Arsene Wenger refuses to get carried away by Premier League leaders Arsenal: 'The mentality of champions is built up throughout a season'

It is too early to know if the Gunners will be in the mix at the end of the season, says the Frenchman

Arsene Wenger was pleased to see his Arsenal side reach the international break on top of the Barclays Premier League but insists it is too early to know whether they can see the job through.

The Gunners were made to work hard for their share of a 1-1 draw at West Brom on Sunday, with Claudio Yacob putting the hosts in front and Nicolas Anelka missing two fine chances before Jack Wilshere's deflected equaliser.

Arsenal created a couple of good opportunities of their own to make it six league wins on the bounce but a point was enough to leave them ahead of Liverpool at the summit, albeit on goals scored.

Despite that being a promising position, Wenger last got his hands on the Premier League trophy in 2004 and is understandably wary of getting ahead of himself.

"I feel it was important not to lose once we went a goal down, that was the most important thing for the mental comfort," he said.

"Of course it is good as well to remain top. (But) the mentality of champions is built up throughout a season.

"It is a bit early, only October. In March, April you can show you have the mentality of champions.

"At the moment it is early but it is good to continue our run.

"It requires special resilience. I believe that what is important is to continue to focus on the way we want to play."

Wenger was also generous in his praise of the Baggies.

After a troubled start to the season things have begun to go very right for Steve Clarke's men.

They are now four games unbeaten, with last weekend's 2-1 win away at Manchester United the key result.

"West Brom have many players who can create, are quick on the ball, can manage the ball. They confirmed here why they won at Manchester United," said the Frenchman.

"They have good players in every position and a huge squad. (Victor) Anichebe was not there, (Shane) Long was on the bench, (James) Morrison was on the bench and (Graham) Dorrans not even in the squad.

"It is a massive squad, really. I am not pleased because we want to win but if you ask me is it a fair point I would say yes."

West Brom's match-winner against United was 20-year-old forward Saido Berahino and the England Under-21 international was rewarded with a first Premier League start against Wenger's side.

Berahino performed admirably, particularly in a livewire first-half display, and while he continues to clear every hurdle placed in front of him Clarke has warned he must manage the youngster with care.

"Last week when he came off the bench and did so well nobody in the camp was very surprised because he's been like that since the start of the season," said the Scot.

"But sometimes with young players you have to decide whether to protect them a little bit.

"He's had a lot of publicity and it was quite a big decision whether or not to start with him, but he justified the selection.

"He was terrific again, though it's important we stay focused with Saido and keep it game to game.

"For us it's important to protect him at the right times."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee