Arsene Wenger warns his Arsenal side cannot take a 'little breather' in the hunt to end their trophy drought
Big week for the Gunners with trips to Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United
Monday 04 November 2013
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has warned his Premier League leaders they cannot allow themselves a “little breather” in the battle for a successful season.
The Gunners head to Borussia Dortmund for Wednesday's Champions League Group F showdown - where they are likely to have to do without midfielder Jack Wilshere, who is nursing an ankle problem - on the back of a 2-0 win over Liverpool which moved them five points clear.
But, having now provided the perfect response from the Capital One Cup exit at home to Chelsea, Wenger insists there cannot be any time for reflecting on a job well done.
"We passed (the test against Liverpool) in a convincing way," Wenger told arsenal.com.
"The focus of the team and the togetherness you could feel from the outside.
"Let's enjoy it, take a lot of encouragement from it and continue to develop as a team.
"But as well we must be cautious and be on our toes because we changed it (season) in an emphatic way so let's make sure we continue to grow and do not think 'okay let's have a little breather'."
Wilshere missed the Liverpool match because an ankle problem which is understood to be unrelated to the long-term injury he has been battling against in recent seasons.
The combative 21-year-old will be assessed ahead of the squad's departure for Germany on Tuesday afternoon, and could well stay in London to try to get him fully match fit in time for Sunday's Premier League trip to Manchester United.
Defender Kieran Gibbs is also doubtful after limping off in the second half against Liverpool with a calf problem, while midfielder Mathieu Flamini is not yet expected back from his groin injury and Theo Walcott may also be available at the weekend as he steps up recovery following minor abdominal surgery.
Wilshere's absence could well see Tomas Rosicky face his former club on Wednesday night.
The 33-year-old Czech playmaker has enjoyed the chance to establish a "fun" partnership with the likes of Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil.
Rosicky, signed from Dortmund in May 2006 and who has been hampered by several injury setbacks, feels the Gunners can be confident of building on their positive start.
"Of course we would like to stay there on top of the league, it's a good feeling to be there, but it's too soon, it doesn't mean a lot at this time," he said.
"But it is not a bad feeling I have to admit and I would like to stay there."
Rosicky made 126 league appearances for the Bundesliga side during five seasons in Germany after signing from Sparta Prague and is looking forward to a return to the Westfalenstadion.
"I won the league there and played in the UEFA Cup final there so obviously I have a lot of attachments and it will be a special game for me," he said.
Latest in Sport
Raheem Sterling to Manchester City: Uefa lift FFP restrictions to leave City primed for £100m moves for Paul Pogba and Liverpool midfielder
Sky Sports and BT Sport announce Premier League live matches for 2015/16 with Man United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool in action
Football kits 2015/16: The good, the bad and the downright worst new shirts from around the world for next season
Arturo Vidal to Real Madrid: Transfer news live - Sergio Ramos to Manchester United, Lukas Podolski to leave Arsenal
Chelsea 2015/16 home shirt leaked again as new picture appears online
- 1 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 2 James Blunt was special guest on the highest-rating Top Gear episode ever
- 3 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 4 Van driver who comforted Clark Carlisle and called 999 after suicide attempt dies age 24
- 5 Baby rescued 1km out to sea after parents forgot about her
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture