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Wenger: Fully focused Gunners

Arsene Wenger wants Arsenal to put full focus into regaining their domestic form as they await the draw for the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League.

Last Updated: 05/12/12 at 08:45 Post Comment

Arsene Wenger: The Arsenal manager saw his team miss out on a top seed for Champ

Arsene Wenger: The Arsenal manager saw his team miss out on a top seed for Champ

With qualification already secure ahead of Tuesday's last Group B tie against Olympiakos, Wenger elected to leave several first-team regulars behind.

But although Tomas Rosicky fired Arsenal ahead after 38 minutes, the Greeks fought back through a controversial effort by Giannis Maniatis and a well-taken strike from substitute Kostas Mitroglou.

Defeat has left Wenger facing more questions about the direction of his team, who have now not won in four games and have also missed out on a top seed for the Champions League last-16 draw.

But Wenger said: "Let's see [what happens in the draw], but for now it is important for us to focus on the [domestic] championship, forget about the Champions League a little bit and get ourselves back in decent form in the championship."

He added: "We need a good Christmas present now (in the draw), but we will see.

"We can get a bad draw or less strong team, but you normally get strong teams through anyway now.

"The disadvantage we have is we play the second game away, but that is not statistically proven to be such a disadvantage."

Arsenal, who were beaten 2-0 by Swansea City at Emirates Stadium last weekend, host fifth-placed West Brom on Saturday.

And Wenger has challenged his team to produce a response, as he said: "It is a good opportunity for us to keep focused, to show strength and unity, that is what you want to do in the next game."

Rosicky had just come back from an injury lay-off and Wenger revealed his second-half substitution was pre-planned.

He said: "He is a bit tight, muscular, but no [new] injury. We will see how we recovers now for Saturday."

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Readers' Comments

S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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