because that decision does not depend on me," he said.
"The insurance I give them is the club has faith in them and at the moment I decide the technical policy of the club, and I believe it is important that the club has these players for a longer period."
On his own long-term plans, Wenger remained ever coy. He added: "At the moment, I envisage to do well this season and as I always do to respect my full commitment for the club.
"I want to do well for the idea of the football I have and I want to do well for the club as long as I am here. After that, we will see."
Latest in Sport
Raheem Sterling to Manchester City: Winger to report for Liverpool training on today but Reds braced for third City bid this week
Morgan Schneiderlin to Arsenal: Transfer news live - Sergio Ramos to Manchester United; Raheem Sterling to Manchester City
Football kits 2015/16: The good, the bad and the downright worst new shirts from around the world for next season
Nick Kyrgios praises fans smearing Vegemite and Nutella on their faces in support of Wimbledon star
Alexis Sanchez 'will miss start of Arsenal season' after Chile go all the way in Copa America
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 2 Greece debt crisis explained: A history of just how the country landed itself in such a mess
- 3 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 4 Greek debt crisis: Yanis Varoufakis's funniest (and most memorable) quotes
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts