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Wenger: It's nothing personal

Arsene Wenger insists there will be nothing personal in his bid to beat Chelsea on Monday night in the pre-Christmas showdown, live on Sky Sports 1HD.

Last Updated: 23/12/13 at 19:47 Post Comment

Arsene Wenger: Nothing personal in the rivalry with Chelsea

Arsene Wenger: Nothing personal in the rivalry with Chelsea

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The Arsenal manager has yet to get the better of his Chelsea counterpart Jose Mourinho in nine previous attempts - stretching back nine years.

The Gunners will retain top spot should they emerge victorious from the game at the Emirates Stadium and Wenger knows his side will need to rediscover their best form to prevail.

"It is not a personal battle," Wenger said.

"Honestly, we had some big games in the past, but what is important for me is that I am completely focused on Arsenal Football Club and on my team and doing well in the team.

"Whether we play Monday night against Chelsea or anybody else, for me it is exactly the same, because what is at stake for us is to get back to winning habits, whether it is Chelsea or anyone else.

"Chelsea are a good side with many good promising players, many good young players.

"They have a good offensive potential as well and for us it will be important to have a good defensive focus to find our defensive stability back and to stop them going forward.

"For the rest if you look at the names of their players, in every position they have great players.

"I think we were close (to beating Chelsea) many times. Let us not forget that when we won the championship in 2004, Chelsea finished second and we had an unbeaten record.

"Mourinho came in and they bought (Didier) Drogba, (Ricardo) Carvalho and they were even stronger. He is as well a very good manager and they had a fantastic period."

Wenger maintains he has a more cordial relationship with Mourinho now than the pair enjoyed during Mourinho's first spell at Stamford Bridge.

"Once you are out of competition, everybody is different," Wenger said. "We have spent time together in Geneva at the UEFA managers' meeting.

"Here is competition time, so everybody fights for his team and his club."

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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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