Jack Wilshere eyes top spot

Jack Wilshere is hopeful Arsenal can top Champions League Group F after victory against Marseille.

Last Updated: 19/09/13 at 15:11 Post Comment

Jack Wilshere: Strong start to the Champions League Group F campaign

Jack Wilshere: Strong start to the Champions League Group F campaign

Arsenal got their Champions League campaign off to the ideal start with victory in Marseille - a result that leaves Jack Wilshere hopeful of topping Group F.

In the build-up to the clash at the Stade Velodrome, manager Arsene Wenger said his side had been given the "hardest group" of this year's competition.

It is easy to see why, given the quintet includes last year's runners-up Borussia Dortmund, Rafael Benitez's Napoli and French giants Marseille.

The win on the French south coast could therefore prove vital, with Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey scoring the all-important goals in a hard-fought, if fortuitous, 2-1 victory.

That result, allied to Dortmund's 2-1 defeat in Naples, makes Wilshere believes that they cannot just progress from their group, but also win it.

"Dortmund losing does open it up a bit," the England midfielder said.

"We have got two home games now [against Napoli and Dortmund] and they are tough teams, but if we play to our full potential in front of our fans, we should be able to win those games.

"If we win them both, we are sitting on nine points going into the last three games and that is a good position to be in.

"We also have Dortmund and Napoli away and away games are always tough but we want to finish top of the group.

"In the first game, if you can't win it you make sure you don't lose it but we won so it is a great start.

"We know it is only a great start because it is a tough group - Napoli beat Dortmund so any team can beat any other in this group so we have to be ready for the next game."

Given Arsenal's current form, you would not bet against them progressing in style.

An opening-day home defeat at the hands of Aston Villa is the only blot on the Gunners' copybook, having won all their other matches.

Most impressive is their away form, with last night's win in Marseille a club-record 10th in succession on the road.

"At the end of last season we knew we had to get that fourth position and I said at the start of the campaign we had to take that into this year," Wilshere said.

"We started off badly, losing at home, but we picked it up since.

"We won at Fulham away, which is not easy, and we have had some good away wins. The last 10 away games we have won but they have not been easy.

"Some games we had to hold out right until the end and in other games we have killed it off early.

"We are on a good run at the moment but we know we have got to keep that going."

Stoke are next up at the Emirates Stadium this weekend, before trips to West Brom and Swansea - a run of fixtures Wojciech Szczesny is confident of succeeding in.

"We've won the last six games, four of them away from home," the goalkeeper told Arsenal Player. "We know the momentum is with us.

"The games are coming thick and fast because we play in every midweek game so I'm sure we can keep that going, keep the momentum going and keep getting results.

"I think it's just the desire of the whole team to defend well. We've not conceded a lot of goals away from home.

"We've been defending really well and then scoring goals on the counter attack so it's just consistency of our defensive performances I think.

"When you defend very well for 90 minutes, you are going to get a couple of chances to score on the counter-attack and that's what we've been doing away from home."

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, meanwhile, has claimed Mesut Ozil could not "stand the pressure" at the Spanish club and that the German midfielder looked to fashion his £43million transfer deadline move to Arsenal.

Quoted in Spanish media outlet AS from a meeting ahead of Real Madrid's General Assembly on Sunday, Perez said: "Ozil asked to leave the club environment and here, no-one should be upset.

"He could not stand the pressure of Madrid."


Sky Bet Free Bet Club: £10 free bet - £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

E

ven if United were to sign CR7 & Messi to play upfront, the fact remains Fletcher and Cleverly are playing in midfield. That's where the problem is. Fletcher is too slow with an awful pass, while Cleverly is simply rubbish

mrunited4life
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

T

hese days, these days, you can't say something racist without somebody saying that you're a racist.

tk421
'Wrong' Views Not Silenced By Shouting...

D

rop Rooney (he's so disappointing, overrated and overpaid), and play Di Maria and RVP upfront, much like the set up at the Netherlands team with Roben and RVP...

eric bush3
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

Footer 365

Transfer News: Manchester United agree fee to sign Daley Blind from Ajax

Manchester United have begun talks with Daley Blind after agreeing a fee with Ajax.

Premier League: Mesut Ozil keen to live up to Arsenal fans' expectations

Mesut Ozil believes criticism of his performances at Arsenal stems from expectations of him being "one of the best number 10s in the world."

Transfer news: QPR striker Loic Remy to hold talks with Chelsea

Queens Park Rangers have given permission for Loic Remy to hold talks with Chelsea, according to Sky sources.

Mail Box

Surely A Spurs Fan Should Remember...

...what happened to the fourth Champions League place the last time an English team won the thing. Plus, who would want to pay £60 to watch the current England team?

Ginger Pirlo? Don't Make Me Laugh...

A Sunderland fan in the mailbox is surprised by Jack Colback's call up to the England squad. Plus, thoughts on Welbeck and Liverpool's Champions League draw...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property