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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

C

lassic management. Build them up and then knock them back. Raise expectations and then dampen them. Create a dynamic where by you demand the most from your team, but where the team are given room to manoeuvre unexpected or unwanted results. Classy work by Van Gaal, he really reminds me a lot of me. A smart cookie, make no doubt.

hump3.
Van Gaal: 'I struggle for first three months'

H

e will be the England left back for ten years or more, and then you will have to thank MUFC for that. *smiles*

london saint
Shaw: Criticism spot on

P

urely because of that little diva moment he had last night, I don't want him coming to my club. DESTROYED ? Grow up and give something back to the club that helped put you up there on the world stage.

bale doubt
Saints' Schneiderlin stalemate

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