On the back of a run of seven consecutive wins, Arsène Wenger is urging his players to keep their wits about them within the pack at the top of the Premier League. He warns them against the perils of complacency.
“We live in a jungle where everybody wants to eat you, and you have to survive by keeping your vigilance,” he said. “That’s what competition is about. Every day you have to fight again to survive. I believe that humility is to understand that you start again from zero.”
Arsenal take on Middlesbrough at home on Saturday hoping to extend a winning streak which currently stands at six in a row in the Premier League. “I feel there is more to come out from our team,” Wenger said. “We have the squad and we have to show that we have the quality. To maintain that in the team for 10 months will depend on the players, on me and also on injuries.”
Wenger is optimistic that the club is seeing progress in the numbers of injuries that have been so problematic in recent seasons. “I believe we have improved tremendously on the muscular injury front in the last two three or years,” he says. “Last year we were a bit unlucky with the knocks we got, and the joint injuries we got. It was down to blocks in the game. On the muscular front, I think we have done much better and hopefully we can continue that.
“It is not one measure, it is to analyse the level of fatigue, of recovery, the preparation, the prevention. Everything is a bit more scientific and maybe that makes you a bit more predictable to what will happen. We know the players very well because we have data for a few years and we can analyse when he got injured, the repetition of a few signs of some warnings that we can now know much better about them now.”
Wenger added that Danny Welbeck was ahead of schedule and should be ready to return in January. Shorter term, Olivier Giroud is expected to be in contention for Tuesday night’s EFL Cup tie against Reading, with Aaron Ramsey pushing for contention next weekend at Sunderland.